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2016

8-30: Day 1 – ACL Presentation; quick and hard after that: 50 touches right foot inside, then left foot inside; head touches contest: most pairs can do in 2 minutes (x 2); 50 touches Uruguay warm-up style: right inside, right outside, left inside, left outside (discuss use of outside); conveyor belt; cool down; stretch; introductions in circle.

8-31: Day 2-intro-to-tactics-diagnostics

9-1: Day 3 – Scavenger Hunt; Warm-up Hand-out

9-2: Day 4 – Scrimmage at Westwood. Lost 3-0, but not a bad loss. Two of the three goals were kind of fluky and we did some nice things. Something to build on (but down five players because of the long weekend, so still haven’t had to manage all of the subs…).

9-6: Day 5 – Newton S Home. Lost 2-0. More fluky goals. Much better 2nd half than 1st. Don’t think we took a ball out of the air for the first 15 or 20 mins. More aggressive and controlled play more in second half. Should have had a goal but NS goalie made a great save. Subbing is interesting. I spend a lot of time looking at my iPad, trying to manage the subs and playing time; I’d rather be spending that time coaching….

9-7: Day 6-balls-out-of-the-air-changing-point-of-attack

9-8: Day 7 – At Westford. Oof. Tough loss. 1-0. We were pretty evenly matched, but we probably had the better chances but couldn’t finish.

9-9: Day 8 – Softball Field (so no goal). Fitness. Defense. Start with 1 v 1 ladders, then the 1 v 1 diagonals, and finally the Red Rover game. If time, kick the ball off the cone game, and then handball. End with sprints.

9-12: Day 9 – AB Home. 4-1 loss. Played them hard (but they were good). Did a good job of working hard and shutting them down.

9-13: Day 10-attacking-a-high-line

9-14: Day 11 – Latin Home. Ugh. They went up 1-0 in the first five minutes. We countered with 2 goals in the next 5 minutes. They had us on our heals in the 2nd half, scored to tie about midway through and then to win with a few minutes left. We panicked in the second half and couldn’t get our rhythm; we were never really focused. (I probably should have called a time out.)

9-15: Day 12-defending-and-attacking. Clearance drill was slow; have to keep that more active or not do it again (partly because of the services). 2 v 1 + 1 defensive recovery continues to go well.

9-16: Day 13 – at Bedford. A lackluster 4-0 win. Scored 2 within the first five minutes and played down to them the rest of the half. 2nd half was slightly better but not much.

9-19: Day 14 – Rained out.

9-20: Day 15 – at Weston. Decent 5-1 win. Dominated the first half (they didn’t mount a meaningful attack in our half until the 11.30 mark) but couldn’t finish. Almost gave us too much room; we didn’t know what to do with it all. Had a three-goal flurry in the 2nd half but otherwise didn’t play so well; it was a more even half play-wise.

9-21: Day 16 – Fitness. 2 field miles. Then HIIT: 60 on, 10 off. Plank, In and Out Jump Squat, Bridge with feet up, Burpees, Bridge with feet down, Hills x 3. Then 30-20-10 x 3. Cool down.

9-22: Day 17 – Program-wide Practice. Skill stations, conditioning, 3 v 3 tournament.

9-23: Day 18 – 1 Field mile. Fitness. Passing pattern. Corner passing game. Pass into Zone to Score game. Color Run (below). Lucas Special / Thunder. [Didn’t quite get to a lot of this; had to move to softball field because of field mix-up, so did the field mile and passing patterns, plus some 1 v 1s in grids, and then handball.]

  • Set up: create a 30-yard square playing area. Split it into four with flat cones so you end up with four squares.
  • Divide your players into teams of three wearing different coloured bibs.
  • Three teams play at a time.
  • If you have enough players, set up two games of Colour Run but, if not, give your spare players another task to do while they’re waiting their turn.
  • Each team has a ball.
  • How to play: Each player occupies a square but only one player from each team is allowed in any one square, you cannot have two players of the same team in the same square at any point in the game.
  • On your command, the three players with a ball pass to a team mate and run to the square that doesn’t have one of their team in it.

9-26: Day 19. Triangle touches, 2 v 1 + 1, 3 goal activation game.

9-27: Day 20. At Waltham. 2-1 win. Pretty awful first half. They scored on a flukey corner kick that went right in. Changed from the 3-5-2 to a 3-4-3 in the second half to open up the middle of the field and spread things out. Seemed to work, especially at the beginning. Scored on a (good) own goal (down the wing, cross, off their defender) and then with maybe 5 mins left to pull ahead. Probably deserved the win. Probably.

9-28: Day 21-defending

9-29: Day 22. At CRL. 4-0 loss. Held them to 1-0 in the first half, but borrowed time. They opened it up in the 2nd. They had better foot skills and better passing. The 3-4-3 opened us up a bit too much between midfield and forward and we weren’t spreading the field (on a super wide field to boot).

9-30: Day 23. Off.

10-4: Day 24-communication

10-5: Day 25. CC home. 3-0 loss. They were good. We played hard. Should have / could have been 12-0.

10-6: Day 26-midfield-play-shooting

10-7: Day 27. at LS. 2-0 loss. Played well, though, and second goal came off of a corner that even LS knew wasn’t a corner.

10-10: Day 28. at Arlington Catholic. 0-0 tie. Frustrating. Plenty of chances and couldn’t finish.

10-13: Day 29. at BLS. Yargh. Another loss. 3-1. Lousy (lousy) first half. Really no chances. Better second half. Good goal and at least two or three others that could have / should have been goals.

10-14: Day 30-ball-movement-finishing

10-17: Day 31-practice-plan (softball field)

10-18: Day 32. Bedford home. Yargh. Yargh. 1-0 loss. Their first win this season and last. So happy to oblige. In our defense, we played well. Flukey goal for them. We had plenty of chances and didn’t finish. And a better passing game than previous games for us. But still a frustrating loss.

10-19: Day 33. Easy day. Banged up from yesterday’s game. Dribble blob lines. 2 v 1 + 1 with goalie punting and goal kick-ing (with +1 starting from the corner). Sprint Olympics.

10-20: Day 34. Weight room. (Coaching Varsity: touches and/or passing, transitions, and a their-choice finishing: day-32-passing-transitions.)

10-21: Day 35. Only until 4: warm-up, Bread and Butter, shooting (balls across the 6). (Coaching Varsity: 35-varsity.)

10-22: Day 36. Weston home. Rained out. Rescheduled? No reschedule.

10-24: Day 37-dribbling

10-25: Day 38-shooting

10-26: Day 39-shortsidedgames

10-27: Day 40. Hamilton-Wenham home. Rained out.

10-28: Day 41. Last practice. Soccer mini-golf.

10-29: Day 42. Waltham home. 2-0 win. Great way to end the season. Played well. Dominated except for the last 5-10 mins of the 1st half. Had two new goal scorers (JH & AA). Great way to end the season.

Finished the season 4-9-1 (2nd Weston game was rained out too). Not quite the season I had hoped for record-wise, but I felt like the last two or three weeks or so things started to click passing-wise and movement-wise, that against L-S, Waltham, and even Bedford and Latin (not great losses) we were passing, moving off the ball, and combining better than in the rest of the season. And the group was great. Had a lot of fun without much drama, either on or off the field.

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