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Wyatt's 2018-2019 Season

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Almost a regular week for Wyatt except no game played.  club fields are closed for reseeding with winter grass so the teams are practicing around town at various locations.  Monday they hit the community college for skills and conditioning and a little post game review.  Wyatt was left scratching his head after getting told he needed to be more confident with the ball at his feet and not be a conservative with his distributions during the games.  He came home and watched the game footage with his mom and couldn't figure out where he was being either, but did make notice a few other things to work on.  Tuesday and Thursday the team trained at some city fields, which meant they shared the space with one of the older teams.  Coach focused on ball movement, budiling from the back, and connecting the defense to the mids to the forwards.  Wyatt was a little frustrated at times since the coach seemed fixated on how Wyatt wasn't booming out long distributions to forwards and mids who where in pressure but instead making strong throws, rolls and passes to players in space.  Thursday night he rubbed Wyatt's nose in it after the reserve keeper started off with a long goalkick to a winger in tight pressure that resulted in a one-touch turnover to Wyatt's side. Calling Wyatt's attention to the fact that the other keeper could play long balls better then Wyatt.  Wyatt dealt with it and got onto business, but was grousing about it alot after the practice.  I was rather confused myself at times since by my count Wyatt completed 20 or so distributions with only one turnover and helped set up ateast 10 goals, while the other keeper made one successfull distribution out of the same number, and put it close enough to Wyatt (long punt on half-sized field), that Wyatt was easiely able to collect it before the player was able to make a second touch.   Wyatt did finally get some good jobs from the coach on his distributions, but only when he made them to the power forward and mid.  So his take away was not that he should be making good distributions, but that he should be making good distributions to the two stud players.  Wednesday was the standard conditioning and agility training with the club trainer.  Wyatt still playing it safe with his knee so he ran the full reps at practice, but didn't push it to hard.

No club keeper training again this week (getting to be a regular occurrance), but he did get in two sessions with the private trainer.  Friday night they focused on 1v1 techniques and situations, and Sunday was focused on recovering from the ground to make a second save in various plays.  Then Sunday was his usual foots skills and agility training work.  The focus there was one v one and settling balls that come in high or on a bad bounce.  Didn't get to scrimmage at the end due to lightening coming in fast, but Wyatt was happy about that after last week.

So this week looks like a repeat, weather allowing and then our first trip to Houston for a league game.  They will be facing the Dynamo Youth, an okay team that can sometime present some challenges.  Wyatt is expectign that the reserve will get the start due to the rotation rules, but he figures he will push hard this week just to keep him honest.

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Some of the coaches sound like complete jackasses to me. I really don't get what they expect from Wyatt at all half the time.

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You and me both.  He deals with a seemingly ever changing set of expectations, which always surprised me when he shrugs them off and just keeps working harder.  His trainers I think do a much better job with his development and he tends to listen to them more then the coach when it comes to how he should be playing, but that doesn't make practices any easier at times.

 

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It all sounds way too rigid to me. Like the coach wants his team to play this way every time they have possession of the ball. It is actually very American in mentality, and reminds me almost of a play book type scenario seen in the NFL or NBA.

It almost goes completely against how football (soccer) is played. I think the coach is in the wrong sport. Lol.

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Despite having to drive 4 hours through a downpour complete with flooding roads and tornados, weather was pleasant and sunny for Wyatt's game this weekend.  Team played the Dynamo Youth, the second academy yeam for the Houston MLS team.  Typically the team is decent, but not good enough to be super challenging, but they do get some goals in when the boys have lost focused in the past.  Coach started the reserves to help with meeting the required number of game starts, so the reserve keeper got the first half in goal.  Coach told him to put everythign long out to the forwards or wingers for the first half which resulted in turnign the ball over almost every time.  He did managed to literally hit the the forward in the back one time and put a nice service out another time, but the only goal and other chances came off of turnovers in the midfield.  The Dyanmo youth floated lots of crosses into the box, but couldn't get anyone to follow them in or be in position to do anything with them, so the reserve keeper basically had a easy session of training catching high balls.  Only two real threats were a badly played pass that got picked off and came back at him.  He went in with a sliding foot save about 5 yards to soon and got saved but the center back cutting in and cleaning up the shot.  Other chance he was a little lazy coming off his line on a cross and instead of collecting the ball high went for a basket catch and almost got beat by a fast runner.  First half ended 1-0 for Wyatt's team after one of our forwards caught the keeper out of the box being slow with a back pass and forced him to turnoever the ball and got an open net goal.

