A Message from the Technical Director I hope your year is off to a great start. And even though we are in the thick of winter, the spring soccer season is not that far away. Outdoor practices will ‘officially’ start the week of February 16th, that is less than four weeks from now, by the way. However, NPL teams and teams heading out of state for tournaments have been training at the East Boulder turf fields throughout the winter.
Thanks for your patience in regards to the FCB futsal facility. Even though it’s not an ideal situation right now, I think you’ll be pleased once we’ve got it up and running.
Please make note of the following:
Pre-Season Coaches Meeting
Thursday January 29
(West of Pleasant View on Kalmia)
This past week we had a contingent of FCB coaches attend the NSCAA Soccer Coaches Convention in Philadelphia. This is the largest gathering of soccer coaches in the world. Look for articles, reports and info from this event in upcoming newsletters and on our website.
Those of you who want to get their soccer fix in, come to the EBR turf fields this upcoming weekend for some exciting NPL games.
FCB Calendar of Events/Spring ‘15 January 20-Feb 26 – FCB Athletic and Soccer Performance Camp
January 24 – NPL games FCB vs Rush.
January 25 – NPL games FCB vs Storm.
January 29 – FCB Pre-Season Coaches meeting.
January 31 – NPL games FCB at Pride.
February 1 – NPL games FCB vs Arsenal.
February 7 – NPL games FCB vs Real.
Week of February 16 – Official start of outdoor practices.
February 20-22 – NPL games FCB U18s at Storm.
February 26 – FCB Team Managers meeting.
March 14 – Start of CSA league games and State Cup play-in games.
March 19 and 20 – Start of FCB in-house recreational games.
March 21 and 22 – State Cup games.
March 29 – State Cup games.
April 4 – FCB Fundraising Event
April 12 – State Cup quarters.
April 19 – State Cup semis.
April 26 – State Cup final.
May 16 and 17 – Boulder Cup.
June 5-7 – FCB NPL Regional Tournament/College Showcase.
June 12-14 – FCB Rocky Mountain Cup.
FC Boulder Team Coaches – Spring ‘15
B18E – James Wagenschutz
The NPL teams are organized according to birth year (January 1 through December 31), unlike the CSA league teams, which organizes its players according to the dates of August 1 through July 31. Therefore, our NPL teams are a mixture of players from different teams and different age groups.
This season’s NPL coaches are:
James Wagenschutz - 1998s
10 AM – FCB ‘98 vs Real Colorado
The winners of the state league will play in this summer’s regional tournament with the winners of that event going to Nationals. Good luck to all our teams!
FCB U12 Elite at The Vegas Cup
By Ryan Henkel
The U12 Girls 03 Elite team traveled to Las Vegas to compete in the Vegas Cup during the MLK weekend. When the brackets came out the work had to start, as they would play San Diego Surf and Dallas Texans in group play. The Colorado weather was not really going be helpful, so heading to Vegas the girls had trained outside two times the week prior, so the focus went from competing to win to team building and developing for the season ahead.
Friday evening the girls wandered out of their cars onto the Kellog Zaher fields to have an outdoor training session in preparation for the next day. Focus was on organizing the back line while getting some touches on the ball. After a short, but successful session we had a team dinner at the Macaroni Grill.
Playing a midseason form San Diego Surf team was not going to be easy, but as the game kicked off, we saw a strong 4-3-3 of ours match up well against a true 4-4-2 that would send both backs into the attack. We routinely got into the flanks with time and space, but since we had been indoors for such a long time, we did not quite know what to do with the time and space, so Surf were able to keep us off the board in the first half. We felt pretty good about the 0-0 halftime score. Surf scored with 15 minutes left in the match, but a great left footed strike from our central target evened the final score at 1-1. We left feeling that the score was a just result for either team. Both teams tried to play attractive soccer and both deserved a point.
Our second game was against the Dallas Texans. The Texans played a 3-5-2 formation. The first half of this game was played 100% in our own defensive half. The good news for us was that our players were resilient in defending and our goalie was on point. At the half, we took a sigh of relief and regrouped. We chatted about two things, first is to take a touch to control the ball forward, and then to get out of the midfield as quickly as possible and then join to support. Second was to match the physical level of the Texans. The second half was the complete opposite in terms of possession, as we sat in their half for the rest of the game, scoring on a corner kick to take a 1-0 win against a very strong team. We left pleased and excited.
