A Q&A With the Urban JV Soccer
I was able to sit down with our JV Soccer Coach, Danny, and talk to him about his season to date:
1. How would you describe your season to date?
"This has been a season where we are starting to believe we can be one of the top teams. We've walked off the pitch after several games in which we've either lost or tied, and thought that we could have won the game. We just needed that extra physical and mental push. We've lacked that killer instinct. Lately though, we've shown the desire and confidence to do better. We are playing more collectively and we are showing up to games knowing we can come out with a victory.
"A lot of credit goes to the patience and work ethic the boys have displayed in training. I say patience because early in the season we were dribblers, and since then we've tried to work as a team by passing the ball; that alone requires patience. Overall, the boys are becoming more confident in themselves and if that's all we get from this season then I'd be happy."
2. What are you most proud of?
"I'm proud of the fact that we're starting to play as a team. Early on we were playing like 11 individuals and even then we still managed to win a game or two. But now, we are starting to trust each other with the ball and we are spreading it around. We're doing the things that I've been asking for since day one and what makes me even prouder is the fact that they are telling each other the same instructions I've given them. This shows me that they've been listening. Perfect example of a student learning and applying."
3. What area do you think the boys need the most work?
"They need to improve on the technical, tactical and knowledge of the game, but that will come with experience. The area where they really need to improve on is mental toughness. What I mean by that is the ability to push oneself when the body is telling them that they can't go anymore. The ability to make that next run, that next tackle, that next pass when the body is fatigued, hurt, etc. The ability to keep going strong in the final minutes of a match. "
4. Describe one experience you have had this season that is a good representation of The Urban School.
"The boys always come to games and practices with great attitudes. They seem to have fun even in training. They're always laughing; any chance they get. They are very talkative especially on the bus rides to and from fields. All I hear is non-stop chatter and laughing, lots of laughing. They like to clown around a lot,but it's that happy, positive attitude that is so typical of Urban students that has been made this season enjoyable."
5. Finish the sentence "The JV boys soccer team is at their best when.........."
"...they are confident and start demanding more from each other. This wasn't always the case. As I teach them the technical and tactical aspects of the game I've also tried to change the mentality of the Urban soccer player. Urban soccer players tend to build up other conference teams and rightfully so, as we always have quality squads in our conference, but I think that's a big Urban problem. How can we expect to beat them on the pitch when they've already beaten us in our minds? We need to have a confident mentality, one that leads us to demand more from one another in practices and in games.
"We struggled with this early on but we've been getting better. If one has been to our games lately, you'll actually hear the boys talking to each other, sometimes yelling in frustration, which I perceive as I good thing because it shows they want to improve. They are demanding more from themselves and each other. We are no longer there just to make up the numbers; we're there to compete.
"Just the other day we were tied 1-1 late into the second half, and while the other team seemed satisfied with a draw my boys weren't. If the ball went out in the other team's favor we chased after it knowing that they would waste time by walking to get the ball. These boys wanted to win and had confidence in themselves that they could accomplish it. Unfortunately, time ran out and we drew 1-1 as we constantly threatened the opposing goal. But I'm happy with the mental progress we've made."
Come watch the JV Boys Soccer team finish up its fall campaign over the course of the next two weeks. Big thanks to Danny for taking time to answer my questions!
Director of Athletics
Wednesday October, 14, 2009 at 09:29AM