A view from my side.
We start tomorrow. One of my teams has already begun, having spent a week at a Team Camp in North Carolina. That week was well spent and the boys had a good time. The training was good, activities sound and the boys had hours each day with a ball at their feet. It was also an exercise in team building. We have several new players on our roster and I wanted them to feel part of the group. Our was a first year team last year and the boys came together quickly. That’s great but it can make it difficult for a new player to “break in”. That is a problem we won’t be having this season.
The next four days will give us two hours each day to focus on our season. We have a good schedule against strong competition. One of the local clubs crumbled and many of their players filtered over to a new start up. They had been playing at a pretty high level, choosing to compete at a National level rather than State. The club many of those players filtered into will be competing at the State level, with many teams at our level as they fill in their rosters with less skilled players. This changes the formula significantly for our season and our season opener is against one of those teams. Fortunately for us, we have a pre-season tournament to refine our play and to work in our new players.
The boys seem ready. They wanted to play last week but we couldn’t get field space due to other activities at the club. Our focus this week will be largely technical. Dribbling, passing, shooting, defending. We’ll get to the tactical work the week after. Touches on the ball are the key this week. Get their sense of play back. Put their eagerness to work for them. Get their mind back in the game. To do that, they need a ball at their feet as much as possible.
So, this week we’ll be dribbling, passing, shooting and defending our way into condition. We will be playing and working hard, to be sure, but they have to feel comfortable with the ball. The best way to do that is the have as many Touches on the Ball as possible.