Ahh, the first game of the Spring season. The smell and feel of winter still lingers in the air. The wind chill causes everyone to still dress in gloves, hats and blankets for the fans… (Sound of record scratch). What the hell, it’s supposed to be 75 degrees by the time my U12 team kicks off the season. Not that I am complaining. I’m just saying something special is afoot.
Today is the first game of a long season. The girls have had about 10 and half hours of practice to get the basketball and, in my daughter’s case, Hulu out of their systems. Only three of the girls, that I know of, did something soccer related over the winter break which means there will be some rust. The first 2 practices this week were a little rough, but Thursday’s practice rocked.
They trapped, they called for the ball, they played soccer with disregard to the running. And more importantly, they all started to get their vision back. We did this great 2v2 drill I got from the KC coaches convention. It’s fast and demands everyone’s attention. At first, they were a little confused, as to be expected. But after 5 minutes, they were hooked. There were runs behind the defense, there was pairs playing first and second defender (without the coach’s prompting), and the speed at which they played jumped to their normal level: fast, one touch passing.
Still, their opponent today was one of the better teams last year. They are a bigger club which mostly means they have girls who play soccer. That’s it. They play all seasons. They don’t have rust.
But, bigger clubs have more girls. They will rotate their players amongst their teams and dilute each Team. The core of my U12 team has been together for almost 3 years. They know what the other does. They know each other names. They have fun together.
I guess what I getting at is todays game will probably come down to a Team vs individual skill. Last season, our opponent had superior passing, but most of the time it did not go anywhere. We pressured them into mistakes and scored quick goals.
What will happen today? Will the Team or the individuals win? Personally, the score isn’t of concern to me. I’m excited to see how the Team plays after their 3 months off. This is just the first of at least 17 games they will play.
The first step towards something special.