As many of you witnessed reading thru the multiple World Cup (Soccer) blog posts last month, I love that sport and many others.
They are underdogs coming into the season, but they scored 4 goals to beat Wigan today.
Ok…let’s go somewhere with this. I coached both boys in soccer. You see a young Chris here putting on some moves.
One of the most difficult things to teach kids in soccer is to ‘go to space’. I’m not talking NASA or the moon.
Going to space doesn’t make sense to kids and even much older players.
Going to space means going to where the ball isn’t.
It’s about anticipating where the ball might go.
When you go to space, you’ll have more of a chance of having the defenders back off and if your team understands the concept of getting the ball to space, you can really start moving the ball.
I was left with the dilemma of teaching 6-year-olds the basic concept, but they just wanted to chase the ball like a bunch of bees on a honeycomb.
What I ended up doing was teaching them a little rhyme that I made up and they would say it while they practiced a drill.
Instead of running around in a pack they would run up the side of the field then into the middle where they would get a pass and shoot and hopefully score.
The rhyme was:
Up the side,
In the middle,
Score a goal and play your fiddle.
…at which point I would insist on them playing an ‘air fiddle’ (think air guitar)!
It wasn’t perfect, but the kids remembered it and they got better and better.
As I was thinking about this tonight watching Blackpool, I thought about how Ingrid, Max and I are learning to ‘get to space’ now. We are needing to step out in faith and go where the ball isn’t, in anticipation that the ball will be going there. If it isn’t, we regroup and try again.
It’s a hard thing to do when you’re learning so we may be sticking with the simple rhyme for now, until it becomes a part of the new normal.
Up the side, into the middle, score our goal and play the fiddle!