Wyatt didn't get the order to get his gloves on until almost the end of halftime, so no real warm-up or anything.  He came in with a few other starters and they started pushing up with lots of pressure and quickly drive things to 3-0.  Coach made a few more subs including two of the defenders and created a bit of a problem that the other teamed figured out.  Left centerback kept loosing his man and leaving him free to run around, while the right back kept gettign beat on teh outside and then getting cut behind by the other team as well.  Wyatt came out and smothered a ball to his left one time when things broke down.  Then handled a easy shot up the middle as well as some back passes and goal kicks.  Right side broke down a gain and Wyatt got caught trying to guard the near post and cover two runners into the box to make it 3-1.  Coach laid into the right back and Wyatt got onto his left centerback as well.  After that things chugged along with him continuing to make distributions of various sorts, but really not having much else to do to see it out to a 4-1 win for his team.

Overall Wyatt was pretty happy with how he played, he opted to vary up his distributions and not just boot the ball long.  He had one bad distribution where he held a ball to long and didn't seem to have a clear target in mind, putting it out between his left back and a mid.  Otherwise he threw, rolled, passed, and kicked short to long, including a nice fake long goalkick that he out to the side with his left foot.  After the game the opposing coaches talked with him a bit about the game, with some compliments and a good pointer on better running his corner backs.

Outside the game practices were all over the place due to the weather.  MOnday was called due to flooding of the fields.  Tuesday they were at the community college but managed to secure a goal, so did agility and striking and finishing drills for most the session.  Wyatt was pretty spot on and worked through his various saves as well as leading the keepers in warmup and drills while the field palyers were working on some transition stuff.  Wednesday was conidtioning, which was observed by the club Academy director and the coach for the two older squads.  They noticed the group of players that seem to not really want to work, and were commenting a bit on that since it seems to be bleeding over into the games and having a negative impact.  The boys also got first quarter evaluations, with the coach taking some time to point out to the team that Wyatt was the faster sprinter and how the forwards needed to really hink about that as they were being lazy on the running conditioning.  Thursday was indoor  which focused as much as you can on distributions and building from the back on a small indoor court.  They also worked on some striking and finishing, passing and ball movement.  Wyatt typically isn't big on the indoor sessions, but this time he got to spend a lot of time on the passing drills, so not to bad.  

Due to the weather there weren't and club keeper training sessions, but his private keeper trainer did put on a session Friday.  Since it was and had been raining all week, the keeper coach focused on working throug ha lot of the regular drills, but dealing with them under wet and muddy conditions.  Since it was fairly warm, Wyatt had a good time and really got into the diving and sliding around, so much so I had to wash him down and have him change before letting him back into the car after practice.  Sunday he had skills and agility work with the club trainer.  They worked a lot on first touch, turning, and striking.  Ended with a fun little 6v6 scrimmage with Wyatt's litte sister thrown into the mix.

On the evaluation front, Wyatt actually was reviewed fairly well which surprised him.  He got hight marks in most the catergories, with good marks in the areas they have been focusing on - playing with his feet, positioning on the field when the team has possession, and communication/command of the defense.   

Now it's two weeks of training and practices before they play again versus FC Dallas.  The weather looks to be pretty crappy for atleast the first week, so expecting more of the same scattered training around town.

 

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Wacky week with no game due to the continued monsoon season.  Wyatt had 2 team practices, both indoors this week.  They focused on passing and ball movement from the keeper through to the forwards.  First session ended with striking and finishing since the reserve keeper was absent, second session they ended with a scrimmage since the reserve was there.  Wyatt said the coach was pleased with his foot skills progression, flipping the criticism onto the reserve keeper for some lack of effort and general touch, as well as poor ball handling.  I didn't see the practices as I was out of town on business so not sure what was happening with that.  There was no club keeper training, and the team conditioing session was canceled due to a small river deciding to flow through the training area for a day or two.

He did manage to get in one private keeper session and a skills session on Sunday.  The keeper session focused on coming off the line and closing the angle on 1v1s with a sequence on follow-up saves should you not control the save or clear it out safely.  It was rather muddy so enjoyed the sliding aspect and also got another chance to use his softground cleats which he is really liking.  Standard cleats are good for most the field conditions locally, but lately with the rain and last year a few times SG cleats would have been nice to have, so his mom has added a pair to his gear bag recently.  They are pretty hard to find good ones locally (he wears Tiempos) so we had to order them from europe.  Of course everyone is freaking out about them because they aren't used to seeing cleats with the metal core studs.  But after watching him move and cut without slipping they have starting looking into some of their own.

