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The purpose of this article is to give you five ways to evaluate your teams’ fitness levels. All these test may be done either on an outdoor or indoor soccer field. These tests let you know their fitness levels and which area of fitness they need to focus in the preseason. As a coach you know how important soccer fitness is in developing players and taking them to the next level.

Today soccer is more of a speed and power game and by doing these tests you will discover your soccer players’ strengths and weaknesses. No longer are you sending your players out for a thirty to forty minute “conditioning” run /jog.

Regardless if you coach high school, rep or provincial/state soccer these are basic tests you may apply to your players.

Here are the five tests for your soccer players:

1) Standing Long Jump: This simple test is a good indicator of power. All you need to do is mark a line on a field or go to the sideline of a soccer field and use the marking their. Your players simply try to jump as far as they can. Give them each 2-3 attempts

2) 10 Metre Sprint: This test evaluates your soccer players’ acceleration and quickness.

3) 40 Metre Sprint: This test gives you an idea of your players speed potential. Most soccer players reach full speed between 40 -60 metres.

4) T – Agility Run: This test gives an idea how well your soccer players are can stop and change direction.

You need four cones for this drill. Put one cone down then measure 5 metres from that cone. Put the next cone down at the 10 meter mark. Now place a cone on each side of the second cone 5 metres apart.

The Drill: Sprint forwards five metres. Once you reach that cone put one cone hand on it then shuffle five yards to the right and touch that cone. Then side shuffle left 10 metres to the furthest cone and touch it as well. Then shuffle ten metres to the right and touch the cone in the middle. Finally sprint backwards for five metres.

5a) Beep Test: The beep test is an overall good fitness test for your player.

To perform this test you will need either the CD or Tape for the timed intervals of the test and cones outlining a twenty meter distance

How it Works: Players start on a beep and run/jog twenty meters and wait until the next beep. The time between beeps is less as the test progresses.

Players continue until they no longer reach the twenty meter mark before the beep.

“Apparently” David Beckham in his prime could complete the entire beep test for all 23 levels. Best conditioned athletes on average reach above the 14th level and below the 16th level. I have personally observed a 19 old year old male soccer player reach level 14.

5b) Timed 300 Metre Shuttle: This a good test to include or use in place of the beep test.

Mark a distance of either 25 0r 50 meters. If the distance is 25 metres the players need to shuttle back and forth six times or three times if the distance is 50 metres. This is a very demanding test. I suggest that you leave this test to the very end and only test it once.

Generally when you do any testing you do your power and speed tests before conditioning tests. For example on one day you could do the standing long jump, 10M, 40 and beep test and two days later do the T-agility test followed by the 300meter shuttle run.

In coaching soccer I believe it is important to know what your players fitness levels are to help you with playing time, off season conditioning and in season training.

Good luck with your soccer team.

It would be good to know who a ghostwriter is. The name suggests someone whom you don’t see and that person can generate content. In short, a ghostwriter is someone you hire to generate content on various topics, but mainly for websites. Ghostwriters have dedicated their time to create and generate information for websites and other publications with the aim of marketing your products or making you know to a large audience.

Ghostwriters can also be categorized as website writers as what they do is to write about your site. They generate content according to the information you give them. They have to look for relevant keywords and keyword phrases that deal with your website or the products that you are trying to advertise. One thing that many people don’t know is that with the internet, people HATE to be advertised to. This is because whenever anyone is coming to the internet to use search engines they are coming to look for information. The issue of giving them good looking banners, flash advertisements and many pop ups is an irritation to them. If someone, for example, is looking for soccer, they want information on soccer; whatever information. What will irritate them is when you begin advertising to them soccer products. Well in some cases you may succeed, but it happens less than 10% of the times.

What people want when they come to your site is content, content and more content. And this is why you will find many websites not appearing tops in search engines. This is also because search engines are looking to satisfy their users by giving them content! This is why ghostwriting services are of great help. If you have the relevant content on your website customers will be attracted to read. When they see they are getting the information they want, they will know that you are serious with what you are dealing in. This will make them buy your products and thus you will make your profits.

