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panzerbug

Wyatt's 2017-2018 Season

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Typically he doesn't play it out wide when the defender is marked to close, but its pretty common for them to do it when they are allowed to by the coach.  I cut off the clip, but what typically happens is when he plays it out like that the outside mid will move up and the outside back as well if he is not the reciever.  The receiving player will then quickly move the ball up the outside or into the center mids depending on how the lanes open up. IF the recevier gets too much pressure then they are supposed to push it back to Wyatt who is supposed to move into the pocket and then switch it out the other side.  Doesn't always work that well though since our starters are not consistantly the same players, plus they get caught ball watching every once and awhile. There are always times though when in the rush to get a restart moving to keep momentum though it doesn't click that well also.  

As for diving on the turf in shorts, he came home with a nice scrape below his knee from this game.  Usually the turf is in good conditions and all he collectes is lots of those little black pellets in his socks.  He will were pants when his keeper training is indoors, but his OCD causes issues with pants when he wears them at games so he just bites the bullet and deals with it.

 

 

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A little lighter week last week for Wyatt even with a game on Saturday.  Week started off with two team practices and one club keeper session, the third and second practices respectively were cancled thansk to some contractors killing the power to the lights right before practices started.  Team practice focused on passing and ball movement in the 18, which meant lots of strking and finishing drills for the keepers.  Keeper training was all about crosses into the box and clearing corner kicks.  The club director wanted Wyatt to get more work on those so he pretty much had the keeper coach juggle up the schedule to make it happen.  Other training outside of team/club was missed because we made a short holday out of the trip to San Antonio for the game, but he is making up for it this week as he has school out.

They played game 10 of there regular season (13th for the season including the showcase) against San Antonio F.C. in their second away game of the 4 games they play.  The coach had a game the same time with his older team in Ft Worth versus a team from Colorado that counted for the standings and playoffs at the end of the year, so the coach from last year and Director of the club was in charge on game day.  Not wanting to complicate the temp coach's job to much, the coach set the starters as the line up with a few resereves if needed.  The other coach to his credit didn't tinker with things and let the boys play the formation and system that their coach has had them working on, or atleast they were supposed to.

Game time featured winds gusting up to 30 mph at ground level, but a steady strong breeze was always there.  Wyatt's team lost the toss and got the wind in their face for the first half and Wyatt got the start.  HIs team decided to play their formation, but took the defensive posture to seriously and basically gave up half the field to the other team for alot of the half.  At several points the opposing back line was 5 yards or more into Wyatt's half of the field and their keeper was playing really high.  They used their keeper alot of back passing and moving the ball which helped them exploit the lack of pressure from Wyatt's squad.  Took a little while for something to really develop and Wyatt made his first save, a dive to his left to get things started for him.  He went to punt it, but got it high and the wind caught it, stalling it out and dropping it like a stone in his half.  The team managed to clear it, but after that Wyatt went with passess out to his backs to restart his goalkicks.  His team had a hard time getting momentum going so Wyatt got busy after that, pushing a shot out wide then collecting the resulting corner kick high in the box.  He went for throws and rolls on his distribution when he collected the ball for the rest of the half after the punt.  He cleared 3 more corner kicks, 2 by boxing them out and a 3rd with a weird deflection after he got pressed in the air and decided he wasn't going to be able to collect it. He collected a few more loose balls in between to see the half out 0-0.

Second half the coach didn't change up things at all leaving Wyatt in for the whole game, and making some subs later in on the field side of things.  With the wind to his back Wyatt and the power forward tried to get some connections going on punts deep into the other half.  The mids though continued to struggle and let a shot get taken high at Wyatt early on.  He went up to collect it and had it roll off his fingers.  After the game he said he was half on it when he decided he should have pushed it over and didn't transition correctly on the save to let it in and make it 0-1.  He didn't let it get into his too much and kept at it, punching a ball clear and getting fouled in the process.  Kid reached up and tried to pull his hand out of the way and wound up tearing the strap off his glove.  Wyatt re-wrapped it good enough to not think he needed to change them out and played on.  Without the wind he didn't have to do to much work in the air but the other team kept making runs into the box forcing him to make a several saves in the box up close, at one point he came off his line and got beat, but recovered and made the save, then scrambled to make the followup save and then his defense cleared the ball out.  The coach was sure it was going to be a goal, but was pleasantly surprised when he managed to scramble to make the second one.  The other keeper still continued to play high, and got himself in a lot of trouble for it.  Wyatt's forwards managed to catch him way out more them a few times and chipped him about 30 yards out of the box to make it 1-1.  The other side countered though and caught his mid and main centerback playing around passing the ball and stole it to make a really nice shot far post upper 90 on Wyatt to make it 1-2.  Wyatt's team countered within 2 minute with a bocycle kick on a loose ball after the keeper came out past the play and the defenders had a hard time clearing it to even it up 2-2 with 4 minutes left.  The ref added an extra 4 at the end and we almost won when the opposing keeper got caught way out again and got dribbled and then out run, but the cheeky victory touch went into the post and the game ended 2-2.

