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Category Archives: Anecdote

CoachIt Soccer App for Stats & Playing Time

Ever since I got the Original iPad way back when, I’ve been intrigued by its potential for coaching. I quickly found and downloaded CoachPad, a tablet-based white board that has field templates built in; I remember how intrigued / impressed all of the coaches on campus were. Since then, of course, the number of apps for coaching has exploded and I’ve been keeping track of the soccer apps. I’ve used Laola for the last few years as a basic scorebook: season record, goals, sometimes assists; you can see an example of what the record looks like here¬†(scroll down to the bottom) but was hoping there was something that could do more.

Last year, I assistant-coached my son’s club team. As assistant, I had the time to play around with some apps and gave CoachIt Soccer a try; the home screen / options are below.

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You begin by creating a team with the manage teams button. The Game Dashboard takes you to a game (which you have to schedule / input). Customize lets you customize statistics (more on that below) and View Statistics lets you, well, view the stats.

I liked how I could move players around and it was relatively easy to input stats for each player (the relatively part only because it was difficult to coach and input stats; you really need a dedicated stats keeper if you want to keep good and consistent stats): you tap on the player in the game and tap the stat they have earned. I liked it even more when I realized I could customize the stats: I could create my own and remove some of the default stats (below is a screen shot of the default stats; my customized ones are at home but I will try to add them later; you can also, as you can see from the menu at left, organize stats by player).

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This year, my JV team is larger than it has ever been: 23 field players. Managing them and their playing time is challenging to say the least, especially since my goal is to play everyone each half and get them relatively equal playing time (the equal playing time more because we have a good amount of depth and unequal playing time equals much less playing time than it did in previous years when I had 17 or 18 field players).

I returned to CoachIt Soccer because I had grown to like it more than Laola but didn’t even realize how much it would help me this season. I basically ignored the information on the field-screen but, in our first scrimmage, realized that that information was playing time. Further, I realized that that playing time was color-coded based on how much (or little) they had played.

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You can see that the top, white number, is Time In (TI) vs Time Out (TO), the red number below. Below that is the number of times they have been subbed out (I have subsequently turned that off in Settings, whose button is at the lower right). CoachIt Soccer also alerts you to deficits in playing time: after a player has been out for 20 minutes, that stat turns yellow, and after 30 minutes, that stat turns red. Once the game is over, the playing time stats are part of the stats page (which will expand, of course, as the season goes on, so that I can see game-by-game playing time but also total time for the season):

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Now, the playing time is of course based on subbing, and in CoachIt Soccer you sub by dragging the players at the bottom (out of the game) to the players in the game. You can sub in real time, i.e. once you drag one player to another that sub is made, or you can delay-sub, which means that you drag your subs to their spots before they go in the game and then, when they go in, you commit them, and the subs are made. This delay-sub feature is hugely helpful when I’m subbing four, five, six, or even more players at a time. It allows me to plan out my subs and have a reference for them when I call them over. This is what the delayed sub looks like:

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You can see that the player to be subbed out turns red and the player coming in is listed below (and that player coming in turns red on the bench, as you can see at lower left).

Finally, the settings button lets you customize how your field looks:

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As I said above, I turned off # of subs out for players. I also changed the player names from black to white (you can see the white in the screen shot above), which I think I’ll prefer, but we’ll see. I thought about changing the times for color change, i.e. when the time turns yellow and red, but that seemed about right; I might change the red to 40, since pretty much everyone but the goalie will be out of the game for more than 30 minutes. (And, to be honest, I’d probably rather this be a percentage than a flat time.)

So far, no parental or player complaints about playing time. I’m not saying CoachIt Soccer is responsible for that (nor am I saying that my outstanding coaching is). I am saying, however, that, should complaints arrive, I’ll at least have some stats to back up whatever I have to say about playing time. CoachIt Soccer makes it easy to keep track of those stats, and for that I am very grateful, especially this season.

 

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Hope Solo on NWSL Playing Conditions

Pretty amazing piece by Hope Solo on the conditions within which the NWSL functions. I had heard about the Flash РReign game and the field switch and how narrow that new field was but some of the other things she mentions and, more important, images that she shares, are pretty impressively awful.

Read her piece here.

 
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Posted by on July 23, 2016 in Anecdote, Article, Gender

 

Foudy on Leadership (SCCC 2016)

  • The importance of laughter for winning
  • Impression is that clubs equate winning with intensity
  • Winning and laughter / fun are not mutually exclusive
  • Starts from the top but doesn’t have to only come from the top
  • But has to be channeled in the right direction
  • Leadership is personal, not positional
  • Attitudes are contagious; is yours worth catching? (Dr. Colleen Hacker)
  • Team chemistry is a verb; balancing tactics and technical training with the social / psychological needs of the group
  • Two non-negotiables, the two things you can control: attitude and effort
  • Celebrating others is a lost art
  • Anson: don’t be late and respect everyone
  • Team community service
  • The inspire / be inspired (continuous) cycle
 

Foudy’s Coaching Debut

Love this from @juliefoudy:

Screen Shot 2014-10-11 at 5.51.43 PMGo purple lightning.

 
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Posted by on October 11, 2014 in Anecdote, Game Anecdote

 

Using Annotated Videos with Players: Some Encouragement

We had a very rainy day on Wednesday at camp, so as we were scrambling to find activities for the players to do inside, we showed some video. We watched the 2nd half of the MLS all-star game (some good goals and some compelling controversy) and I showed some of the annotated videos I’ve posted here. I didn’t expect much from them and, indeed, as expected, there was a good amount of snickering and they weren’t considered as life-changing as I would have hoped….

But, interesting enough, both yesterday and today, keepers backpedaled rather than drop stepping to save balls over the head. One of the videos I had showed was the Navas save where he goes back and up to save a ball behind him and over his head.

On Thursday, I mentioned it to a keeper and one of the players on the sideline said ‘like in the video’. And then today I mentioned it to a different keeper who also mentioned the video when were discussing it.

So some interesting positive encouragement for using the videos with players.

 
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Posted by on August 16, 2014 in Anecdote, Annotated Video