For the skills session it was the regular routine of first touch and control, with a lot of core exercises to work on the mid strength.  Not much else for the last week.  Going into this coming week the weather seems to be clearing up and sunny, so maybe we will be back out on the fields so they can get ready for their re-match versus FC Dallas this coming weekend.  After the close game last time and what appears to be a struggling FCD team, they are feeling pretty good about their odds this coming weekend.

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Ugh, after a few weeks of limited indoor practice the team pretty much took a beating Saturday.  They played the local MLS team FC Dallas, a good side, but one that historically the boys fare well against.  Last season they won 2, tied, and lost one, and started this season with a 1-2 loss against them that surprised FCD.  This game was a totally differient story.  Apparently the bulk of the starters decided that they didn't reall need to keep up on their conditioning or skills training, so after about 20 minutes into the first half FCD's pressure wore down our mids and forwards and most the game was played in our half of the field.  Wyatt had a few issues, starting with new shoes.  He went up a size during the last week or so, but hadn't gotten used to them (same brand and type, just half a size larger) and whenever he does that it takes a few weeks of outdoor work to get his kicks back where they were.  So his goalkicks where not spot on, but weren't bad, just not up to his usual standard.  The coach decided to keep the right wing as the right back despite having no clue how to play defense and he basically held the door open on that side for every attack FCD ran through him.  The mids got tired really fast and one of the centerbacks appeared more interested in the girls game a field over then the game he was playing in.  The other centerback was more worried about looking good for a US team scout there to look at him (coach told him and the whole team so they could help him look good), so he spent a lot of the time trying to show off his former skills as a holding mid, which left the left back and two defensive mids trying to keep the other team from pelting Wyatt with shots.

Wyatt did fairly well with his saves, picking off several crosses and higher balls into the box.  He also made 4 saves back to back in a scrum in the box with half the playesr on the field in there with him.  His distributions were sporadic in hitting their targets our got picked off when the targets didn't check in like they are supposed to.  He got beat twice in the first half.  First goal came off a turnover and the mid that went in against the right back who didn't get inside the player and basically chased him into the 18 where he bent a nice ball around a cluster of boys and off the far post.  Wyatt said he didn't see the shot until late and didn't react, but later said he probably could have gotten to it if he had reacted.  Second goal was like the one from last week, left back got overwhlemed and beat, pass across the box to two runners.  Wyatt came out, but the kid beat him to it near post for the shot in close.  After that the team turtled up for a bit through the half and into the second half.  Wyatt played out about half the second, before the coach got tired of the grl watching centerback and subbed him out, and used that moment to sub out Wyatt as well.  The other coach saw them sub out Wyatt and noted the subbing out at half of the good defensive mid and left back, and to the chance to sub out his starters for his bench warmers at the same time.  

Reserve keeper was in a couple of minutes when they went up 0-3 on a soft goal.  He got caught centered in the goal when the attack came in from the fight (again) and started moving that way and they passed to his left and he sort of fell over/dived or something to his left thinking it was a shot and opened up the near post for a shot and the goal.  After that the mids and forards were able to deal with the easier pressure from the reserve players to see the game out to the 0-3 loss. Cherry on top was the captain getting a red card for dissention (second yelllow) in the last second of the game for mouthing off at the ref.  So next weekend he will be getting some time off. 

Afterwards the coach talked to them a bit about lack of effort.  His one dig at Wyatt was not catching a ball in the 4 save run/scrum.  I'm sure there will be more discussion of the performance tonight at practice, but Wyatt was pretty disgsted with the team.  He private keeper coach came out to watch and other then a few minor techniical points on his distribution was happy with how Wyatt played, but was totally underwhelmed by the team as a whole.  He commented on the fact in Brazil where he grew up and played pro that the coaches would have some serious discussions with players about continuing on with the team if they had acted and played that way in game.

Outside of the game, the weather kept them off the fields for training and cancled the conditioning training.  The did get 2 indoor sessions in.  Coach tried to working on pressing on attack and defense, transitions, and passing out of presure into space, but the 5v5 field didn't help they drills transition well to the full field on game day.  The coach also was on a lot of the boys about standing around and ball watching until it got close to them which resulted in line sprints several times.  Wyatt did get in a good private keeper session Friday night before he game that focused on closing angles and clearing corners.  Then Sunday he did a back to back keeper session and skills training session.  The keeper session focused on some of the stuff the coach noted when he watched Wyatt's game as well as a couple of the other keepers.  Skills session was mostly bringing down balls, turning and striking with your back to the goal, then lots of 1v1 and 2v2 drills.