At the end of the game the coach had a go at the mid and defender who set up the second opposing goal.  Thanked the forward for working to tie it up and then told the team that they needed to buy Wyatt a big steak dinner that night because without him their wouldn't have been a game.  The coach was still talking about him to the other coaches last night before practice.  That was good for Wyatt as that coach had been real hard on him last year and it felt good to get some recognition from him that it was worth all the pain last year and work in general.  An added bonus was that their was a national team scout there, primarily to look at the other team for a regional training camp, but also to scout out Wyatt's team.  He was really impressed with Wyatt and talked with him afterwards alone for a bit.  His feedback included some good feedback for Wyatt and some harsh criticim for the coach on fixing some issues with the primary mid and centerback on backpasses that he said cause some issues.  He noted that Wyatt was very competent with his feet and handling balls on backpassing, but the those two other players routinely were moving out of position to "pick-off" balls that were clearly the keepers despite the keeper calling them and being ready as an option for them.  Said that the team needed to address that if they wanted to get the most out of Wyatt.

So now we are into the pseudo winter break with one game left the weekend before Christmas.  Coach plans on training until then and then giving them a couple weeks off before starting up again in January.  Club keeper training should run up until December, and Wyatt's private work should run except for holidays, so he will still be keeping busy.

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No game this week, and a few days off for the Holiday, but Waytt kept pretty busy.  Team practiced MOnday and Tuesday with some club keeper training thrown in Monday.  Team practiced focused on passing drills and then the short game inside the box.  They played a few games with the goals about 20 yards apart with either speed balls being played against one keeper or the other.  They also worked on corners and crosses in the into the box.  The club director had mentioned to Wyatt's coach the team seemed to have trouble playing crosses in correctly so they focused on that for both sessions and the keeper coach focused on defending crosses and chips in the keeper session so lots of crosses for Wyatt.  Tuesday before practice Wyatt also did a session with the club trainer with two 05 players focusing on speed and conditioning.  Coach came out to set up for practice and saw him over there training and called the reserved keeper over and pointed out that Wyatt was working extra and that the reserve keeper needed to look into it himself if he wanted a spot on the team next year.

Wednesday Wyatt did the last day of a camp with his private keeper coach.  It focused a lot on cutting the angle and playing 1v1s.  He went from that to a extra long session with the club trainer working solo on a mix of conditioning and keeper skills, with a few foot skills thrown in.  On the way out he stopped and hung out with his old coach from last year and wound helping coach the 05 keepers in some shooting drills and then a scrimmage for a couple hours.  Was pretty worn out by time we finally got home, but he had 3 days offto recover and eat his weight in Thanksgiving food and leftovers.  Today Wrapped up the week with a private keeper session focusing on coming off his line to clear various types of balls and then over to the club to do a group session with the club trainer and a mess of field players.  

Next couple weeks will be the same general schedule as we wind down for the winter break and his last game of the season it will be team practices and training until right before Christmas and then he gets a couple weeks off before starting to ramp up for the spring.

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Well Wyatt decided that he isn't quite ready to slow down for the Holidays yet this week.  No games but he has been throwing himself into practice and training with a vengeance.  He has been getting some feedback from the club that the scouts that have seen him like what they are seeing, but have noticed that the team this year isn't back passing and playing him as much as a sweeper as last season, so he is pushing himself harder at his footskills work in addition to trying to step his keeper game up.

This week the team continued with regular practices getting ready for the last game of before Christmas.  Coach is focuing more on passing nad moving the ball in the final third of the field and the transition from the mids to the forwards.  The coach also seems to be gearing up for the second half of the season and having met the minimum play requirements looks like he is prepping his starting line to work better together.  For Wyatt's part was lots of working to keep his box clear and dealing with low and high crosses into the box, and unlike in games lots of sweeping and backpasses.  He got a little pat on the back twice this week, once when he stopped in to say hi to his old caoch and the U13 team.  The coach talked about his work ethic and had him talk with the keepers on that team for a bit about training.  Then the coach asked the team who thought they had what it took to work as hard and be the next Wyatt.  That gave him a little pick-up in his week for sure.  His coach added to it by pointing him and two other boys out as being the ones with the most chances of playing beyond school, and then singled Wyatt out because of his work ethic/  That seemed to get him pretty fired up for the weekend.

He had one club keeper session which at the direction of the club director focused on back passing and sweeping work.  Then he had his regular private keeper session on Friday where they focused on backpassing and coming off their lines to challenge 1v1s.  Since he didn't have a game Saturday, he called the club trainer and had a personnel session with him working on nothing but keeping skills and conditioning for about 2 hours.  They worked everything from basic catching, recovering from saves, to goal kicks and punts.  Spent alot of time working on his off foot and showed off a little for the club director by taking side punts with his off foot and dropping them on the trainer consistantly from about 50 yards out.  Sunday was another private keeper session focusing on reaction saves from in your face shots and some regular training drills, followed by 2 hours with the club trainers foot skills group with a little extra time afterwards solo working on goal kicks.

