Thursday, February 18, 2016

The Little Things

The world of youth soccer can be overwhelming.  Parents, just as difficult as it is on you at times with training and games, which uniform to wear, do my kids have water? or whatever else that is needed.  It is equally, if not more difficult for your kids.  And you know what?  That is a good thing!
I remember the first few nights when we brought our son home from the hospital after he was born.  I was so worried about him that I woke up every time I heard the faintest noise.  Is he okay?  Did he fall out  of his crib?  Is he still breathing?  I checked on him every time.  He was fine.
I had to force myself not to do the same things when we started sports.  Does he have water?  Does he have both uniforms?  Where are his shinguards?  After 1 or 2 practices, I said 'this is for the birds.'
So I let him fail.  I let him forget his water, shinguards, and even his uniform.  It has happened on more than one occasion and I am fairly confident he has forgotten all of them at the same time.  He is fine.  And that is a good thing!
More importantly, I am fine.  Don't get me wrong, I remind him what he needs and once in a while, I may even fill his water bottle, but I let him take care of the little things.  I don't stress out about my son (or daughter) not having their cleats.  I let them stress out and deal with it.  My kids have trained in tennis shoes, borrowed cleats, and even used a pair a size or two small from the lost and found.  And yes, they are fine.
I let them fail (and succeed) on their own with the little things.  And at the end of the day, they get 100% of the reprimands (and rewards) for their actions.  I get to see them grow right in front of my eyes.  It is sometimes very hard and frustrating, but I am seeing some results.  If they are like me, I am sure they will not master this...well probably ever.
Kids, why do the little things matter?  Who cares if I wear the training gear or Barcelona jersey.  Clothes don't make the player. Right?  Big deal if I get to a game 15 minutes before instead of 30 or 45.  I am here when it counts.  You know what?  You are right.  Clothes don't make the player.  Being on time probably won't affect how you play.
The little things may not affect you at all, however they do affect others.  Showing commitment to the team by being on time (or even early) is massive in earning the trust of your coaches and teammates.  Wearing the proper training gear is a small action in showing your teammates that you are willing to put aside your wants for the good of the team.  The little things matter because they show others who you are.  The little things matter because they take effort.  The type of effort that forces you to make a choice that shows what is important.
When you add up all the little things, they begin to become the big things - ATTITUDE, EFFORT, GRIT, TALENT, KNOWLEDGE, and more.  Hearing you need to change your attitude can be intimidating.  Where to begin?  Start with the little things.  Make an easy choice to wear the proper gear.  Simple.  Choose to be on time for practices and games.  Simple.  Choose to not cut a single corner in laps and to touch every line in shuttle runs. A little tougher, but you have already accomplished so much.
Parents, let your kids handle the little things so they learn to fail, but just as important, so they learn to succeed.  Kids, take care of the little things so you show to others who you are, to build trust with your team, and to build confidence in yourself.  And kids, taking care of the little things now is a lot easier than dealing with the BIG THINGS later.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Is It Important?

Is it important?  If it is not, then other things take precedence. How important is soccer?  As a coach for over two decades I have heard every reason for why someone cannot make a practice.  Many legitimate and many not.  Hanging out with friends, homework, a family dinner are all valuable and important endeavors.  So I ask again, how important is soccer?
"Consider the postage stamp, its usefulness consists in the ability to stick to one thing till it gets there" - American humorist John Billings.

Every year I meet with players and parents who all tell me they want to play college soccer or be a more prominent player in their team, and many times I have to tell them that soccer must become important to you.  Soccer cannot be that thing that you do.  Soccer cannot be just something you do, if you want to play at a higher level and move up to a starter, varsity, or college.

If your answer is YES.  Then you must make time for soccer.  First, training is not optional.  You can't decide that you are not going because it is too cold, you have too much homework, or your family is going to dinner or a play.   You will have to sacrifice things in order to be at training.  You may have to get up early or stay up late to finish homework, you are going to have to tell your friends and family that you will have to miss the play or dinner, not because you don't love them, but because soccer is important.  When they know it is important, they will understand.

If your answer is YES.  You have to take steps to improve.  Tens of thousands of kids are training 2-3 times a week and playing games on the weekend.  What will separate you?  Modify your diet.  Make wise choices everyday, not just during tournaments or game day.  You need to be on the ball everyday.  Days you do not train with your team, you need to put 30-60 minutes in with the ball.  Individual skill work, futsal, small sided games, anything and everything to get your foot on the ball.  You do not need to pay someone to make you a better athlete (if money is an issue).  There are unlimited amounts of resources (including your club coaches) that can help you put together a plan to improve your strength, quickness, stamina.  You do not even have to lift a single weight.