This week weather looks to be better and we should be back on the fields for training atleast a couple of days.  The team faces off against the Houston Texans (former sister club) on Sunday.  Typically a team that they can handle really easiely, but also one that is quick to capitalize on mistakes.  Wyatt figures that based on the rotation that the reserve keeper will get the start, but really wants it for himself since as an easier game he can take time to work on trying to build up some confidence between him and the defense again.

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Rain tried to cause trouble again this week, but the club lined up some turf fields for game day, so Wyatt got some more time between the sticks.  This weekend they played the Texans SC from Houston.  Keeper rotation saw the reserve start which was expected since these guys are usually the weakest team in the divison, but that wasn't the case.  They are currently 4 places higher then us going into the game, with 2 games in hand for them.  Coach tinkered with the roster since we were missing one of the starting mids (the captain out of a stupid red picked up for dissention in right as the ref blew the whistle last game).  Also with it being an expected easier game, was time to give the reerves some chances to play as well.  You could tell things were going to be off when the reserve keeper didn't really warm-up that well, which showed in the first few minutes of the game when he picked up a ball outside the box to give a free kick super early.  He made the follow-up save though, which spared him getting pulled out earlier then planned.  That seemed to get the other team fired up and they kept of the pressure with our boys playing lots of kick ball with little movement of the ball of the ground.  Luckily they could manage to get anything solid on frame and the reserve just had to handle some through balls and some crosses that weren't contested.  For out part the boys did managed to get a few looks at the goal, mostly coming from set pieces with the defensive mid almost netting a header 3 or 4 times.  The half rolled around though with neither team scoring.  

The coach opted to leave the reserve in a little longer while making a few subs up front and in the mids to try and get some attack going more consistantly.  Nothing really panned out as the keeper only connected once the entire first half and into the second with anyone on our team, basically turning any distribution other then short back passes into turnovers.  A bad goalkick turned into a fast counter 5v3 that turned into a breakaway to the keepers left.  He came out and went into a slide tackle type of save about 5 yards out and had the ball shot inside him on the ground to make it 0-1.  Wyatt had been up warming up since the half, so the coach had him get his jersey on and subbed him in right after the restart.  He spent a lot of time keeping the mids and back line pushed up which limited the work he had to do in the back.  The coach also had subbed in most of the starters which made it easier for him to direct and play.  He did a good job with his distributions and easiely handled the few balls that came into the box, with his real two saves being easy catches on the near post when the the other team tried the same play that scored the first goal.  The boys got back into the game as well and started racking up the looks at goal, but the other coach had swapped his keepers out as well and their starter was in and made some nice saves to keep them 0-1 until about the last 5 minutes.  At that point the defensive mid finally connected and put one in to make it 1-1.  Our parents went crazy as did the boys, while their parents tried to rally their team.  Our star forward though got really amped up and added a second yellow for unsportmans like behavior to get sent off with a few minutes left.  Wyatt made one of his two saves after that and with the clock ticking down made a long punt to one of the forwards to run onto unoppsed in the back, but the ref whistled the game before it went much further.  So not the ending the team wanted, but considering the fact that the boys didn't really start playing and fighting for the win until the last 20 minutes or so, alot better then they probably deserved against a team they should easiely have beaten.

Rest of the week was a mixed up schedule.  Fields were still closed due to flooding, so Monday was mostly conditioing at the local community college.  It was more like punishment work though Wyatt said as the coach kept thumping them about the lazy performance that weekend.  Tuesday the team did conditioning training with the club trainer, but the keepers had an indoor session which was the first club keeper session Wyatt has been to in over a month.  He had a good time with that one, and the since they were indoors the coach worked more on fixing starting positions and low dives and parrys.  Was good for Wyatt too as the dad of a older teammate was there.  Guy was a keeper as well and had worked with Wyatt a few years back, but hadn't seen him since, so Wyatt got some good feedback on how well he was developing as well as some good pointers on a couple of things to work on from him.  Thursday they were indoor for team training, where they focused on pressing and moving the ball out of pressure, but with the small indoor space it didn't seem to translate well to outdoor when the coach called a Saturday practice as well to get ready for the Sunday game.  Saturday practice was lots of ball movement and working on connecting the lines together while avoiding playing into pressure.  Since the goals were up due to the fields having flooded, Wyatt got to spend most of the practice playing with the ball at his feet in the passing and movement drills.