Just as a parting shot, to have high traffic that can generate for you millions of dollars, you have to present relevant content to your audience. Giving them relevant content will attract more people which will lead to a high conversion rate and then you will make your millions easily.

Read more on ghostwriting services here

His full name is Franz Anton Beckenbauer. He was born 11 September 1945. He was born in Munich as the second son of Antonie Beckenbauer and began playing football with SC Munich `06. Now he is a German soccer player coach, manager, and ex-player. He has nickname Der Kaiser (“The Emperor”).

Franz Beckenbauer is the best football player that Germany has ever produced. He is in general considered as the greatest German soccer player of all time and as one of the greatest players in the history of the game as well.

He joined the Bayern Munich youth team aged fourteen. He made his first appearance with Bayern in the Regionalliga (Regional League South) in June 1964 and advanced to the Bundesliga in 1965. Bayern rapidly became a force in the new German league, winning the German Cup in 1966-67 and attaining European victory in the Cup Winners` Cup in 1967. Beckenbauer became captain of the team for the 1968-69 season and led his club to their first league title.

He got many awards. But it is not only for the medals and trophies that Beckenbauer is remembered. Rather it is for the technique and the brilliance. All movement he made on the playing field bristled with stylishness. There was arrogance in his games that suggested he was always in command – “Emperor Franz” and “The Kaiser” they called him. But more than that, he was a great thinker in relation to the game and brought about a revolution in the way it is played by inventing the position of the attacking sweeper.

On coaching soccer, the key to motivating soccer players is to help them to motivate themselves.

First, you need to set the example. This means that you need to use the Golden Rule and speak to them the way that you wish them to speak to you and the way you hope they speak to themselves.

Using positive reinforcement will go a long way to helping players feel good enough about themselves and their soccer game to want to strive for more. How? It is really very simple. Focus on the positive things and do not focus on the negative things.

We live in a rat race society and we tend to compare ourselves to others much of the time. Children go through school constantly being compared to others and then move to their post-secondary education looking to be the best so they can receive scholarships and awards.

They want to please their parents and they want to do well. They often focus on what they did wrong or what they did not do. In the end they can feel very frustrated, angry, and can even feel like a failure and this attitude can be carried onto the soccer field.

Using positive reinforcement means focusing on the positive or what went right. There is no need to look at what a player did not do properly. You may ask, how do you help a player correct poor technique or improve their soccer game without looking at what they did improperly.

On soccer coaching, the key is to look at what they did right and say that you want to see them do it again. Instead of saying, “That was a good kick, but when you kick the ball, place your foot here,” try, “Hey, on that last penalty kick you had great follow through and made the shot. Let’s see that again and this time try placing your foot here.”

This is much more effective. Instead of feeling frustrated that they are not getting it right they will feel good about themselves for getting at least part of it right and they will be eager to do it again.

Of course there are times when they will get part of a technique right and not do something else in the proper way. Begin with pointing out the areas in which they performed well and then tell them you want to see it again with another part added in.

This way they will try again from the positive outlook that they can do it and they just need to adjust something. For example, instead of saying, “that was a good try, but when you kick the ball you need to kick through the ball. You are stopping short,” try saying, “Great kick! You foot positioning was bang on.

Now let me see it again and this time kick your foot all the way through the ball and see how much farther it will go.” Whether you are working with kids of adults, they will respond to this sort of encouragement.

It is also important to teach the players to positively reinforce their soccer team-mates and to encourage each other. In this way, players will feel even better about what they have accomplished, especially when they are nearing adolescence and their peers begin to have a greater influence on them than the adults in their lives do.

Motivating soccer players is about helping them feel good enough about themselves and what they are doing that they desire to strive for more. They will want to improve themselves and their game from the positive frame of mind that they are good players who are improving all the time, instead of feeling that they are inadequate and need to improve their game to become good enough.

Follow these soccer coaching tips and I’m sure you’ll motivate your players or kids to love the game.

The World Cup was the dominant topic of the sports world last week but, as not even a lukewarm fan of soccer, I saw only about ten minutes of the action. The only reason I happened to see that limited segment is because a game ran over the estimated time, which pre-empted the Judge Judy episode I had intended to watch.