If your answer is YES.  Nothing will prevent you from playing the game.  Cold weather means a gym floor or layers of clothes.  Heavy homework means 20 minute juggle breaks or going to bed late.  Conflicts means you plan ahead and communicate with your coaches.  This shows leadership (a highly desirable trait in a team sport) and allows  a coach to plan accordingly.

PARENTS, if your child's answer is YES.  You should not only support them, but you should also be a reminder.  Just like education is important and you remind your child to do their homework, you remind them to do their soccer homework.  Becoming better at anything requires you to do things that you do not like.  When we do not like things, we avoid them (procrastinate).  See almost any teenager when it comes to homework.  If it truly is important than your reminders will be just that - reminders.  If it is not important, your reminders will not help.  And at least you know how serious they are about the game.

PLAYERS, if your answer is YES.  With or without reminders from your parents, you will find a way.   The more important it is, the more time and energy you will put into it.  The more you are invested, the more that is on the line.  Emotions will be strong, keep them in check.  But that is for another time.

Monday, December 28, 2015

What Makes A Team Great?

In order to answer this question, we need to define 'great.'  Many attributes can be associated with teams that are considered great.  Brazil has 'flair' and 'rhythm,' Germany is 'disciplined' and 'measuring,' Barcelona is 'technical' and 'quick.'  But what is the one trait they all have in common?  The answer is - THEY WIN!  To be considered great you must win, and you must win often and over time.
What does it take to win?  The simple answer is GOALS.  Back to the original question, what makes a team great?  In my opinion, A GOALSCORER.  You can tell me all you want about passion, discipline, technique.  A goalscorer solves all those problems.  It gives teams belief that they can win any game at any time.  Defenders are more focused and play a little bit harder because they know if they stop the opponent, their goalscorer only needs a half chance.  Do not confuse a goalscorer with a player that scores a lot of goals, especially in the youth game.
Germany has Mueller, Bayern has Lewandowski, Leceister City (having and great season) have Vardy and Marhez, and Barcelona have Messi, Neymar, and Suarez.  When has the U.S. been their best?  When McBride and Dempsey were scoring.  In a game that is so team oriented, a single player - the goalscorer - can change a season or more.
Why is it so difficult to develop goalscorers?  I am sure many people will disagree with me, but goalscorers are not born.  They are not natural.  Goalscorers are created.  Like anything made, you must first have quality raw materials.
So often in the youth game, the goalscorer is the best athlete.  We (coaches) play the biggest and fastest as forwards because they run by defenders and shoot (often times really hard).  Some coaches even consider technique.  Their forwards might not be the #1 athlete, but they are good with the ball, keep tight control, and yes they can shoot.  These players usually get a lot of chances to score, however miss way more than they make.
I agree that athleticism and technique should be part of the equation.  However, goalscorers need to be DEMANDING.  This is often described as having an edge.  With young players it is also mistaken for being angry.  These players sulk or yell at teammates when they get frustrated.  They often times cheat in games or practice, or at least use the rules to their advantage.
Goalscorers need to be RISK TAKERS.  They will slide tackle a lot.  They will often not listen to all the coaches instructions because they are trying to gain an advantage by being first on the field.  At young ages, goalscorers often miss instructions or skip steps because they are already thinking about things three steps ahead.
Goalscorers are COURAGEOUS.  They may volunteer to do things first, blurt out answers, or they may be the kid willing to say hello to the new player.
And finally, goalscorers are EFFICIENT.  Some are minimalists where they do little running except when they are involved.  Some may try to skip ahead in activities if they feel they already know a step.
You may be fortunate and have a player (or two) like this on your team.  Work with them on technique, play them often as forward, challenge them in training with different rules or restrictions.  If they are also athletic or technical make training unfair (at times) by giving them different and tougher rules then the rest of the team.   Goalscorers must be able to see space and predict opponents movements. Put them in situations that make their situation more difficult than the game.
If you want a great team, develop a goalscorer or two.  Athletes will score at young ages, but a true goalscorer will get goals against better teams, better athletes, and with few chances.  Look for those players that are demanding, take risks, have courage, and are efficient. 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Is my child getting better?

