A view from my side.
A great night on the pitch. The session worked exactly as planned. The boys ran. The boys stretched. The boys played 3 different 1 v 1 games. The final 40 minutes they played a full field 11 v 11 scrimmage against another team in the club. They were active and moving. They had sufficient breaks for water. They had sufficient recovery time. The worked hard. They came off the field soaked in sweat. Some were gasping for air.
Despite it all…they had a great time. You know the boys enjoyed the session when they are talking about it as they are walking off. “Did you see what I did to…?”; “That was a great shot you took against…”; “How the heck did the keeper make that save?” They were slapping each other on the back, laughing, smiling and talking not only about how they played last night, but wondering what tonight will be like.
Tonight’s session will focus on defending in a numbers down situation. The boys will be facing a 3 v 2 or 4 v 2 situation and forced to delay and detain the attack. Hold it off and keep them from shooting. We will have a very aggressive attack with numbers forward. The down side to that is a vulnerability to counter attacks. If we learn how to defend properly, we can neutralize the counter attack effectively and efficiently while our team recovers to defensive positions. Mastering the numbers down defending concepts and principles are key to the attacking style I feel we can play. If we can’t defend properly, it will change everything else.
Tonight the real work begins. Last night was an opening foray into their work ethic. I got to see who was here to play and who was here to socialize. We have enough players to play. Even better, we have enough players distributed in the necessary positions to play. The ingredients are there. Now I just need to fold them all together while The Boys Play On.