Nevertheless, a snippet of the post championship game caught my eye and, more importantly my ear. As the video played the Croatians, after a heartbreaking loss in the final round were heard singing a song I immediately recognized.

It was the Oasis hit “Don’t Look Back In Anger” from the British band’s most popular album, What’s the Story Morning Glory. It is the second most famous song from that record, trailing only the classic single “Wonder Wall.”

I found it somewhat of an odd tune for the runner-up in the World Cup, but it made me contemplate what song their victorious opponents would choose. Those in the winner’s circle could celebrate by playing some well-known song the mention the capitol of their country, the European nation of France.

Here are ten songs that mention that very city in their titles.

Let’s Tango In Paris by the Stranglers

This is one of the acoustic numbers from Feline, the 1980 album that marked the punk rock band’s definitive transformation into a more accessible sound.

Free Man In Paris by Joni Mitchell

“Help Me” and “Chelsea Morning” combined with this classic to make Court and Spark the most commercially successful album of the folk songstress.

Crimes of Paris by Elvis Costello

French landmarks like the Eiffel Tower are mentioned in this fine track from the Nick Lowe produced Blood and Chocolate.

Une Nuit A Paris by 10cc

A three part musical epic, this opener sets the stage for the group’s breakthrough album The Original Soundtrack.

Paris 1919 by John Cale

After leaving the Velvet Underground Cale made many solo records, none better than the one from which this title track comes.me

I’m Throwing My Arms Around Paris by Morrissey

The city of love would not appear to be a likely destination for the frequently melancholy singer of the Smiths, but here he figuratively embraces it.

Dreaming of Paris by Van Dyke Parks

In addition to producing great discs by Phil Ochs, Harry Nilsson and Biff Rose, Parks demonstrated here and on other tracks from Songs Cycled that he could make great records of his own.

Going To Paris by the Waterboys

It was not as big a hit as “The Whole of the Moon”, but it is more representative of the typical sound of the alternative British band.

I Love Paris by Frank Sinatra

Ella Fitzgerald made the song a standard, but Old Blue Eyes is responsible for my favorite rendition.

Leaving For Paris by Rufus Wainwright

The son of Loudon and sister of Martha has made many good records of his own, as this track proves.

There are a variety of things to consider when buying a soccer ball. The size of the ball varies with the different league standards and age groups. Therefore it is important to check the specific soccer league rules to make sure the ball matches a particular organization.

Different size and weight

A soccer ball is categorized by size and weight to make sure it is appropriate for the age group playing the game. A Size 3 (11 to 12 oz in weight and 23 to 24 inch in circumference) and size 4 (12 to 13 oz and 25 to 26 inch) soccer ball is preferred for the youths and children aged 13 or less. A size 5 (14 to 16 oz and 27 to 28 inch) ball is a standardized adult ball and used in professional soccer leagues, collegiate, and high school.

Care & Maintenance

General care and maintenance of the soccer ball is certain to help extend its usable life. Avoid putting excessive stress on the ball like standing or sitting on it. This can easily damage the pressure system and warp the shape or structure. It helps to avoid kicking the ball against a hard surface like a concrete wall. Also, avoid player a game of kick about on a rocky or rough surface like asphalt or gravel. This can easily lead to abrasion or puncturing.

Pressure Ratings

A regular inspection of the pressure rating is certain to help maintain the performance of the soccer ball. A ball needs to be maintained with the proper pressure that is not too firm, and not too soft. A ball over inflated is too hard and can cause injuries to the players. A low inflated ball isn’t likely to roll or bounce properly, which can make passing and controlling the ball more difficult. Ideally, a soccer ball should have a pressure range of 6 to 8-lbs. Most balls state the preferred rating on the outer skin.

Cleaning

A soccer ball played on an outside pitch needs a regular clean to avoid issues with water absorption and general deterioration. A ball cleaned with a mild soap and warm water is certain to help preserve its performance. Avoid using a harsh cleaner agent since this can damage the construction material. Also, make sure to store the ball correctly. Avoid leave it in a place with very low temperatures, in direct sunlight, or heavy rain. Any of these conditions can result in warping and water retention.