As a parent of children who participate in many sports and extra-curricular activities, I want to know if my children are learning and hopefully improving.  It is fairly easy for me to discern if they are learning about their sport or activity, I just ask them to tell me about what they have learned or what they are doing at practice.  When I start getting a lot of repeat information or "I don't know," I can ask a few more questions based on the curriculum or the information instructors have given to me.  Most of the time, either my children didn't feel like talking to me or they weren't paying attention at training and missed something (if not everything).  
But what about those times when we (parents) feel that our child just isn't getting it?  I've read the curriculum.  I am active and involved with their activities.  However, when I go to games, it looks like my child isn't as good as the other players.  The other team seems so far ahead of our team.  Is the coach/instructor poor?  Is my child not paying attention?  Why is my child not paying attention?  Is my child the only one?  What should my child be learning?  Is my kid not any good?
Every parent runs into this at some point, and if they don't then they are either ignorant, not paying attention, or their child is not playing at a high enough level (this is for another blog).
Being a soccer coach, I will stick to what I know.  WHAT SHOULD MY CHILD BE DOING?  WHAT SHOULD I LOOK FOR IN GAMES?  Below are some competencies that every player should be working towards and be comfortable performing. 

YOUTH DEVELOPMENT COMPETENCIES
To be more competitive moving into 8v8 (9v9) and the Juniors Program (U11), we have identified several areas that each player coming out of the YDA should be comfortable performing.

  • Handling balls out of the air and bouncing - Get it to the ground in 1 touch
    • a.       Heading
    • b.      Receiving with thighs, chest, and feet
  • Juggling – ability to begin with ball on ground and juggling using feet only for a minimum of 10 times with each foot and 25 times total.
  • Inside of foot passing – CHECK MARK over a distance of 15 yards with accuracy
  • Laces shooting – ability to strike a ball with laces and land on kicking foot
  • Receiving balls across the body
  • Seeing and being able to pass a ball into space so a player can run onto it
  • Shielding – not showing the defender the ball on the dribble (keep body between ball and defender)
  • Gaining field position and keeping it
  • Passing to eliminate defenders
  • Not turning back to ball (dead balls) - Always face ball (throw-ins, goalkicks, etc)
  • Recognizing 1st and 2nd Defenders (Space to Dribble into)
  • Dribbling – taking defenders on with confidence
  • Confidence on the ball (no matter where on the field) 

JUNIORS PROGRAM
Continuing to develop players first, we have identified areas that all players should be comfortable in performing.  These competencies are broken down for 8v8/9v9 (U11-U12) and 11v11 (U13-U14).


8v8 (9v9) Competencies

1v1 Defending (Approach, Athletic stance, Poke v Block Tackle, Gaining Possession)

Role of 2nd Defender

Heading (Defensive and Attacking)

Juggling – 50 times feet only

Creating space in attack for self and others

Roles of all positions

Risk vs Safety in areas of the field

Ability to serve from width with both feet (in air and on ground)

11v11 Competencies

Understanding & recognizing attacking combinations

Juggling – 100 times feet only

Receive balls with all parts under pressure (head, chest, legs, feet)

Understanding 1st, 2nd, 3rd defenders

High vs Low pressure

Cues to press
PLEASE UNDERSTAND that every player develops (physically, mentally, and socially) at different rates and at different times. If your child has mastered any of these areas, coaches may challenge them with more difficult skills and strategies or to train or play with a higher/older team.  At the same time, if your child is struggling with some or all of these competencies, coaches may ask your child to put in extra work, train or play with another team in order to get more repetitions and instruction.
Having mastered these skills early or still struggling DOES NOT determine whether your child will end up a high level player or a poor player.  Through my experience, successful players are determined by those who stick with it.  They are the ones who FAIL OFTEN, but WORK TO IMPROVE and OVERCOME THOSE FAILURES.
As a parent, look for these competencies and skills.  Encourage your child to spend extra time on areas they need work.  If you are not sure how to help, ask your coach.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Standards

You are at least a month into the Fall season.  Patterns are developing on your team:  who starts,  positions,  playing time.  You may not agree with some of these decisions or you may feel pretty good about where things are at present.

If you are not where you want to be or you want to remain in favorable standing, what do you do?  I am getting a lot of this right now.  How can I get more playing time?  How can I play more as a forward or central midfield?

My answer is usually the same - RAISE YOUR STANDARDS.  Showing up to practice and working hard doesn't get you on the field or in the position you want.  That is expected.  Everyone on the team is doing that, not to mention thousands of other players at other clubs.  These are also who you will be competing with for varsity spots or college scholarships.

