Build Aggressive Soccer Teams: Misunderstood

Are all devil worshipers bad?

I wonder if it’s hard to find Satan-worshipers. I’m not sure how to start the process. Do they have Facebook groups? Would a Black Sabbath concert root them out? Are you supposed to lure them with babies in a cornfield? Should we just ask Martha Stewart? (I feel like she knows her stuff, and she’s been to prison. Double win. She seems to be the kind of person that could bake a fantastic batch of cookies and also know where the closest human sacrifice might be).
Another thing: are all Satan-worshipers bloodthirsty, or would some of them prefer to quench their demon-lustery with a Sprite? Maybe these are just stereotypes associated with devil-lovers. I’m not a good source to ask about the subject. If I had to guess, there are a bunch of friendly Luciferians out there. But I wouldn’t know how to find them. I wonder if the nice ones hate being placed in the same category as those drinking zebra blood from a chalice made of bone.

Aggressive Soccer Players: The Devil-Worshipers of Futbol.
In a 50/50 ball situation, there are two types of soccer players: the dude who wins the ball—and the one who doesn’t. Sorry, I’m over simplifying the matter. There are also those on the field who avoid the 50/50 like the plague, and the ones on the bench that said, “What!? I would have won that, are you kidding me?” Seeing as they don’t come to practice, they’ll only be able to assume their abilities from the sideline.
In most 50/50s, the child who applies more pressure wins the ball. You must learn how to spot the signs of pressure:

Strength.
-The child might jump into the mix and knock it away with his or her head.
-He might be doing push-ups in the goal.
-She’s bench-pressing her sisters in the parking lot.

Skill:

  • It helps for a child to know how to bring a ball down.
  • A player’s field awareness can help them make quicker decisions which will seem more aggressive to the unknowing eye.
  • He has a good batman voice. He can also do a crisp sponge-bob impersonation but…

Fearlessness:
This kid once jumped out of an airplane, and the instructor had to chase him down with a parachute. To this dude, knocking around an inflated piece of rubber is child’s play.

Farting on Command:
This technique, when used at the right moment, could change the scale from 50/50 to 75/25 or even 85/15 judging on the air-to-sulfur ratio with a solid decibel rating and proper resonance of the butt cheeks. Whew, science stinks.

The Problem with Pressure
Consider the United States current issue with police brutality. Yeah, there are cops that have done horrific acts against people in their community. Does this mean every cop behaves in this manner? Do we believe they’re all just waiting for their chance to shoot someone?
Take that concept and apply it to an aggressive soccer player. Are all players who win a 50/50 crazy-eyed psychopaths looking for a outlet to defile any competitor who dares to challenge them?
I can hear a few voices now (my doctor says it’ll go away), saying, “Those players need to be more careful.” What if we applied the same statement to law enforcement officers? Not all cops are ego-driven narcissists (I can’t prove this with data, we’ll only have to assume). Some of them are outstanding adults who have control of their emotions and think twice before making a life-threatening decision. What if we forced all cops to “be more thoughtful?” Sure, the ones playing Wild West may stop gunning down dudes grabbing for their wallets, but what about the guys who already take adequate time to reflect before tasing an old lady? And what about the guys who have previously adopted to storing their one bullet in their shirt pocket? Should we be forcing those officers to “calm down?” What are they going to do? Invite the gunman out to coffee?
Similar to those kind-hearted Satan worshipers above, responsible, aggressive players have been unnecessarily bunched into a single hate-filled category. Those guys that mastered the slide tackle have somehow been collected into the fold with less effective kids who body tackle opponents to watch them come face-to-face with the turf. They are evaluated with an unfair measuring rod; one commonly used to determine future prison sentences instead of current soccer success.

The perfect world?
In a pure world, kids could play sports and parents would keep their (negative) mouths shut, the refs could officiate, and people could eat all the ice cream they wanted without getting the diabetes (pronounced die-a-beat-us). Sadly, this isn’t a perfect world. Parents still torment their children with public mind-thrashings, many athletes are scared to death of letting down their grandpa, and having competitions with your kids called “who can make the tallest ice cream cone” may cause you to get “the sugar.

What is the difference between an aggressive soccer player and a dude that fouls a lot?