(A) Popularise cricket!

1. Restructure Current test teams.

For Cricket to improve first the quality of the current test teams should be improved. Teams like England and West Indies need to be more competitive. Here are some suggestions:

  • Introduce cricket in schools and colleges.
  • More cricket competitions should be held.
  • Cricket telecasts should be shown on free to air channels.
  • Short forms of the sportlike twenty20 should be played to capture public imagination.
  • Improvement of cricket stadiums and fields.
  • Increase the competitiveness of domestic competition.
  • Selection based only on merit NOT on quotas.
  • Encouraging native peoples such as coloureds, Aborigines & Maoris to represent the national squad.

2. Restructuring Current ODI Teams.

It is disheartening for the current ODI status teams to play only during world cups. Such an unfair policy would never see new teams improve. Teams such as Canada, UAE, Scotland, Namibia & Holland should be given permanent ODI status and official tournaments should be played amongst themselves and the 3 bottom ranked test teams. An age limit of 35 yrs should be imposed to encourage youngsters.

Kenya should be given Test Status.

3. League Format

All teams Test and ODI should be ranked in groups of 5. The top 5 will be grp A. Next 5 B and so on. Teams in a particular group are allowed to play with teams in their own group as well as adjacent groups only. eg. Group A cannot play group C teams. [Except Tests & World Cups] Every year, the groups are restructured.

4. Improve quality of Upcoming teams

To ensure that debutants in ODI competitions have an international exposure to cricket before their debut, international tournaments should be held. Here’s what should be done.

  • Two international annual tournaments should be held. Two teams should be selected from each country. 1. Team that has won the domestic competition and 2. A mixed bag composed of the best players of the other teams. This would give budding players the required international exposure. Venues rotated annually.
  • An auxiliary domestic competition should be held. At least 5 local teams and 3 international teams (best players) compete in ODI and test matches. Any ODI status country can participate.
  • Teams wishing to improve their game can learn from the following countries on tour:
    • Batting: India, Australia
    • Spin Bowling: India, Sri Lanka
    • Fast Bowling Australia, South Africa
    • Seam Bowling: England, New Zealand.
  • The ICC must have a clear process for teams obtaining ODI and test status. This is what it should do.

    To get associate status, local boards should ensure:

    • A cricket education program is introduced in schools
    • Cricket equipment is readily available
    • Adequate playing grounds are available
    • International matches are telecast on free to air TV channels and radio.
    • A well maintained website of the national cricket authority.

    To get permanent ODI status teams should:

    • Be placed 1,2 or 3 in the ICC Associate World Cup.
    • Have at least one accredited (C grade –see gradings below) stadium.
    • see pt 4 above.

    To get Test Status teams should:

    • Have a waiting period of 5 years after ODI status
    • Have at least a B grade stadium
    • Toured all test playing nations & played first class matches there.
    • Won at least 10 ODI matches against Test nations.

5. Introduction of cutting-edge technology

I feel that technology should be introduced to cricket. This is what cricket needs.

  1. Helmet cams.
  2. Use of tracking technology for LBW decisions.
  3. Use of high frame rate cameras to ascertain run-outs and stumpings.
  4. Use of lasers to compliment run out decisions.
  5. Use of sensors in bails and in the boundary rope to determine if the batsman is out OR hit a 4.
  6. Use of stump microphone to determine close catching decisions.
  7. Use of yellow & red cards to suspend players from the game of repeatly flouting rules.
  8. Use of ‘Eye-Vision’ technology to enhance TV viewing.
  9. Use of ‘True Track’ technology to give the distance the ball carried (6’s)
  10. Use of biodegradable paint to colour the infield and outfield.

6. The ICC.

Here are some recommendations to the ICC

  1. Change its name to something more representative like Global Cricket Federation (GCF).
  2. No veto rights to member nations.
  3. Be a part of the International Olympic Commitee.
  4. Strive to make Cricket an Olympic sport.
  5. Increase penalties for drug offences & racial abuse.
  6. Play the National Anthem before the start of each match in the World Cup.
  7. Playoff for 3rd place in the WC
  8. Gold, Silver or Bronze Medals given to each player in WC. (like in football)
  9. Have at least 24 teams play in the WC.
  10. For the World Cup international icons should be made chief guests. eg UN Sec. General, Monarch of England, sportstars, premiers etc.