By the end of the session practically had to drag him off the fields because he wanted to get in "just a few more kicks".  The club trainer talekd with him alot about the feedback from the scouts and they were figuring out how to address it with his coach.  The coach seems to be getting comfortable with Wyatt as more then a shot stopper, but the club is expecting him to start using Wyatt more in the back so hopefully that discussion goes well.

For this week it looks, weather permitting, to be more of the same as they continue to get ready for their last pre-Chirstmas game in two weeks.

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Another week without a game and winter finally showed up, atleast for a few days.  Thanks to the weather and club rules on how cold is too cold to train, Wyatt only had two team practices and one club keeper training session this week.  Team practice focused more on position and ball movement from front to back with the coach having the boys playing starters versus reserves for most the drills.  There was a lot more focus on building out of the back and Wyatt was playing more with his feet as a sweeper then typical so far this season.  He liked it alot and the coach also told him he needed to be a bit firmer with the back line and mids about using him as an option for back passes, resetting, switching sides, and releaving pressure to open the field up.  Wyatt took to it with a vengeance and I think some progress was made between him in the main centerback and mid on what Wyatt should be handling.  Keeper training with the club focused on back passing and switching the ball to the opposite side, as well as dose of goalkicks mixed in.  Due to below freezing temps at night the second practice was moved to Saturday morning since they didn't have a game and afterwards Wyatt went over and worked with the U13s for a while.  Special treat for him there was playing as an attacking mid so he could keep his foot skills up.  He really enjoyed that, but when the coach messed with him about giving up the gloves for a field spot Wyatt didn't want to have any of that.

Private keeper training turned into a intense session since the weather kept all but one new keeper and another regular from attending.  So the trainer spent alot of time working on individual skill tweeks and fixes.  He aslo worked in a big dose of 1v1 challenging techniques for closing the gap and attacking the ball on break aways.  Ended with some point blank saves that Wyatt went all out for including almost taking out the trainer when he would charge in hard to collect the ball.

He also did his usual foot skills and conditioning training Sunday, but with a bigger group then usual, including one of the u13 keepers and a U17 keeper.  So after the usual drills and conditioning him and the other two keepers went out and worked on kicks, punts, and such.  Wyatt madea lot of progress with his drop kick which the timing on had been killing him lately.  He was excited that his goalkicks were almost as far as the U17 keepers, and impressed his mom and the other keepers dad by getting his off-side side punt (he calls it a sidewinder punt) down really well and much better then the other keepers prefferred foot side punts.  His accuracy was pretty good and he did well at hitting his target with well placed balls.

This week is the run-up for the final pre-Holiday League game.  This is a team they lost 3-2 already this season and is also the former club their coach was at before moving to the Texans.  This is also the team that last time we met saw 7 yellows and 3 reds being issued, with two of the red carded players still being out for the game this Saturday.  So it is going to be a real exciting game and the coach is getting the boys all keyed up to play well and win it.  Wyatt doesn't know it yet, but there will also be a scout there specifically to evaluate him.  The club skills trainer his mom and I know that it was coming up, but doesn't want to let Wyatt know so he doesn't loose his focus come game time.  The scout is suppoed to talk with Wyatt after the game though and give him a mini-evaulation so be intersting to see how that goes.

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Finally a game, Wyatt hadn't played in so long in his mind, he got butterflies before the game.  So they squared off for the second of the 4 times they face the Solar U14 DA team.  This time around things were a lot calmer even given that each team still was missing a player over the suspensions from the last time they met.  Amazingly not a single card was shown and both teams played good hard soccer.  Wyatt's coach went with his starters which made for a better game as well.  His team started out strong and played a lot of high pressure keeping Solar pinned back in their half for most the game.  Solar's defense and reserve keeper (the starter was their player suspended for 5 games) did a good job of making it tough for Wyatt's team to find the back of the net.  The Texans had lots of chances and showed that the boys still need to work on their finishing skills.  The stud forward was well covered by the Solar defense and no one could seem to finish anything he played in to the box.  The turn over to the defense would usually kick off a fast counter up the flanks and cross into the center.  Despite that Wyatt didn't have to much to do in the first half.  Wyatt had two corners to face, one that was played away and a second where he came out and punched the ball clear dispite his center back trying to block him out after being called Keep by Wyatt.