HOW TO RAISE YOUR STANDARDS

1.  Be prepared on time - Showing up to the field or pulling in the parking lot is not on time.  Arrive 10 minutes prior to the beginning of training.  Make sure you have all your equipment on and are ready to go.  Sometimes you cannot avoid being late (traffic, ride was late, wreck, etc); have your cleats on and get out to the field as quickly as you can.

2.  Do what is asked (no matter what others are doing) - focus and concentrate on what the coach has asked and do it.  If you are to touch the line for sprints, get there each and every time.  Cutting the line short by 6 inches makes a difference.  If you are to receive with your left foot, do it.  Even if this means you make mistakes initially. 

3.  Encourage, do not criticize - BE A GREAT TEAMMATE.  It is easy to see the flaws or what someone doesn't do well.  Challenge yourself to see what your teammates do well and encourage them to keep improving when things are not going well.  When you feel someone is supporting you, you will work harder.

4.  Give 10% more - this goes for everything from effort, preparation, nutrition, and time.  Increase your effort each session with more effort.  EXAMPLE - finish out every run by not stopping until completely across the line.  See #1.  Choose water instead of soda (or even sport drinks).  If you train 4.5 hours a week with your team, spend at least 30 minutes extra a week improving your game.

5.  Challenge yourself - if you want to be a forward, you must put yourself in that situation.  During free play, be a forward.  If coach doesn't assign positions in a game or drill, be a forward.  Watch, study, practice aspects that are associated with being a great forward.

6.  Ask for feedback - schedule a time with your coach to get feedback on how you are doing and if there is anything you can work on.  This should be done once or twice a season.  It takes time to improve, so don't ask for feedback every week.  Make sure you can show or demonstrate your improvement.

7.  Be good at most, BE GREAT AT 1 or 2 - Always work on your complete game, so you are able to handle all the aspects of soccer.  To be a difference maker, you must make an impact every game.  Take 1 or 2 things that you like or are already fairly strong and become better than anyone else on your team, in your club, city, state, and beyond.  If you are a forward, your job is to score.  Spend time finishing.  Finish with both feet, head, knees, toe, off the dribble, one touch, two touch.  Finish anyway you can possibly imagine, then do it over and over again.  Once you master it, practice even harder.  If you are 6'6", become the most dominant player in the air anyone has seen.  Your height is a built in advantage, but you must take that advantage it and run with it.

8.  You get confidence from the work you put in - the more purposeful training you do, the better you will become.  You will gain confidence because you know have improved.  It becomes a snowball affect.

I could go on with other ways to improve, but this should get you a start.  Got some other great ideas, please share.  Good luck in your play, habits, and attitude.  Now go out and Be Awesome.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Boys Program TIMELINE

As a Director and Coach, I get the luxury of seeing players from U6 until they leave our academy.  I am involved at every stage.  As a parent, I see where you only get to see the stage where your son is involved.  I often receive questions from parents at every age level on what happens as their son moves forward in Ohio Elite. 

Our directors and I came up with a TIMELINE of what to expect as you move forward at OESA.  Now this is geared to the Boys Program, but it will be similar on the Girls, but there are differences.  This TIMELINE, by no means, covers everything, however we feel it gives a good understanding of what to expect at each stage with OESA.



YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ACADEMY (YDA) | Director – Scott Wheeler

PHILOSOPHYPLAYER, CLUB, TEAM, WIN - we play every game to WIN.  We will not sacrifice player development for the sake of winning a single game.  We believe in individual technique and skill.  We will focus on dribbling and passing to teammates to create opportunities (as opposed to having a superior athlete score all the goals).  This style, sometimes, will result in a loss or the other team scoring because players at this age make mistakes.
TEAMS – are chosen based on athleticism and soccer ability, having stated that, there are times we misplace a player due to the short nature of tryouts. In those situations, we will provide that player with appropriate level experiences. Players should play 50% to 100% of time in games over the course of the season (doesn’t mean each game) as long as they are attending trainings and are in good standing with the club. 
PLAYERS – kids develop at different skills at different rates and times.  As a result, players in the YDA may be asked to play with multiple teams over the course of their time in the YDA.  Players performing well on their assigned team may be asked to play with a level or age group higher.  Players may also be asked to play with a lower level team to get more playing time, team needs extra player, or as seen fit by OESA staff.
PRACTICE/TRAINING – teams will have 2 trainings per week.  Players will have the opportunity to make up missed trainings with other teams on different nights, approved by staff.
POSITIONS – all players will play all positions to expose them to the skills and pressures associated with the different positions. Players who show an aptitude for a certain position, may play a specific position more often, but they will generally play all positions throughout the season.
GOALKEEPING – all players will play goalkeeper throughout the season.  We also encourage players at U9-U10 to attend Goalkeeper training as it is an excellent way to get extra touches and work on coordination.
  