ICC Online

  1. Obtain the domain names like cricket.com, .org, etc.
  2. In the site have detailed info like player and team stats, current news, player profiles, how the sport is played, links to national boards, online telecast of matches, history, facts and stats, rankings etc.
  3. Provide software to calculate the Duckworth Lewis results.
  4. Use latest programming languages like XML, SQL, ASP etc. for website.
  5. Setting up of blogs and bulletin boards.

7. Taking on the Globe.

To encourage more countries to take up cricket, cricket must be marketed well. Teams like Malaysia, Nepal, Singapore have a good program and must be encouraged to obtain ODI status.

For cricket to succeed regional sporting giants should be given top priority. These countries are regional giants and act like a catalyst to spread the sport to neighbouring countries. The countries are: China, USA, Russia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Nigeria Indonesia, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morrocco, Sweden, Fiji, Argentina and Brazil.

Have a brand ambassador for cricket. People who know about the sport and are internationally famous should be selected. Names such as Russel Crowe, Shaggy, Christian Vieri (footballer ITALY) make good ambassadors.

Cricket should be introduced equally to all races and women should also be encouraged to take up the sport.

Marketing Blitz

If I were the president of the ICC, this is what I would do to promote the sport in a country.

  • See that major sport shops stock up cricket gear.
  • Pitches are readily available.
  • Cricket is shown on free to air channels.
  • A cricket program is introduced in schools and universities.
  • Well known directors should be requested to make cricket themed movies starring well known actors.
  • Introducing the sport to famous sportmen, politicians, actors, directors, media personalities, businessmen and making them enjoy the sport.
  • The next step would have a advertising blitz in famous newspapers, magazines, top internet sites, TV, radio. The ads should be run for a month or so. Promos showing the country’s top personalities supporting cricket should be aired. _ Nothing like having the country’s premier in the promo.
  • The marketing blitz should cummulated with top international teams playing along with the host nation in a tournament.

(B) Rules that have to be changed:

1) Elimination of the Leg-bye rule.

The Lb rule is pretty unfair to the bowler. By elimination such a rule would allow the batsman to play at the ball, instead of getting runs of the deflection of his clothing.

2) Direct Hit on the stump renders the ball dead.

At present if a fielder hits the stumps directly when the batsman is taking a run & he is safe, if it deflects of it, the batsman can run overthrows (extra runs). By enabling the ball ‘dead’ it would encourage the fielders to hit the stumps more often. If the batsman ran after this, the extra runs would be overruled.

3) Leg-side LBW decision

At present, if the ball is pitched outside the leg-stump, but is a clear LBW decision, the batsman is not out. Due to advances in technology today, we can predict an LBW. Hence LBW decisions should be simplified by this method, if the trajectory appears to hit the stump the Batsman is OUT.

4) Correct Nomenclature

Terms such as leg-spin and off-spin are outdated. Better terms would be wrist spin and finger spin.

(C) Accredation to stadiums

The ICC must start rating stadiums. The better the rating of the stadium more matches it is allowed to hold. Here are my parameters. Points are shown alongside in y/n format.

Lights 40/5

Capacity (in 1000’s)

Pitch invasion history? 0/20

Smooth Entry/Exit 30/5

Crowd Management history good/bad 30/5

Match history 1st & 2nd inn win ratio (40-60 range) 50/10

Grassy field 10/5

Facilities (practice, media, parking, toilets, food) 35/10

Replay screen 20/0

Electronic Scoreboard 15/5

Sightscreen moving needed? 0/10

PITCH:

Bounce (good/low) 30/10

Support for bowlers 20/5

Ave. Runs in the range (240-280) 50

200,>280 20

As football fans all across the nation eye the Sunday, February 5th date with excited anticipation, the insurance industry has the day marked heavily in red as well. While there certainly are plenty of sports enthusiasts among the companies and agencies, there’s another reason for the circled calendar date – and it’s as valid as they come.