Second half things got a little chippier with Solar countering more after winning position from their defense as Wyatt's team would bang away at the goal several time without netting a goal.  Wyatt collected several rolling through balls and crosses.  He had one save off a shot from inside the 18 on a bad clearance by his defense.  He started moving to his right to make the save but the wind combined with the shot to hook it back to his left bending outward to the far post.  Wyatt switched directions and caught it.  First goal came off a PK when Wyatt was forced to make a hard tackle just inside the box.  Ref awarded a PK, but no card.  Wyatt says he got all ball, but went in feet first and the Soalr player went down pretty hard.  Wyatt for his part got some pretty impressive cleat wounds on his knee where the kid stepped on him.  Wyatt got a called the PK correct and got a piece of it, but not enough to make the save.  With the team down 0-1 Soalr tried parking the bus a little, and Wyatt's team continued hammering away at the goal but still couldn't buy a goal.  Score was finally evened up on a corner kick when the opposing goalie tried to push the ball over the bar near post, but wound up pushing it into the goal to make it 1-1.

Over all a much better game then last time with no cards and the players all behaving themeselves.  The coach and club DA director were both at the game which helped.  For the game part they also tried to play the ball out of the back more then they have been so Wyatt only had a couple punts and one long goalkick, with most his distributions going out to the corners and being playing up.  Unfortunately the defense still isn't using Wyatt for back passing and made lots of questionable passes in the back because they were cutting him out of the loop.  The scout was there, but didn't get a chance to talk to wyatt, but the club trainer should have some feedback from him for Wyatt this week or next.  The coach did point out to the whole team after the game that the PK was the teams fault because they let the kid by uncontested and wouldn't have been as critical if they would have made atleast one of the 20 shots on goal they had.  Still didn't make Wyatt that happy.  For his part the coach said he should have been a little higher in the box so he would have caught the kid furhter out and just been a free kick.  The Director pointed out though that with Wyatt's back line not using him as a sweeper they effectively pushed him deeper in his box, so not really his fault.

Training was pretty regular this week.  Wyatt had three team practices and 2 club keeper training sessions.  The club keeper sessions continued to work on clearing corners and included some classroom work and then practical application cocerning how to set walls and play behind them.  The club skills trainer also spent a couple sessions before practice this last week working with him on punching/boxing out balls, PK saves, clearing corners and his goal kicks and punt.  HE did his regular sunday skills training which focused on heading and one touch strikes on passing across the the face of the goal, as well as the usual dose of conditioning.  Private keeper training was only a single session thanks to rain closing the fields Sunday.  So Friday night they worked on making follow-up saves after rebounds, distributions after making saves, and more agressive 1v1 challenges.  Wyatt was all into the last part making several really agressive ones.

With the game Saturday, the first half of the session is over until the last weekend in January.  So far it looks like they will get a week off between Christmas and New Years.  The club trainer is planning on having Wyatt working with him as much as possible between now and the 29th when he lives for Iran for 6 months for family reasons.  IN the interim his oldest son who coaches teams for Wyatt;s clubs south divison will take over for him.  Also he is working on getting Wyatt some time training with a club in Germany at some point in the spring if things work out right.  For the rest of the winter break his team is supposed to train and he will continue with his private keeper work.  His coach has said that the spring half the season is about prepping for next year and the players will have to really start working to keep their spots or take someone elses.

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Despite no team practices or games, Wyatt is managing to keep himself busy.  He signed up for a foot skills camp to look for another skills trainer to work with while his is gone for 6 months.  So he did a couple of 3 hour skills sessions with a keeper coach and a trainer at a local indoor center.  Wyatt told the keeper he was there for foot skills, so no keeper work which surprised the keeper trainer.  They worked him pretty hard with the 3 other students on a lot of first touch and striking/finishing drills.  Last day of class they played a soccer version of HORSE and Wyatt dominated by consistantly hitting volley shots wih his left and right foot into a 2 foot ring in the upper 90s.  He was pretty happy about showing the field players in the class that being a keeper was more then just blocking shots.

In adiition to the mini-camp, he got in a session each with his private keeper coach and the club skills trainer.  For the keeper session they took advantage of the wet field conditions to work on controling the ball in muddy conditions, which I really thing was just an excuse for Wyatt to find all the big mud puddles and transport them back to my car on his kit.  He really liked that session and was very aggressive about diving into shots up close and almost slid through the coach on a few because of the slickness of the field.

The club trainer called Christmas Eve afternoon and asked if he wanted to get out adn train some, so we wound up down at the fields for a couple hours before heading back home for the festivities.  Wyatt thought that was really cool because his trainer and the the trainers older son were telling him about how they always would train right up to Christmas day and then get back to it the day after.  So he wa feeling really special to be part of that tradition. 

Christmas day was still soccer filled.  Wyatt used his Christmas Wish to help a friend in need, but the big guy still delivered for him with a new PSG jersery and a jersery for AFC Mobile, a 4th divison team in the town I grew up in.  Friend of mine is a foudning member of their supporters and has him hooked on them.  So Wyatt's Aunt got him their first kit jersery for next year.  And then today, the day after he is back at it with a skills camp in the morning and then some keeper training right after.  Also his club trainer is giving him a couple fairwell season later in the week before he flies out Friday.  I asked Wyatt if he wanted to have a little down time and he said that he had his Christmas day off and the rest of the time was so he could get ahead of the competition.