Age Level Competencies
U6 to U8 | Introduction to the game of soccer
  •  Focus on individual skills (dribbling, balance, coordination)
  •  Introduce the rules of the game through active play
  •  2x week training with Ohio Elite staff
  • Play in the Elite Players League (EPL) – 7 v 7
    •  All games at Ohio Elite Complex
    •  6-8 games
SKILLS
  • Juggle 12+ times with feet (may use hands to start)
  • Moves – inside cut, outside cut, scissors, step over

U9 to U10 | Individual Skills
  • Focus on individual skill (dribbling, balance, coordination, passing, receiving) 
  • Begin concepts of team play with focus on 3v3 to 6v6
  • 2x week training with Ohio Elite staff
  • Play in the EPL and Cincinnati United Soccer League (CUSL) or Buckeye League (BPYSL)
    • EPL – 6-8 games at Ohio Elite Complex – 7v7
    • CUSL – about 8 games in Greater Cincinnati
      ·         6v6 for U9 
      ·         6v6 and/or 8v8 for U10
  • BPYSL – about 8 games in southern Ohio (Cincinnati, Dayton, Columbus)
    ·         8v8 for U10
  • 2-3 tournaments per season in southern Ohio
SKILLS
  • Juggle 25+ times with feet (no hands even to start)
  • Moves – all 6 surfaces of foot, Master 2-3 favorites
  • Receiving a ball out of air or off bounce
JUNIORS ACADEMY | Director – Marc Sabin

PHILOSOPHYPLAYER, CLUB, TEAM, WIN - we play every game to WIN.  We will not sacrifice player development for the sake of winning a single game.  We believe in individual technique and skill.  We will focus on dribbling and passing to teammates to create opportunities (as opposed to having a superior athlete score all the goals).  We play possession oriented, attacking soccer, play from the back and play with a lot of numbers in the attacking half of the field.  This style, sometimes, will result in a loss or the other team scoring because players at this age make mistakes.
TEAMS – are chosen based on soccer ability and athleticism.  Players should play 30% to 100% of time in games over the course of the season (doesnt mean each game) as long as they are attending trainings and are in good standing with the club. 
PLAYERS – kids develop at different rates.  As a result, players in the Juniors may be asked to guest play with different teams over the course of their time in the Juniors Program.  Players performing well on their assigned team may be asked to play with a level or age group higher.  Players may also be asked to play with a lower level team to get more playing time, team needs extra player, develop more confidence or as seen fit by OESA staff.
PRACTICE/TRAINING – teams will have 3 trainings per week.  Players may have the opportunity to make up missed trainings with other teams on different nights in coordinated with the coaching staff in advance. Players excelling with their teams may be added to NPL Pool Training sessions.
POSITIONS – Players are introduced to more specific positions based on players personalities and the characteristics of positional roles. Playing all positions throughout the season is limited.
GOALKEEPING – U11 teams will use multiple goalkeepers. U12 - U14 we generally have two goalkeepers per team.  Attending goalkeeper training is expected of all players wanting to play in goal U12 and up.
Jugglers Guild - We expect 100% participation from all players. Minimum requirement to participate is 25 juggles (feet only)
Player Manual and Curriculum is posted on every Team Page. Coaches follow the curriculum to develop players to be successful for years to come. Training sessions are not just randomly selected. Training sessions are posted on the Team Calendar each training day. Players are expected to know the day’s activities.

 U11 - BPYSL 8v8
Games are usually in greater Cincinnati & Dayton with occasional game in Columbus.
  • Juggles 25+
  • Technical Priorities
    • Passing & Receiving - Turning - Shooting - Ball Control - 1v1
  • Tactical Priorities
    • Combination Play - Attacking Principles - Possession - Playing from the Back
  • Physical Priorities
    • Agility - Acceleration - Acyclic Speed - Coordination & Balance - Perception & Awareness 
  • Psychological Priorities
    • Motivation - Grit - Respect & Discipline - Self Confidence
U12 - BPYSL 8v8 and 11v11
Games are usually in greater Cincinnati & Dayton with occasional game in Columbus.
  • Juggles 50+
  • Technical Priorities
    • Passing & Receiving - Shooting - Ball Control - 1v1
  • Tactical Priorities
    • Combination Play - Attacking Principles - Possession - Playing from the Back 
  • Physical Priorities  
    • Agility - Acceleration - Acyclic Speed - Coordination & Balance - Perception & Awareness
  • Strength Training – Body Weight (3 Days)
  • Psychological Priorities
    • Motivation - Grit - Respect & Discipline - Self Confidence