“Sports fans everywhere are bound to participate in the nationally broadcast event. Whether in real time at the Houston, TX stadium or by watching the games together with friends and or family at parties, bars or restaurants, you can be sure there will be a lot of camaraderie, along with food and drinks – including the alcoholic kind. That’s where the worry sets in,” comments one car insurance specialist.

Of course what this agent and others like him refer to in regard to the big national football league playoffs is that sometime following a great deal of alcoholic beverage drinking, fans will be making their way back home, with many drinkers the ones behind the wheel and responsible for their own life as well as the lives of their passengers and other motorists on the road.

“Studies indicate that party-goers who drink are involved in many road fatalities, injuries and damages,” reveals the same auto coverage expert. “And not only is that bad news for those that operate all forms of vehicles, including cars, trucks, motorcycles and so on, but also for those that write the policies that insure them.”

But with the bad news comes the good news!

Within the commercial world connected to the indemnity industry there is auto coverage that offers protective services for the insured motorist that does not want to or should not drive back home from a party. These free bonuses to policyholders include free taxi, car service or ride-sharing company drives back home for participating auto or auto/boat/homeowner bundled insurance members via payment compensation with a receipt.

With this amazing offer, come other ideas that vehicle drivers as well as party hosts would do well to follow.

Three Smart Tips for the Sports Event Party Goer and Party Host

• Fans who intend to drink alcoholic beverages at a sports gathering should be proactive with safety BEFORE participating in the social celebrations by appointing another driver who will not be drinking to do the driving and transporting back home.

• In general, those hosting the parties are not off the hook in regard to responsibility and liability. These hosts are advised to publicize the contact information of neighborhood taxis and car services, so that drivers have an alternative to getting home.

• Offerings at the sports or other such parties where alcohol is served should also include food and non-alcoholic drinks.

For more on insurance benefits that include taxi service home from alcohol-serving gatherings, contact an experienced independent insurance agent.

Oh yes, and after making the necessary arrangements, don’t forget to enjoy the game!

In the past, sporting goods were only made available for professional athletes. Today, sporting companies are taking every opportunity to supply sports equipment to the public. If you want to purchase exercise equipment to improve your recreational sporting skills, you can consider taking into account the durability, versatility and costs of the equipment.

The factors to consider when choosing sporting apparel include:

· Price

Sporting activities are adored by many people around the globe. To benefit from these sporting activities, many people need specific outfits. You can consider purchasing the right sporting apparel from stores within your locality. To benefit from major cutbacks, you can consider visiting virtual stores as well as public auction sites. You will be able to find affordable clothing here. Many of the online stores offer competitive selling prices. For instance, you can consider visiting an online store that offers soccer jerseys.

It is possible to buy high quality apparel without spending a substantial amount of money. If you consider some online stores you will be in a position to find many fantastic bargains. You can also find used apparel that you will love at competitive prices considering sports apparel from popular manufacturers are expensive.

· Comfort

When you are considering the sporting goods the sports uniform comes to mind. When you are choosing the sporting apparel, it is important to consider the comfort of the clothing. It should be able to soak up sweat and generate a sense of lightness. The clothing should also be in a position to withstand the sporting rigor. Therefore, a rugby player may not do well playing the sport with clothing normally worn by basketball player; they are likely to get ripped off or torn. A soccer player may also not wear sporting apparels worn by basketball players.

· High quality and stain resistant fabric

Considering that sporting apparel is usually beat up daily and they often get dirty enduring daily washing, it is important that they are designed out of high quality and stain resistant fabric to ensure the clothing last longer.

· Size

When it comes to choosing sporting apparel, it is equally important to select the right fitting apparels. Loose clothes are likely to make you fall. On the other hand, tight-fitting clothes are likely to cause discomfort.

· Other factors

Other factors to consider when choosing the sports apparels include the style/design, color/pattern, appropriateness for occasion, durability of garment, versatility/multi-use, breathability of fabric, allergens in fabric, alterability, washing/cleaning instructions, ability to match with the existing wardrobe, prestige factor/designer label, wrinkle resistance, weather resistance, warmth, formality and functionality.

