Anyway, we had a bit of a friendly today - my U/16s vs. the U/15s. There were 9 of us and 12 of them. Take a guess at who won. Then consider we played most of the second half with 8. Guess the score.
Well, we finished 4-0, not that they were spectacularly bad, we were outnumbered most of the time (but still managed to be competitive) and the main killer was a lack of subs - so the girls finished off knackered. There is a LOT that we need to fix up, and the most annoying thing is that my goalkeeper needs a lot of work, but I can't correct everything she does as I have to look after the whole team. It's quite frustrating.
Funniest moment of the day came when I overheard a couple of the U/15 parents... "I think we're going to do really well this year." I felt like retorting, "Yeah, if all the teams you play against have 8 players." Naturally I didn't, if I was a neutral I would've, but I don't want to be seen as a sore loser, especially since I didn't actually care about the result. How the girls played (or didn't play) was far more important.
There's so much to work on, I don't know where to start! Well, I actually do, because I'm naturally a defensive player - or like to build the game up from the back. But who's right at the back? The goalkeeper. Who I don't have time to fix. It's not just her physical performance that was frustrating to watch (she can't dive properly, take goal-kicks properly, lacks explosiveness and agility) but her decision making was awful! It's not something that can be easily corrected by training over and over and over again! And her talking. Ahhhh!!!!
A few moons ago I played at a club where I could not stand the coach. Loved the goalkeeping coach there, but the team coach drove me insane. One night at training he was trying to get the girls to push up immediately after that ball was cleared from defence. Not once the ball was safely at the feet of our midfield, but cleared from defence. Now, in my opinion, there were a few problems with this:
- the girls lacked the discipline to push out together as a unit, not forgetting to leave anyone behind,
- by pushing up you're risking not being able to quickly cover a ball if it's popped over, which could happen since...
- you don't know what's going to happen to the ball.
My goalkeeper does the same in terms of her timing of the "push up" call. It's really like she can't read the game and doesn't know anything else. So the defense is preoccupied with the ball being in their area, and instead of trying to help them out by calling out who's unmarked or ways to remove the ball from defence but keep possession she tells them to push up. I got a bit tired of this and ended up yelling at the defence to stay where they were and to the goalkeeper that there was no point pushing up if the ball was still in the immediate area. I'm finding this sidelines thing annoying, and am worried at the idea of being confined to a technical area.
So my current problem is how do I transfer all my understanding of the game to the girls? There's so much to learn, and it's hard to praise for one thing when they don't do the next bit right, and you end up praising but they don't really understand the next part unless I stop the game and actually go through it. Something that I can't do during actual game time.
Anyway, I need to make a long list of all that didn't work today, and a short list of what did.