Vision and Awareness

Vision and Awareness are the New Buzz Words. How important are they?

Of all the pillars of player development, the two that separate an exceptional player from a good player are the level of Vision and Awareness.

Vision is the skill of seeing things quickly and in some instances before they happen in the game.

Awareness is a combination of feeling and recognizing opportunities to make and execute plays faster than opponents.

In team sports like soccer where interactions with team members are integral to ball possession, vision can be as simple as having your head on a swivel checking in every direction for clues as to what the opponent is doing and what you and your teammates are doing.  It allows a player in control of the ball to serve the pass to an open player, perhaps starting a possession sequence that could lead to scoring goals. Vison can also include a player not with the ball moving into open spaces, placing them in a situational dominance of defenders, making their opponent unable to match their pace of play and movement. READ MORE

How to watch and learn Soccer

I was asked last week how MOTI can help me understand the game of soccer when I watch broadcast games on TV.

Go to the MOTI Sports Activities and look for the simplest ball movement like ‘passing in pairs’ and you will witness two players facing each other delivering a ball back and forth.  This setup and format are the backbone of the game of soccer and deserve your observation as a key element to building one’s understanding of soccer excellence.

The next progression is to see the inclusion of a third player, then the fourth. With this spectator directive, your observations can now turn to the flow and effectiveness of possession and sequences of passes to move forward against the opposition. Possessions by a team will settle the game’s momentum on how a team is set up to take advantage of a perceived weak point and exploit that weakness. READ MORE

Remember your most loyal supporter at home!

During soccer season coaches and players are going non-stop to practices, clinics, training, and games. Hours of traveling, sitting at practices or games, added laundry,  meals on the go, and missed weekly chores are all part of the normal chaos that is part of the soccer season. All too often we take for granted the support we receive at home. Whether it is a parent driving us to practice/game, shopping for shoes, or a spouse that is taking on extra duties around the house so you can focus on coaching or playing, now we need to recognize our base of support and thank them! READ MORE

What is on my mind as we approach the Holiday break?

The Holiday Season is here, and the excitement is quite noticeable at school from our students.  My colleagues & I enjoy the buildup to holiday break as well, with special contests, potlucks, & even a day to wear our favorite “Ugly” sweater. 

Every year I compile a list of items to accomplish over holiday break that is a mixture of school-related projects & personal/family time that is important for “recharging my batteries”.   This year is no different, with a sizable curriculum project on the list and scheduling activities for the second half of the school year. My holiday break will include time at school to accomplish these tasks, but in a peaceful child-free environment conducive to productivity.  Lastly, I use the holiday break to reflect on successes & possible ways to improve my physical education classes.  I spend a great deal of time looking for quality teaching tools, as well as ideas to incorporate into my lesson plans.  The use of apps & exploration of websites is an example of this task.  Our profession requires a great deal of self-evaluation, and this is the ideal time for this to take place. READ MORE

What can make our Soccer players improve?

Metacognition is “cognition about cognition”, “thinking about thinking”, “knowing about knowing”, becoming “aware of one’s awareness” and higher-order thinking skills. The term comes from the root word meta, meaning “beyond”, or “on top of”. Metacognition can take many forms; it includes knowledge about when and how to use particular strategies for learning or problem-solving. There are generally two components of metacognition: (1) knowledge about cognition and (2) regulation of cognition. (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metacognition) READ MORE

New to Coaching? What to focus on.

You just got talked into coaching your first soccer team.  CONGRATULATIONS! 

Here are FIVE tried and true suggestions for you.

Be Positive

If you want players to come to practice, respect you, have their parent’s respect you, the other coaches respect you, and – yes – even the referees respect you . . . be positive.  Look for little “victories” with each player and compliment them when they succeed.  Success breeds success.  Sarcasm and negativity will tear a player down rather than build them up. READ MORE

It’s not time to make a change, just relax and take it easy?

November and early December allow most organizations to pause and reflect a bit.  Board meetings will bring up new topics, as new board members come on board and try to rejuvenate the organization’s leadership. High School awards banquets or Club banquets celebrate the players and coaching achievements, and often the parental involvement for being supporters of their players.  Many organizations are beginning to work hard to improve skills with their competitive players, and in some cases, that is in-doors. READ MORE

Physical Ed Teachers, MOTI is for you!

A soccer module is being taught in elementary and middle school for at least one two-week session, and often two separate two weeks sessions every year.  What if these teachers, most of whom are not proficient at soccer, are given the tools to present to their students an all-encompassing soccer unit with measurable standards!

We have developed, with the help of Physical Education Teachers and experts in the education field, a great tool for teachers to use in their classrooms that is flexible, inexpensive, fun for the kids, and produces measurable results. READ MORE