Ability. If a child isn’t as fast as the person they’re covering, he will face two options: he will either watch his man run down field, shoot the shot, and attain his step-mother’s love, or the weaker defender will be forced to stand in the ball-handler’s way and then karate chop the kid’s chance at having the acceptance he desires from his dad’s fourth wife, Ratalia.
You also have the players that lose their tempers and antagonize the other team. These guys also suffer from a lack of abilities, i.e. patience and self-control.

With Satan-worship should the coach be a conversion therapist or a metal-head?
Kids who overly foul hurt the rec-league as a whole. Coach, it doesn’t matter how many goals they score, sacrificing children is wrong (even if they play on the other team). You only get so many kids per team. How many players could a coach lose before he’s forced to forfeit games, not because his players didn’t show up, but because your defenders use a twisted definition of the term “personal foul?”
Your team should not be competing on who has the most yellow cards. This would be a sign of either two things: a sociopath or a team in survival-mode.
People go into survival mode when they’ve reached the limit of their skills, knowledge, emotions, or resources.
Survival mode isn’t a bad thing. But sometimes people make terrible decisions while under its crafty influence. One person may use the condition to maintain sanity while moving into a thriving situation. At other times, people have fallen into its grasp and found themselves at Walmart trying to decide which shade of garbage-can liner would best conceal a body.
As a coach, we need vigilance in sniffing out survival-mode among our players. Be weary of anyone who shows these symptoms:

  • Wild-eyes
  • Talks a lot about random things such as how much he loves fritter-fries and the social ramifications of cancelling My Little Pony
  • jittery body movements, kinda like Kramer from Seinfeld.
  • Breaks down and yells at the team when his mom doesn’t get the right coffee (Caramel latte, six creams, sugar and a shot of espresso?
  • Throws said coffee at his own defenders (Gotta love those strikers.)

You’ll want to focus on giving this kid confidence or the ref may reward them with a sideline vacay.

Survival mode will win ball games.
Sometimes. I’ve had a few teams make the dive into survival thinking. Two of them snapped out of it; the other just snapped. I realize the name of the blog is Recreational Soccer Survival. I also understand that many coaches stay in a constant state of survival mode (the reason for the website). Coaches, I cannot recommend taking permanent residence in the survival ideology. It’s too stressful for everybody involved. Your team’s morale won’t last long in this state. With each week, the team is under its spell The parents become more vocal. The grandparents won’t care though. “I don’t get soccer. The boys ought to play football or work on their GPA. By the way, when are you going to mow that yard of yours?”
Thanks, Dad.
If you can shape a player’s aggression and use it without giving the ref a reason to wave his authority around, do it. If you find a sweet spot, a kid who is skillful enough to keep up with the competition and forceful enough to decrease an opponent’s self-worth, then by all means foster an atmosphere that gives him the encouragement he needs to manhandle, but not mangle, his enemies.
Focus on these principles first and you’ll be on your way to aggressive, non-lethal players:

  • The rules
    • Knowing the (ACTUAL) rules to the game WILL make a huge difference
      • You could pay a ref to come out and explain the rules to your team
  • Fundamental skills
    • Sometimes just knowing the basics will make a kid quicker and more aggressive.
  • Controlling the parents
    • If the kids are afraid to move they’ll be afraid to fight for the ball.
      • The world still searches for a cure to this problem. Sorry. I used to tell the kids how great they were to drown out the negative banter from the other sideline.
  • As the coach, we need to keep our cool.
    • Our emotions bleed over to the kids.
    • If we’re running around kicking garbage cans, the kids will be too. Except their garbage cans are people

I highly suggest you check out the book,

Wooden : A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections on and off the Court

at thriftbooks.com.

It’s $3.79 with free shipping if you order three books and it was easily the best book on coaching I ever read. We use Thrift Books all the time. They were awesome to let me affiliate with them!

Group: Recreational Soccer Veterans (Join This for Free. It’s a fun coach underground. Smuggling simple ideas out-of-view of the soccer police.)

Facebook: Recreational Soccer Survival (Like this to keep up with new posts.)

Twitter: @coach_ballew (Follow me and we’ll do the Tweeter thing.)

Nate Ballew

Father of four boys, married to one wife, coaching enthusiast, and fiction/non-fiction author.

Be The Fun Coach That Wins!

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