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Wyatt decided to hit it hard over the Christamas to New Year's break.  He did a keeper camp with his private keeper coach.  There spent three days working on a variety of skills and drills.  First session focused on distributions and changing the defensive save into a counter attack.  Lots of drills involving differient distribution techniques and back passing.  Second session was all about the crosses/corners into the box.  Third session was tune up for diving and 1v1 techniques.  Then he did is regular Friday night keeper class as well which was a mix of the usual skills and more defending corners.  The camp and class turnout was small because the weather was in the 30s and wet, but the boy was all fired up and ready for it each day.

He did two more days of the new foot skills coach as well, Tuesday and Friday.  First day was all speed and agility work with and without the ball.  He went right from that to his keeper camp.  Friday was striking and finishing and working on one and two touch passing and striking.  He liked that one alot, especially since the class new he was a keeper and thought he would be an easy mark.  HE showed off quite a bit and got in trouble a few times with the ball because of it, but it is always fun to beat a striker at his own game.  Wednesday and Thursday he went from keeper camp to skills training with the club trainer.  The trainer was wanting to get in as much practice as possible before he left Friday so he worked Wyatt for 3 - 4 hours each time.  They worked through all the various drills and training they have been doing to date with the coach (the trainer's son) who will be minding Wyatt while the trainer is gone.  Another keeper that Wyatt has trained with before joined up as well so now he has a training partner to help push him and compete against in the sessions.

Wyatt finally took a little break for the weekend and New Years, but is already itching to get back at it this week.  His team doesn't start up practices until next week, so he has some regular keeper stuff this week and maybe a skills class with the group he did the camp with.  He was also looking for some pickup games to get into as well.  We will see.

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Very slow week, but probably much needed break for Wyatt.  Only two organized soccer trainings this week.  He had a private keeper session which continued to focus on crosses into the box and defending 1v1s.  The coach stepped things up for him a bit and start offering up crosses and corners into the box with a couple other keepers scattered around the 18.  The idea was to get the keepers thinking about when to come out for a ball, when to call away, and how they needed to move to cover potenital shots from balls they let go through or that were outside the 6.  He also used that to work in some punching the ball out drills and double saves simiulating a parry getting turned into a follow-up shot.

Foot skills wise the son of his club trainer took the reigns for the regular Sunday training group and had them out in the rain for a couple of hours working through conditioing and some speed drills before settling in to a lot of one and two touch striking and finishing.  Had to U13 girls keepers show up who wanted to get some time in the net with lots of shots, so Wyatt also got to wear the trainer hat for a bit and work with them on ready position and cutting the angle.  Everyone was thoroughly soaked by the end of the session, but the 2 keepers seemed to have improved some.  For Wyatt's part he had a pretty good time and was excited to be back at training to get ready for team practice to ramp up this week.  The team has 3 weeks to shake off the Holiday relaxation and get ready for their first game of the spring season.  They will be playing the worse team in the divison which will probably mean the reserve keeper gets the start, but the coach also has been promising that starting after the New Year things would be more competative.  So we will have to see how it shakes out.

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Pseduo slow week thanks to the weather for Wyatt.  We are in a series of winter cold fronts that see periods of cool and rain, then drops below freezing for a few days.  So the fields have been closed and the only team practice was a session at an indoor facility.  They did a little conditioning work, but then spent most the time doing small sided 5v5 games with Wyatt and the reserve keeper each working a goal as the teams rotated through.  Wyatt seems to have decided to be more authorative over the break and did a good job of communicating with his teams.  He played very agressively, coming out and challenging ball outside his box.  Usually when they go indoor he is a little reserved because he doesn't like diving on the thin turf, but he got really into that night and collected some good carpey burns for his effort.

Wyatt's goal keeping coach isn't so sensitive about the weather so Wyatt had 3 training sessions with him in the last half the week.  In all three sessions he focused for a bit on playing the 1v1 defense.  First sesion he did a general tune-up since the bulk of the class was going with vairous team to a tournament in Las Vegas (no cool places for us this year so far).  Friday night session featured lots of making saves crossing the face of the goal to the far post, both in the air and low.  Sunday was fairly nice out so bigger class, but focused alot on coming off the line and clearing balls from 15 yards and out.  Wyatt did pretty well in all three sessions and was the senior/lead student.  He also showed a lot more leadership in terms of helping keep folks on task and with helping on form issues.

Outside of the practices and classes, Wyatt spent a couple hours training with his mom on Saturday, which was a big surprise.  She played keeper up through junior year of college and has tried working with him but he hadn't been to interested in it.  Well Saturday they went up to the local high school field and while his sister worked on her dribbling and kicks, Wyatt and his mom worked on corners and crosses, and then on throws, rolls, and dsitributions with his off hand ( a skill his club trainer said he needed to focus on while he was gone).  