That evening the team worked on some team building. We went through a set of words that we wanted our team to represent. We started with about 18 words and narrowed it down to “effort”. We then split our group into 3 teams and each had to come up with a skit that defined the word effort, which was judged by a panel of parents. The skit “America’s Got Effort” took the prize (okay, no prize really), and the girls headed off to bed with a ‘winner-advances-game’ in the morning.
The winner of our game against the California Futbol Club would advance to the Quarter finals of a 32 team tournament, and the game started with this intensity. About 15 minutes into the match, you could tell our lack of game fitness of having not been outside for over a month, was starting to take a toll. CFC took over the game. A very athletic team, CFC scored shortly off a goal kick picked off and put right back in, and then after the half they came out and put two in on us while we tried to get the goal back. CFC finished group 3-0, and we left the tournament feeling like we had much to be proud of. We played strong defensively, had possession with purpose against some great teams, and showed great effort in all games.
After a long fought weekend, we continued our team building by playing charades both with individuals performing and groups performing. The teamwork and the fun was evident and we all headed to bed exhausted.
New to Vegas a year ago was the world’s tallest Ferris Wheel. We broke the tradition of going to the New York New York Roller coaster and gave this a whirl, and the new tradition has begun. 40 people to a car, 30 minute ride, views all over Vegas and into the mountains, music blasting, and selfies galore. This was a great way to end a trip of team building, playing national level teams, and doing our FC Boulder club proud. Go FCB !
FC Boulder Alumni Update As some of you might know, Shane O’Neill has been training with the US National Team at the Home Depot Center in preparation for games against Chile and Panama. Here are some brief comments directly from Shane:
“Today was a challenging day but all days have been extremely physically demanding. We start with breakfast from 7-8:30 AM then we drive ourselves to the stadium and need to be there no later than 9:30 AM to get our massage and get ready to train. We train from 10-11:30 AM and then go back to the stadium for lunch. At 1 PM we have a tactical session in the classroom, then from 3-4 PM we are in the gym. After that you are free to go back to the hotel or you can stay for treatment, ice baths and massage. It is great to be surrounded by top professionals such as Clint Dempsey, Matt Besler and Michael Bradley. It is inspiring to see how they take care of their body and how they prepare themselves each day”.
Good luck Shane!!
More alumni news – Former FCB player Ryan Carruth has been appointed Head Coach for Heidelberg College, a division III program on Ohio. Congrats Ryan!
The following FCB Alumni update comes from Don Harmon
FC Boulder alum Shane Wheeler went out to the USL pro franchise Rochester Rhinos (NY) for a tryout and picked up an injury (grade 2 ankle sprain). Due to this injury, Shane missed his pro combine in Orlando and will miss his tryout with USL pro franchise Wilmington Hammerheads (NC) this weekend as he recovers and maintains cardio. Shane’s next opportunities will be tryouts with the Tampa Bay Rowdies (FL) of the NASL, the Tulsa Roughnecks (OK) of the USL and Arizona United SC (AZ) also of the USL in February.
FC Boulder alum Angelo Rieder is currently in Thailand. He had a preliminary game yesterday at a 2nd division club where he said there was no competition in the group. He claimed that the FC Boulder men's team would have steamrolled through the first day of games. Angelo will be evaluated by the top team’s coaching staff today (Wednesday over there) as he will be training with the actual team. He has had no setbacks in his ankle recovery since he was injured playing indoor soccer in the PASL with Avery FC a month ago.
Good luck to both players as they are pursuing their dreams of playing professional soccer.
Former FCB player Duane Pelz is the founder of the Maji Safi Group, a disease prevention and health promotion project that empowers communities in rural Tanzania to fight waterborne and water-related diseases.
As is the case in most places in the world, the kids love to play soccer, and Duane has used their passion for the game as a source of motivation. In order for the kids to be able to play in the soccer games they are required to attend lessons about disease prevention. Check out their website at majisafigroup.org
The following is taken from the FCB Guide to Competitive Coaching.
Principles of Age Appropriate Development U15s and U16s 1. Technical
Improve on technical deficiencies.
Continued training on 1 vs 1 attacking and defending techniques.
Technical training under game conditions.
Possession games with conditions to add pressure.
Building out of the back.
