Sunday December 5th kicked off the first ever Women’s Indoor Soccer Training League in Albany, Oh. Once players found their way into the backdoor of the old Albany Elementary, things went smoothly, people learned and had fun. The 3:00 pm-4:30 session had 12 players train and the 4:30-6:00 pm session had 6 players. These sessions are designed to combine skill training with 3v3 games, and while more than half of the participants had never played soccer until this past summer and had never played the game indoors, there were some stunning performances from veteran players and those new to the game.
Two of those players, Eddith D and Karen B showed how a high pressure attacker can create turnovers and scoring opportunities in the opponents’ defending third of the field. Intelligent, aggressive, and controlled runs at defenders in possession, created chaos and some near costly turnovers. Caitlin W exemplified how a finishing touch can happen from unexpected locations on the field. Caitlin has a calm serenity about her upon receiving the ball, then she explodes past you and sends a ball, like on a hot taught wire, into the upper right corner, known as the “the upper 90” of your goal. Players like Caitlin have a gift and have many years on the ball; players like Eddith and Karen show that players can impact the game with your decisions and your work rate.
Speaking of players with a gift, Sheri H contributed at both ends of the park. She so adeptly reads the game and has such a phenomenal touch that she can intercept an attack in her defensive third then carry the ball forward slicing through defenders to unleash a laser of a shot. Sheri can “drag” the ball, by drawing the inside of the foot over the ball, while moving laterally across the face of the goal. Sheri drags the ball three, four times moving right to left, stopping and starting again until she moves you just out of position and she has created a gap of just over 7 inches through which she sends the ball, now a laser, into your net.
On a different day of the week, Monday, there has been a steady flow of players congregating at Beacon School gym from 5:00-7:00PM for the Women’s version of pickup training. The idea is you show up when you want to, with whom you want to and train from 5:00PM (or whenever you can arrive, start) till 7:00 for 5 bucks.
The Monday trainings start with somewhat rigorous floorwork without the ball. Players are jumping rope and performing step routines through grids and mazes on the gym floor.
Then there is some individual ballwork, typically followed by team passing and teamwork training; we have begun to juggle as a cooldown and our record is somewhere now over 100.
If you have been around live music and you know how a band can groove together, takes time working together, practice, and each time they become more streamlined, tighter?
Well the same process happens both with individual players and players working as a unit, and it is happening out at Beacon on Monday nights. The group can inter-pass with the beginnings of a rhythm. At the far end of the gym the shots are slamming the wall and lifting the Pugg Goals to sail.
A player of noteworthy development has been Eva. Technically she has worked, listened, and improved. Tactically she is growing by the session. She is just one example, and there are quite a few like her.
Monday and Friday night Beacon details are posted on the website, Sunday still has openings. As The New Year approaches, we like to keep our acquaintances near us and in the game!