Weather this week is looking crappy again, so probably won't be much team or club stuff until the weekend.  But he has already been out working solo with his rebounder yesterday before the weather got to bad.  Hopefully the team gets some time in together over the next two weeks, before we dive back into their game schedule.

 

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One week until the season starts back up and Wyatt's team started coming out of hibernation.  Team had three practices this last week.  First the weather drove them indoors and they pretty much ust scrimmaged the whole session.  Wyatt did pretty good despite not liking playing indoor.  He focused on his short game and working with the defenders on back passing and closing attack lanes.  Saturday the fields were closed, but the weather was nice so they were up at the local junior college.  No goals, so the keepers spent the session working with the field players in passing and two touch play drills.  They followed it up with some speed and agility work, and finally a 2-mile run.  Wyatt was excited about that because he managed to shave 2 minutes off his run time and finish in the upper half of the pack.  Sunday they finally got outside on the fields.  Coach worked on passing with the filed players while Wyatt and the reserve keeper worked on corners and crosses into the box, before they scrimmaged.  SCrimamage was a little differient in that our attacking mid is being moved back to centerback.  So lots of adjusting was happening.  For Wyatt it is a good thing because he has played with him as a centerback before and they work well together.  We will see how things work out this weekend at the game though.

On the extra front Wyatt worked on his foot skills at home a bit during the off days as well as throwing and rolling the ball with his off-hand.  He had two private keeper sessions, both focused on 1v1 challenges and through balls.  The coach also worked alot on movement across the face of the goal to make saves.  They did some high balls into the box work as well where they had to make a diving save across the face of the goal, then recover and defend balls to the upper 90s.  Wyatt made some progress there as he historically is a little slow to recover from going down to make a save, but he seems lately to be enjoying the muscling up he has been growing into lately.  In addition to the keeper sessions he went from his practice Sunday right into a 2-hour skills session with the substitute skills trainer from the club.They worked a lot on settling then striking or passing bouncing balls of various heights.  Wyatt got to showing off and made a couple of bicycle kicks as well.  

This week he looks to be back on a regular schedule and then a game on Saturday.  They are playing game 2of 4 versus their sister club from Houston.  First game of the season, his team scored all 6 goals for the 4-2 win.  They have gotten alot better about not own goaling on Wyatt since then and the other team as starting getting organized so should be a decent game.  Since they are one of the weakest teams in the divison I expect the coach will give the start to the reserve keeper to get one more of the last 3 required starts he has left out of the way.  Wyatt isn't to cool with that, but not much he can do about it.

 

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Finally got the video from his last two games before the holiday break.  

U14 DA game 13

This one had some high winds going.  In the first half he tried a single punt, but the wind flipped it back at him.  In the second half with the wind at his back he was dropping them into the other 18 consistantly.

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And the less red and yellow card rematch vs Solar from right before Christmas.

U14 DA Game 14

This is the one were the ref awarded a PK against Wyatt for a challenge in the box.  Wyatt said he got all ball and it sort of looks like it.

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Wyatt's spring season kicked off with the second game versus the Houston Texans.  Was a full court press for the academy coaches with 5 of them, plus the keeper coach and a visiting European coach (more on that later) being there for the game. The keeper coach warmed up both Wyatt and the reserve keeper.  The reserve keeper got the start due to the league requirements and the coach taking advantage of it being the weakest team in the divison.  He also started 6 other reserve players, moved our two starting mids to the back line, and made some other changes to accomedate the league 25% start rule. First half was pretty much like the last time the boys played this team.  Wyatt's team dominated possession and controlled most of the flow of play, but the big roster changes led to some bad plays that the Houston players exploited for quick break aways.  The reserve keeper dealt with them well, making several workman like saves.  He had problems though with his distributions, taking a long time to decide how and where to distribute.  Half ended with Wyatt's team up 3-0 with the only opposing goal being denied as the ball came off an obstruction (an american eggball goal) over the goal.  Ball was headed off a corner and hit the crossbar then the goal post and rebounded to be headed to the keeper who fumbled it into the net.  Things seemed pretty slow after the first half, but the other team started pushing harder and taking advantage of the disorganization as the subs settled in to get some plays strung together.  Wyatt started off with a backpass to relieve pressure on the mids and played it out to backs to releave the pressure.  He kept playing high and dropping back as needed to cover his net.  He clocked a direct shot from a play around the side and then dove to collect the rebound, getting stepped on for the effort, but popped up and rolled it out quick to restart.  New up he collected a high deflected chip into the box , that he threw out to his right back.  Third save was a simple forward dive to collect a weak shot/pass across the face of the goal.  He had a few other things to do in terms of backpassing and covering a corner kick.  He had learned his lesson from the last time they played and when the cross came in he covered the opponent on the back post and his centerback who likes to head the ball back into the goal.  One last thing he did was come off his line to go after a through ball that the defender got beat on, clearing it out into the stands in the other half of the field.  His team managed to net 1 more goal for 4-0 shutout at the end.  Wyatt got lots of good comments and praise from the plethora of coaches, with the keeper coach and the European coach being very happy with his performance.  