Attack vs defense.
Wing play and crosses.
Defending as a group and as a team.
Playing in the various parts of the field.
Passing into the target.
Rhythm of play.
Being able to make tactical adjustments according to weather, field, opponents and game situations.
Team tactics in respect to defense and offense.
Understand the concepts of high pressure vs low pressure, man for man and zonal defending.
Creating numbers up situations.
Soccer specific strength training.
Soccer specific speed and quickness training.
Soccer specific endurance training.
Soccer specific agility training.
Our players should be able to think constructively about the game and add comments and thoughts (half-time/post-game/etc.).
Our players should be able to keep their focus and concentration for extended periods of time.
Our players will play in a disciplined manner.
Our players have an understanding of the role of nutrition in athletic development.
Our players are introduced to imagery and visualization to prepare for training and games.
The U16 player should be able to play one and two-touch soccer.
The U16 player should be confident in the 1 vs 1 situation both on defense as well as offense.
The U16 player should understand the concepts and purpose of possession games.
The U16 player should show tactical understanding of defensive and attacking concepts.
The U16 player should show a willingness to work individually on deficiencies.
Save the Date: FC Boulder Annual Spring Event Saturday April 4
6 – 11 PM
FC Boulder Indoor Training Center
(555 Aspen Ridge Drive, Lafayette)
This year’s theme is the 2015 Women’s World Cup hosted by Canada.
Being a game of fractions, milliseconds and inches soccer is won and lost the world over through human error more than anything else. More goals are scored or conceded due to a player being distracted than for thrilling moments of excellence. Defeat is driven more by error than brilliance.
Performance focus in soccer is vital – a little like the importance that a steering wheel has to a car. You can have the self-belief and confidence (engine of the car) but without the necessary focus and concentration on the field (steering wheel), a soccer player’s game will be erratic and inconsistent. A player can be immensely talented, and yet his career may falter due to poor focus.
Lose performance focus and you can lose your technical game and tactical execution. Switching off leads to mistakes, to indecision, to a lack of awareness and to slow anticipation. Take your mind off the game for a second and you can cause an array of problems for yourself and your teammates. Switch off as a defender and the opposition striker can nip in front of you and get a shot off. A distracted midfielder won’t see the runs of his teammates or the movement of the opposition. An unfocused striker will fail to find space or lose his marker.
Performance focus underpins coordination, game intelligence and speed of thought. To me it is that invisible mediator of success.
So how does a coach go about developing a soccer player’s focus? It’s not about helping players develop more focus. It’s not about helping them go into some deep trance state. In soccer it’s all about where they place their focus.
When a soccer player switches off, to my mind he is not shutting down his focus. He is merely switching his focus to the wrong thing. So a defender might focus on the ball too much rather than focusing on both the ball and the opponent. This isn’t a lack of focus rather it is a focus in the wrong direction. A striker might focus on his marker rather than the space to move into.
It’s not just things external to you that can destroy performance focus. A soccer player may be too focused on his inner voice. He may be talking to himself about the mistake he made five minutes ago, or how many minutes there are left in the game. If he’s focused internally on either of these he won’t be focusing on the tasks he has to execute in the game.
The concept of “controlling the controllables” is a cliché in the world of sports psychology – largely because it’s such a pertinent and powerful statement. It rings true and is an underpinning component of the ability to focus the mind correctly as one competes. A soccer player who allows his or her focus to slide onto the things he or she can’t control is one who is likely to be substituted due to a series of errors.
As a coach you must help your players to focus on the things they can control and ignore the things that are out of control such as the officials, the score, the field conditions, the weather and the outcome of a game. Too often these things tend to attract the attention of players – a damaged focus that negatively impacts the execution of responsibilities within their role.
By clarifying the concept of uncontrollable your players can make giant strides towards a more focused performance.
Mastering the Mundane Separates the Good from the Great
Taken from nscaa.com
I recently got my hands on an old book called The Secret Millionaire Next Door. It was a popular book and a study on how and what decisions people made to become millionaires. What the authors exposed was that these “next door millionaires” developed a habit of doing simple ordinary everyday things with their money. There was nothing too exciting, complicated or sophisticated. In fact, the first of the book’s seven rules was: “Always live below your means.”
