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panzerbug

Wyatt's 2017-2018 Season

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panzerbug    3

With the end of his European summer adventures, Wyatt is off and running with his U14 year of soccer.  He made the Developmental Academy again, only of the three keepers to advance with the group.  The old first keeper quite after the coach explained to his parents that he would be moving to the reserve spot and the old third keeper got swapped out with the local top league divison 1 keeper.  Not sure if that was actually a trade up or not for the team.  The new second keeper is a mix between the old first and third keeper, so hopefully he will grow into the position as the season moves on.  The squad got paired down from 26 to 20 with the move to 11v11 playing format with 13 of the other boys advancing with the team.  Besides the new keeper we picked up two forwards from one of the other DA programs in town, and three mids (two from outside the club and one from a differeint divison of the club in the south part of the DFW metroplex).

First game is a month away from today, but the team started training last week.  The weather didn't help much so they had one practice last weekend, which was mostly scrimmaging and fun little games to get everyone getting to know each other. Wyatt got back from Europe and went right back to his private keeper lessons and skills/conditioning training when the club trainer got back.  With the keeper trainer he has been doing double sessions 3 times a week, warming up and helping with the younger class, then putting it all together for the older class.  The skills coach got back and instantly got him back onto the 2 hours a morning weekday schedule.  Wyatt has also been working on his running and conditioning as well as feet and hands at home on his off or slow days.

We've already gotten his schedule and his first game will be agaisnt the top club in the divison and their biggest rival FC Dallas.  The coach has been focusing on passing and ball movement and less on the striking and finishing drills like the previous coach.  Wyatt is enjoying that aspect a lot since the new coach also doesn't believe and pulling the keepers aside for those drills, which means Wyatt gets to hold his own (and quite well apparently according to the coach) with the field players.  He is a little akward at the moment as the next growth spurt seems to have set in, but the trainer is working with his on a routine to help him adapt qucikly to the changes and make sure he isn't doing any harm to himself in the process.  He has also been doing some conditioning training with some other older teams as he can to keep himself entertained.

Overall it looks like it should be a good year for him with an big increase and playing time, and a switch to a less punty/kicky style of play.

 

 

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panzerbug    3

Two weeks and getting closure to the kick-off for the season.  Wyatt continued on his his two a day schedule right up to school starting.  Working with the skills coach in the mornings and then team practice or keeper training in the evenings.  Only slow day he had was his 13 birthday, spent the Saturday morning doing running, speed, and endurance training as a group with the academy boys from his age (U14/04) up to the olderst group (U19/99).  All his work paid off in that he was able to keep up with the older boys and then he went onto celebrate officially becoming a teenager by doing the most teenager of things, sleeping and trying to see how much was really "all he could it" at the neighborhood brazillian steak house.  

Team practices have focused a lot of re-enforcing the style of play the coach wants to use this season, basically everything on the ground with punts and goalkicks being a last case or their is a good chance for it to start a counter against the flow of play.  Otherwise everything is rolled, thrown, or passed out of the back and play moves up from there.  They also work on resetting when stalled and passing back to Wyatt to open the field of play up and spreading things out when the other side gets to packed up in their defensive third.  So far he is liking it and the coach includes him in most of the field player drills.  He does have to do some time with just the other keeper as the coach is trying to have Wyatt help him learn some things that have been missing from the other keepers training.  

They had their first full scrimmage last week agaisnt a U17 girls team from the top non-academy divison of the club.  We've played agaisnt girls before, but usually not with such a large age gap between them in the boys.  Most the girls were easiely much bigger and faster then Wyatt's team, with him, the attacking mid and central striker having any sort of size advantage.  They they played the scrimmage in 4 20 minute quarters because of the heat, with Wyatt starting getting the 1st and 3rd quarters.  Coach worked through a couple differient lineups, mostly trying to figure out the combinations for his mids and forwards.  The starting defense seems pretty set and very solid, and all are boys Wyatt has played with for the last year or three.  First two quarters the boys were still sorting themselves out and figuring out how to deal with the girls.  The girls kept them pushed back in Wyatt's half for most of those the first two quarters giving Wyatt lots to do with back passes and goalkick dristributions.  He had a few workman like saves to make, most agressive being going up to collect a high cross into the box and making contact with the receiving player.  Thing he said was the hardest about the first half was trying to figure out how to push the girls away when they crowded him on corner kicks trying to mask the shot from him.  At one point he shoved a girl away with a hand to her chest and a very akward social situation developed for a couple of seconds.  Luckily him punching the ball away gave him a chance to get out of it with out to much heckling from his teammates.

Second half the boys started to click and reversed the pressure.  Typical run of play started with Wyatt receiving a ball either from a shot or pass back and then going wide to his corner backs or wingers, then advancing up the field providing support as they moved it up the sides, through the center and then into the box for shots on goal.  They got it figured out and started finding the back of the net, but the girls keeper was pretty good and made them have to work to get the goal.  Final score wound up 4-0 with three of the goals happening in about 5 minutes all starting from the back.  Fourth goal was a weird fluke, where a turnover at the top of the opposing box when the girl tripped turning on the ball.  Our right winger was right there and pounced on it before the goalie really had a chance to react.

The coach was fairly happy with how Wyatt played, wants him to work on his keeper voice.  He is pretty loud, but isn't yelling from his gut, so he tends to get horse after awhile as the game went on.  Other keeper didn't fair so well, he made a few nice saves, but his touch on backpasses and decision making time for distributions were really not up to expectations.  The field players picked up on that quick and went out of their ways to cut him out of plays as much as possible.  The coach talked with them all about that, so hopefully everyone will work to make that go smoother.  

This week supposedly sees the start of the club keeper training for Wyatt as well as another scrimmage.  The coaches older boys played the top team from the local top leage first divison.  So hopefully we get matched up with something similar.  

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