No club stuff was Friday night private keeper training, with a focus on distributions based on notes the coach took after watching Wyatt and some of the other keepers play over the previous weekend.  He built the drills on making a certain style of save and then playing to friendlies while opposing players moved around so the keeper had to be thinking when he came up to distribute.  Sunday after the game Wyatt did his regular training with the skills trainer, but had a special treat when a U18 keeper came out to work on his short game, so him and Wyatt worked on distributions to the defense and mids in vairous forms.  Wyatt has worked with this keeper before and likes seeing how he has progressed versus the older kid and was pleasantly surprised to be able to match him pretty much step for step in the drills.

So this week we are hoping the fields dry out enough to get some outdoor practice before we head down to San Antonio to play a USL club team.  Historically they give us a good game and the boys only really figured them out and near the end of the season.  With the start forward out things could get interesting, becuase they always look for him and swamp him with defenders, him missing may case them to have to rethink that plan as other then him we really don't have a focused attacker thay is easy to identify and mark.

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Well another rough game for the team and Wyatt.  Not sure if he will make it to the Winter break if this keeps up.  He was very frustrated going into Saturday's game vs. San Antonio FC, a USL (think Divison 2/3 pro team) club.  Last year these guys worked Wyatt's team hard, but they managed to hold their own and take them down when it mattered in the Dallas Cup.  This weekend it was a total dumpster fire, pretty close to the one last year that saw the coaching change happen.  Things started off really poorly with the coach telling the team at Thursday night practie they were going to loose this weekend.  Not sure if it was a comment on the practice, the fact they were missing there stud forward, or he just wanted to set the expectations low to avoid disappointment.  Wyatt took it pretty hard and was talking about maybe quiting the team at lunch before the game.  He is frustrated with the lack of effort and commitment from some of his team mates and the coach seems to be working on just checking out of the team at the moment.  He introduced a defensive formation for the game this weekend that featured 3 defensive mids, a left and right back, a central defense mid with a left and right defensive mid, a holding/attacking mid and one forward.  Granted the right and left guys were playing long up the sides, but against a team that moves the ball well and likes to take long shots, turtling up with a new formation that was practiced for 20 minutes on an indoor field Thursday night before the game probably ranks up some really bad lifepath decisions.

Get to the fields and they have the games scheduled so tight the coach can't warm-up the boys, so the director of the club DA program does it.  Boys loved this, had lots of energy, looked really impressive like they did last season, and Wyatt was in an excellent mood.  Director turns them over to the coach for last minute stuff and the life goes out of the squad and they look flat getting ready to play.  Wyatt got the start settle in with the new formation.  He did a good job of trying to coordinate them and work with the cornerbacks to understand the shift in what was going on.  The extra left mid had issues and kept drifting in and out of position.  Wyatt's first touch was a goalkick that he sent out to the left back about 1/3 up the field, but didn't connected as folks weren't sure were they were supposed to be for distributions from him.  After that he settle down on those and did a good job with getting them out and into the mix.  He tried to play things as short as possible though to maintain possession so alot of the balls from his catches were rolled out with only a couple of long punts when the coach started wanting them to play boot and run.  On the save front he had a few workman like catches on chest to face high balls, SAFC liked to play short or ourswingers on the corners so not much challenging stuff in the box for him this game.  He did have to clear a short back pass under pressure up the field, but got it cleared out.  Had a close one with a through ball that was being chased, his central back got a touch on it and wyatt dove on it to shutdown a shot.  The otherteam wanted it ruled a back pass, but the ref sided with the fact Wyatt was already going down to collect it when his player touched it trying to deflect it.  He did havea few rough spots.  First one came off a move that beat the ight back and was played across the ground in the 6 yard box, he went for it, but got blocked out and moved sideways to track it.  As he went for it, the left center back touched it away allowing the oncoming right wing to get a touch and put it away near post.  Wyatt thought on that one he probably should have just steam rolled his way to the ball on the first chance after he thought about it some.  A few minutes later, they got another low pass near the top of the box and an unmarked center forward got onto it and tried to tap it in from about 3-4 yards out.  Wyatt gota foot in the way, but his centerback was ball watching and let the kid get the rebound.  He went for a chip and Wyatt recovered and got a hand to it, but not strong enough to push it over.  Third one was a counter and the kid pretty much ran straight through the whole team with the defensive mid chasing him all the way back straight on to the center of the goal.   Wyatt came out and tried to get big, but the kid got the shot off to make it 0-3.  Wyatt was pretty gutted after that.  He stayed in it until the half, then the coach made subs including the keepers since it was a travel game and wanted to get everyone a chance to feel the pain.  Second half started off pretty dismal, reserve keeper's first real touch was a easy low bouncing ball.  He bent over to scope it, let it through his hands and then his feet and turned to see where it went, touching it in to the goal with his left foot.  That got the opposing parents and other team laughing pretty hard.  At that point the other coach starting subbing players in while the fresh feet on our side started picking up the energy level.  we managed to catch their keeper playing with the ball at his feet two much and made it 1-4.  They countered and maanaged to get out keeper to slide tackle into a ball, but dodged him and got around him.  He got lucky and didn't get a card for grabbing the kid which messed up his shot and let one of the defenders clear it out.  After that they started holding the ball in the back and would press forward when our boys would push up and commit.  Didn't really get much more in the way of shots on goal, until almost the end.  They got the keeper to commit to dive to his right with a fake and the centerback tried to head the ball away from the open goal for an own goal to make it 1-5.  The boys did manage to get one more back off a nice free kick on their reserve keeper, who appeared to have just started playing keeper this year due to his height and not really any real skill for the position.  Game ended 2-5 and the boys barely wanted to talk to anyone, several even ignored the coaches post game talk with one just walking off.  Definitely some team building and moral issues going on there.