Now I’m not writing this to give financial advice, but rather to discuss what successful people have a knack at doing: “mastering the mundane.” It’s the boring, simple and disciplined choices that players and parents can make that, over time, will separate the good from the great. A strong focus on the amount of intentional touches on the ball, coupled with guidance from qualified coaches and support from parents can create our own “next door millionaires in soccer.” It’s important to note that doing these things over a period of time (days, weeks, months, etc.) compound the results, slowly but surely.
So what type of simple little things are we talking about? Brace yourselves for this…
From a club perspective, a choice our players and parents can make every training session is simply wearing the proper training attire. This may sound easy and not a ‘game changer’, but that’s precisely why it’s important. The routine of lacing up the boots, tucking the shirt in, having matching socks and shorts is a part of creating a winners attitude. The way our players approach training (urgency and mindset) will carry over into how players approach a game. Admittedly, fostering a professionally structured training environment is a coach’s responsibility as well. But our players need to come ready to compete and look the part. Taking pride in the team and club and feeling a part of something bigger than just ourselves is part of why we want our kids in team sports.
A “boring” action our parents can master or create a habit of doing is sharing a victory with their child. As a parent we can ask our child “tell me something you did well today at practice”, or “I really liked your effort in today’s game.” These things may sound empty or may be met with indifference, but what we are telling our kids is that we believe in them, we are celebrating with them and that we care about them, not the result. A common mistake we all make is asking questions or making statements that relate to specific individual short term success to their worth (i.e. Did you score? Did you win? Did you start?).
These are only two small ideas. But if routinely done over time we are teaching the players the importance of consciously being prepared and also showing the kids that no matter what, we are in their corner and we see success in them.
Welcome to the 2015 FCB Indoor Training Center Mural Drawing Contest
The winning art-work will be displayed on a 40’ wide by 20’ high mural on our new Indoor Training Center wall along with the artist’s name, age and FCB team. The winner will also receive $100 worth of FCB Spirit Wear. Deadline: 1/18/15…but will be extended…
Check out our website for more details.
Positive Coaching Alliance
At Positive Coaching Alliance, we define culture as “the way we do things here.” The underlying problem is that youth sports has slid into the professional sports way of doing things.
Professional sports is an entertainment business with the goal all businesses have of making a profit. This requires entertaining fans, which in turn usually requires a winning team. Thus at the professional level, a win-at-all-cost mentality too often prevails. And because winning seems so important, pro sports fans tend to see their role as doing whatever they can to help “their” team win.
Because youth sports resembles professional sports – in rules, equipment, strategy – many people make the crucial mistake of thinking the two are the same. But pro sports and youth sports are fundamentally different. Youth sports is about developing young men and women into great people who contribute to their society and achieve success in their careers and family lives. That means that youth coaches need to behave in an appreciably different way from coaches and athletes involved in professional sports.
Honoring the Game is a more robust version of sportsmanship. Unfortunately, sportsmanship has lost much of its power to inspire and now seems like a list of “don’t-do’s.” Honoring the Game is a concept to inspire and motivate people to live up to their best, rather than simply to be restricted from acting down to their worst. We want to teach our youth how to compete in sports with grace and humility.
The ROOTS of Honoring the Game
describe the behavior we want to teach and model, where ROOTS represents respect for: Rules, Opponents, Officials, Teammates and Self.
Rules: We want to win the way the game is supposed to be played.
Opponents: A worthy opponent is a gift. We are challenged when we have a worthy opponent, one who brings out our best.
Officials: We respect officials even when they are wrong. There is never an excuse for treating officials with disrespect.
Teammates: Behave in a way that one’s teammates would be proud of.
Self: Respect oneself. Individuals with self-respect would never dishonor the game because they have their own standards to live up to.
Coaches are positioned to have a dramatic and positive impact on their players, well beyond the playing field. If you make a commitment to teach and model Honoring the Game with your players, you can be part of the answer to our society’s hungering need to elevate the way we treat each other.
Many people talk a good game regarding sportsmanship, but the test is how one acts when something important is at stake. Behavior speaks louder than words. Harp at officials, and your players will also. Stay calm and focused, and they will emulate you. Thus your first task is to ensure you have the capacity to be an effective role model and teacher of Honoring the Game.
In the next issue:
- Prepare Yourself With a Self-Control Routine.
- Prepare Your Players (and Parents) to “Keep a Cool Head”