U13 NPL - BCC - BPYSL 11v11
Games in the BPYSL in greater Cincinnati & Dayton with occasional game in Columbus.  NPL & BCC games are regional with travel to surrounding states usually up to 4-6 hours away.  OESA does have some bus trips for players only (all players are required to travel via bus).  Players are chaperoned.  They stay in hotels with teammates.
  • Juggles 75+
  • Technical Priorities
    • Passing & Receiving - Shooting - Ball Control - 1v1
  • Tactical Priorities
    • Combination Play - Attacking Principles - Possession - Playing from the Back - Transition - Finishing Final Third - Defending Principles
  • Physical Priorities
    • Agility - Acceleration - Acyclic Speed - Coordination & Balance - Perception & Awareness  - Reaction - Flexibility & Mobility
    • Strength Training – Body Weight (3 Days)
  • Psychological Priorities
    • Motivation - Grit - Respect & Discipline - Self Confidence - Commitment - Communication – Competitiveness

U14 NPL - BCC - BPYSL
Games in the BPYSL in greater Cincinnati & Dayton with occasional game in Columbus.  NPL & BCC games are regional with travel to surrounding states usually up to 4-6 hours away.  OESA does have some bus trips for players only (all players are required to travel via bus).  Players are chaperoned.  They stay in hotels with teammates.
  • Juggles 100+
  • Technical Priorities
    • Passing & Receiving - Shooting - Ball Control - 1v1
  • Tactical Priorities
    • Combination Play - Attacking Principles - Possession - Playing from the Back - Transition - Finishing Final Third - Defending Principles
  • Physical Priorities
    • Agility - Acceleration - Acyclic Speed - Coordination & Balance - Perception & Awareness  - Reaction - Flexibility & Mobility
    • Strength Training – Body Weight to light weights (3 to 4 days)
  • Psychological Prioities
    • Motivation - Grit - Respect & Discipline - Self Confidence - Commitment - Communication - Competitiveness

SENIORS ACADEMY | Director – Dave Schureck

PHILOSOPHYPLAYER, CLUB, TEAM, WIN - we play every game to WIN.  WINNING is very important.  We will do what is necessary tactically to get the result.  Generally, we stick to our game plan and style, but will make adjustments in tactics and players to get results on a game by game basis.
TEAMS – are chosen based on soccer ability and athleticism.  Players should play 30% to 100% of time in games over the course of the season (doesnt mean each game) as long as they are attending trainings and are in good standing with the club. 
PLAYERS – should have a strong technical base.  Technique will continue to improve by adding quickness and distance.  Players are expected to be in a strength program to improve strength, flexibility, speed, and quickness. 
PRACTICE/TRAINING – teams will have 3 trainings per week.  Players may have the opportunity to make up missed trainings with other teams on different nights if coordinated with the coaching staff in advance.
POSITIONS – Players may play a few positions, but generally will play the same position.
GOALKEEPING – GKs are normally goalkeeper only.  We try to carry two GKs per team when possible.  GKs should attend goalkeeper specific training at least once a week.

U15/U16/U17/U18 –NPL & BCC
NPL & BCC games are regional with travel to surrounding states usually up to 4-6 hours away.  OESA does have some bus trips for players only (all players are required to travel via bus).  Players are chaperoned.  They stay in hotels with teammates.
Showcases/Tournaments are national.  We frequently attend events in Florida, North Carolina, Nevada, and other places that will expose our teams and players to top competition and college recruiting opportunities.
  • Juggles 250+
  • Technical Priorities
    • Passing & Receiving – Under Game Pressure
  • Tactical Priorities
    • Combination Play – Counter Attack - Possession  in Attacking Third- Playing from the Back
  • Physical Priorities
    • Strength, Flexibility, Agility, Explosion
    • Strength Program (on own)
    • OESA Program
    • Strength Trainer/Coach
  • Psychological Priorities
    • Consistent Motivation - Grit - Respect & Discipline - Self Belief
    • Training and Improving when you don’t want to
    • Do what others won’t in order to improve
  • College Recruiting
    • Building Resumes
    • Contacting college coaches
    • Getting seen
  • Showcases
  • ID Camps