Many young and other soccer players are timid and are afraid of some contact with the opposition. This may be most apparent and occur against some teams or towns where strong aggressive play is more common or even an accepted practice by their coaches. This is easily observed when players are seen slowing down and backing-off when simultaneously a more aggressive opponent is charging towards a “loose ball”. This occurs more often with the more timid players yet may also be seen with one’s stronger players when the opponent team intimidates them with a more aggressive behavior. Yet, good soccer players are aggressive in a sense that they usually end up with a ball when going up against another player; this does not mean however, fouling the opposition player.

The correct amount of legal aggression can be taught to all players with a certain drill called “The Shoulder Charging Drill”. This exercise is not to be thought of as one that teaches illegal soccer-play or exceptional roughness; but one that is within the fair rules of the game. The international source is FIFA (Fédération Internationale de Football Association), the 2012/2013 LAWS of THE GAME states:

Law 12, page 113; FOULS AND MISCONDUCT:

Charging an opponent

The act of charging is a challenge for space using physical contact within

playing distance of the ball without using arms or elbows.

It is an offence to charge an opponent:

• in a careless manner

• in a reckless manner

• using excessive force

So within the legal limits of the law, it is permitted to make contact with an opposing player using the shoulder–this can generally mean to make shoulder to shoulder contact. But before I discuss the drill in more detail, I would like to present a little relevant history during my coaching experience with two stories:

Years ago, while organizing the Park Ridge NJ soccer league, I was approached by a middle-aged coach, coaching the house league team of an Under 10 team. It was in the middle of the season and his team had not won a single game. He also said that his players were not very soccer aggressive. So, I decided that I would personally teach his players the shoulder charging drill. For the next two practices I spent about 25 to 30 minutes with the drill, working with each player while doing the drill. About four weeks later, the same coach told me that his team had now won two games. He was happy and so was I. He attributed the wins to the new training exercise.

Years later while managing and coaching a RI Portuguese men’s team with players from the Azores, our team lost the first four matches, even though early in each game we were ahead by two to three goals, believe this or not. Our players were highly skillful, yet were not accustomed to any or much contact. They were also accustomed to play against teams with their same approach to the game. However, in this league, the teams were all American teams composed of players from other countries along with home-grown players. The game was different in so far as contact, aggression and intimidation go. Our players yielded to the intimidation as the opposition soon realized that this was the way get the upper hand (maybe the upper foot).

After the fourth game, I took each player aside and worked with them with the shoulder charging drill. One such player stopped in the middle of the drill as he was shocked at my shoulder to shoulder contact; however, shortly thereafter he caught on to the technique. Amazingly the players easily adapted to the realization that they too must show more determination. The results of this training from then on, gave us the edge along with their superior skills and good conditioning. This appropriate aggression helped them to win every game thereafter. Furthermore, our team actually won the championship that season.

Now back to a description of the drill. It is quite simple. The coach throws out a ball in front of two players, each in front of a line as if starting a race. The players are to run after the “loose ball” and shoulder charge each other to win possession of the ball. After one appropriately wins it, the other player must now win the ball. At a distance of about 25 to 30 yards, the players are to reverse direction and continue the drill back towards the starting line. Note this drill is not a race or to show dominance of any particular player. Keep this drill in mind if one’s players appear to be timid on the playing field. A more detailed description of the drill may be found in comprehensive soccer books or soccer drill books.

The drill’s intention can teach the amount of legal soccer contact (or roughness) to weaker players; however, it also benefits other players. Most young, and other players, are not aware that this is a strategy for gaining control of the ball. It must also be noted that some amateur referees may not be that familiar with legal shoulder contact and may call the contact an offense. But, this is not any reason to instruct players against using this technique: It is fair and within the laws of the game.

Players familiar with the proper use of this technique will be stronger, more confident and more skillful soccer players. A fuller effect will be seen if, along with this drill, good physical conditioning has been maintained; thus, allowing one’s players to keep up their strength throughout the full game.