Monday, September 24, 2007

Heart, Effort, Quality and High Standards

Dear Roger,

Last week I wrote that my U13s got stomped in a lackluster performance and then came back the next day (after a couple long "chats" with me) and put in the performance of the season.

I ended that post saying how was able to start talking to them about maintaining high standards. Well, we played a game this past Saturday and now I have to adjust my coaching a little bit.

We played a team with which we have a long history of close, hard-fought games. Four seasons of matches, I'm told, have all ended in loses or draws. Not this time. It wasn't even close. It was nowhere near the performance I was expecting from this bunch. In fact, it was very hard for me to believe.

Just six minutes in, it was 1-0. By halftime, it was 3-0. The second half was much of the same dominance, but no more goals.

We were just unbelievably good. I challenged them to get a goal in five minutes. It took six. I told them to shut down service out of the back, they did. I told them to play to feet and keep possession, they did. I told them to stay organized in the back to handle the other team's fast and strong striker. She was never a threat.

Now, I have to step back a bit. I told them at halftime that they just set a new standard and it was pretty high. The job now, I said, is to see if we can raise that standard higher. The standard didn't drop in the second half, but I'm not sure it was raised. I could really care less. Now, it's about consistency of effort and quality.

Let me tell you, this is downright fun.

When I think of more, I'll write
You know who

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