The rest of the week consisted of his usual training schedule.The team practices were a little differient with the coach chaging up things for the last half of the season.  They have started focusing some for part of the practice on tactics related to building from the back and opening up the field.  Wyatt likes this new stuff because it gets him more into the game and lets him get back into his sweeper keeper skill set. There is a bigger focus as well on the passing with the coach working on drills that encourage less oberdribbling of the ball which typically results in a a player getting blocked and loosing possession, and more work on taking a couple touches and then passing.  Club keeper training wise, they had one session which focused on diving to block and collect low balls due to them being moved to a smaller area then they usually use.  Good news for Wyatt on that front is that he will start getting to train with the U16-U19 keepers on and off going forward. The big thing at team practice was the visiting coach.  The club has invited a coach who has worked with youth academies at William II, the dutch national teams, Arsenal, and Wulfzburg in Germany to come observe and work with some of the teams and coaches.  He spent last week observing the boys at various practices and then the games this weekend.  He observed Wyatt's team Thursday night, which was also the night Wyatt had club keeper training.  Wyatt was pretty excited about it, even more so when he followed Wyatt and watched him in keeper training for awhile and then during the team practice drills and scrimmage.  He had some feedback for Wyatt about communcating and running his defense which Wyatt put into use this weekend. He is supposed to observe/coach Wyatt's team Tuesday night this week.  He also gave a lecture to the club coaches last night about some of the youth development program models from europe.

Outside of team practice, Wyatt had to private keeper training sessions and a foot skills session.  For the keeper sessions they continued their work on movement across the face of the goal to catch and clear balls.  The coach also worked in some more work on coming off the line for 1v1 saves and deflections. The foot skills work focused alot of settling and striking balls on the bounce as well as controling the ball and passing at speed.

This week looks to be a full slate of the regular training schedule with an away game versus the Texas Lonestar DA in Austin on Saturday.  For that game the club director, Wyatt's coach last year, will be coaching the team and potentially the visiting coach as well.  Should be an interesting game, last time they lost 1-2, but that was early in the season.  So should be interesting to see how they do this time around.

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Roller coaster week for Wyatt this last one.  The game Saturday pretty much was an example of what happens when the team gets to cocky from an easy win and then butts up against an opponent who plays organized.  The played Lonestar, a team that beat them 1-2 earlier in the season in a game that could have gone either way, this time though there wasn't much doubt how it was going to end.  Pretty much a sure sign of that was Wyatt having to make a save in the first few minutes of the game as the centerback passed a ball up to the holding mid who didn't even get a cahnce before it was swept up by a charging forward and shot to Wyatt's right.  He was moving left and out to be in the pocket to support the centerback, but switched on the fly and dove to his right to push it out wide and off frame.  He followed that up pretty quick with collecting a ball high off a cross.  From that point on the other team pretty much controlled the game, keeping Wyatt's team pressed in their half.  His team for their part didn't play organized and seemed to be every man for themselves which didn't work to well against the organization of Lonestar.  Wyatt got beat 4 times.  First two came off of 1v1's as the stud striker for the other team easiely out ran the cornerbacks to cut in on Wyatt and force him out to defend twice in the first half.  Second half his team managed to get one in to go 1-2 before Wyatt lost his cool after making a parry, then deflection.  After that him and the stud were chasing the ball out to the side and some pushing and shoving happened and Wyatt had enough and shoved the kid into the turf.  Ref awarded a PK but no card, and they were up 1-3.  Fourth goal Wyatt came out thinking another breakaway was about to happen in the box, and the kid managed to get a head on it to put it past him.  

Despite the 1-4 run before he subbed out in the 70th minute (they play 80), Wyatt had a really good game.  He was very agressive coming off his line, clearing several balls with his feet and even making a nice slide tackle way out of the box on the stud to stop another end run around his cornerbacks.  He also did really well with his aerial game, collecting several high balls, and also doing a good job of blocking and catching the low stuff.  Final score was 1-5 with the reserve keeper letting one in after the cornerback cleared it right to an opposing player serving up a shot right on a plate for him.  After the game the coach, who was the club director and not their regular coach wasn't to happy with the way they played.  Only players he didn't give a bit of a dressing down to were Wyatt, 2 mids and our stud forward.  Wyatt's only bit of grief came from him pushing causing the PK.  Not because he caused it, because it was so close to their goal it sort of broke up the momentum they were building.  The coach figured the ref had it in for Wyatt because she was constantly cautioning him about making contact with people while he was making saves.  This was despite the fact she would award fouls to Wyatt for getting hit, but then turn around and lecture him about being to agressive and not coming out 100% to collect balls.  The coach and his mom figured the ref didn't really understand what being a keeper was all about and that the other team would be simply nice and not press the issue or try in get late hits in on Wyatt trying to intimidate him from being so agressive.

Outside of the game, Wyatt had his regular practice schedule.  Did two keeper training sessions with the club coach.  First one focused on clearing crosses and set pieces, while the second focused more on dives low to clear or catch shots.  They also focused a bit on jump technique, as some of the players don't really understand how to go high or dive correctly and look like they land very painfully. Team practice was the regular stuff on Monday and Thursday, some passing and positioning work, then scrimmage.  Tuesday night they had the Dutch visiting coach.  He set up a session that started with some one touch layoff and passing drills, then move to 1-2 touch passing games in 10x10 yard boxes.  After that they split into 6 groups, with 4 groups playing in two small side games on 3x2 foot goals where no more then 2 touches were allowed and goals were scored only by passing the ball into the net.  The other 2 groups went with the keepers and played a mini-game of 5v5 on full size goals where play was started with the keeper and then 1-2 touches only to move the ball to the other goal (about 30 yards apart) before they could shoot.  All play either from saves or stealing the ball had to restart with the keeper.  Finally they ended with a full 11v11 scrimage on a shortened field (about 80 yards) that was played in 5 minute blocks.  Each block started with a set piece that was repeated 3 times and play started on the third one.  After that freekicks were awarded if plays over dribbled and got in trouble or the team as a whole stopped moving the ball well.  For Wyatt it was a really good practice because the coach firmly beleives in the keeper being the first attackers and an outlet to break pressure on the team.  So he was constantly stopping play and chastizing the centerbacks for cutting Wyatt out of the plays and backpasses.  It showed some on Saturday at the game, before things turned into a dumpster fire.

On the non-club side Wyatt didn't  have foot skills this week, but he did get a chance to talk with his skills coach who is in Iran at the moment.  He let Wyatt know he was tracking his progress and gettign reports on him still from the club.  That made Wyatt feel good knowing he was still keeping tabs on him.  Wyatt did get in two private keeper sessions.  PRetty much standard fair for the cycle, clearing balls with movement across the face of the goal, extra 1v1 defending on Sunday after he gave his report on the game, high balls, and basic skills work.  He also got slected to move into a advanced group that will meet outside of normal class days to focus on more advanced and demanding sklls.  He is pretty excited about that, which help offset the craptastic game on Saturday.

For this week it looks to be the same ole same ole.  The dutch coach is supposed to work with them 1 or 2 nights this week, which Wyatt is really excited about as they prep for their next game this coming weekend versus the 6th place team in the divison.  It will be their 3rd matchup against them with the last two games being 3-2 and 5-4 wins for Wyatt's team.  The other team though has been making some strides and improving their game recently, so it should be a closer game then the old scorelines showed.

 

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Weather and some coaching change played havoc with Wyatt this week.  After the game last weekend, the club decided to make some shifts in the coaching staff.  Wyatt's current coached was moved up to the older two groups where it is felt he would do a better job, and the coach of those two teams took over Wyatt's team and the U15 team from Wyatt's coach.  They made the change officially on Monday and discussed it with both the players and the parents that evening during practice.

So team practice wise things were kind of in transition. Wyatt's clubs keeper training kept him from team practice Monday night, then weather cancled practice Tuesday, but he did get a team practice in Thursday.  The new coach spent most of the two practices focusing on passing and moving the ball.  Alot of the work was driven by the observations of the club coaching director and the visiting Dutch coac who was evaluating things for the club.  Wyatt liked the change in emphasis as alot focused on maintaining possession and moving the ball effeciently.  The coach spent alot fo time trying to break some of the bad habits of the team like over dribbling into pressure and then dumping the ball, as well as just passing to pass.  These were things that the team had trained on all last year, but had been lax on this season.  Wyatt also liked it because the coach also plays more the way Wyatt has been training the last couple of years, with the keeper being more involved with the field players and sweeping from a higher spot pushing the line up more to give him room to work.

Club keeper training focused one night on diving and catching and then on distributions and back passes the second night.  Wyatt ONly did half the session since the new coach wanted him and the reserve keeper their to work with the team THursday night to get ready for the game on Saturday.  The coach wasn't expecting much improvement by game time on Saturday, but the boys know how to do it, just needed some remindnig to play correctly.  Was all for naught though as the weather turned really bad and the game was canceled.  It also canceled his keeper and skills training Sunday.  He did get ain a keeper session Friday night with the private trainer.  They focused on 1v1 and clearing low shots to the side.  They also worked on the standard conditioning and skills work.

This week the weather appears to be getting better so expecting a normal week of training and hoping the weather doesn't cancel the game this weekend versus their in town rival Solar, as they meet for the 3rd of 4 games.  This one will see the two suspended players back on the field, and should be very lively as the boys push to try and get a win after the initial loss and then the draw.

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