Wyatt was in a really foul mood, but his mom talked to him a bit and talked him off the ledge about quiting.  He seemed more resolved to work harder and they talked a bit about the fact that he seesm to be playing more reactive, then proactive like he did last year.  Him and his mom watched some highlights from last year to see and talk about the difference while I took his sister to the hotel pool for awhile.  Then we took him out to his facorite restraunt there in town and let him drown his sorrows in a seafood platter.

Sunday he had us head right home so he could get in a skills session with the club trainer.  Asked to worked on his distributions and some work in the goal while the rest of the class worked on striking nad finishing.  He wasn't quite in it though and think it just caused him to beat himself up a little more, before he snapped out of it for the scrimmage.  Afterwards the club trainer talekd with him for about 30 minutes about what was going on in his head and with his team.  Seemed to make some positive energy for him, but not expecting it to just change over night.  Luckily this week will be fairly light despite a double header coming up, so he can have some time mentally recover away from the team.

Outside of the skills session, the last week of club practice was a mixed bag thanks to weather again.  Monday he did an hour private work with the trainer, then did conditioning with another team since his team was off that night.  Tuesday he did club keeper training, which was good again.  They focused on first step movement, down and away and into oncoming shots.  It was indoor, so no long stuff, but they did get in lots of touches on dives and did some shooting at the end.  Wednesday was his team conditioning evening and they actually got some running in around the fields.  Wyatt stepped it up in that and made a point out of challenging the field players to beat him on distance and speed.  Thursday we were indoors again.  They worked on the new formation, but without the keepers which irritated Wyatt since they have to understand how they fit in and what the expectation is for them and field guys.  After that they did some striking and finishing work, and then scrimmaged a bit.  Wyatt picked up the pace on his descision making and distributions, which caught several of the players on his squad off guard who were just sort of there and not really playing well or opening up good.  He got some compliments from the coach on that.

So this week looks like the fields will still be closed for the first half of the week.  Practice is already canceled tonight, so he can decompress and re-charge althoug he did ask about hitting the local field to run and maybe punt a little.  May hook up with a couple of the U14s, but I think we may just make him rest.  This coming weekend is a doouble header versus two teams they haven't played before in previous seasons, Rio Grand Valley Torrros from south Texas and Kansas City, an MLS team academy.  If the coach keeps the every other game rotation Wyatt should get the harder of the two starts, but after the hollower the other keeper let in Saturday, he may get benched for starting on both games.

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Well Wyatt got a little more down time then he expected this last week.  No practice Monday, then came home Tuesday early from school with a stomach bug that has been cutting a swath of destruction through his grade.  Other then throwing up, he felt completely fine and ready to get out and do something.  But naturally the club looks poorly on kids throwing up in training. He kept his coach update, but missed all three team practices (Tue - Thur) before finally recovering Thursday night.  Made a visit to the doctor Friday to have him cleared for school and soccer, then he let his coach know.  Coach called and talked to him, sounded like he was suspicious that Wyatt was taking a week off just to be off.  They talked a bit about his performance lately and the coach was asking about why he wasn't as agressive and making big saves like he did last year, and why he was making more foot saves.  Wyatt told him he was frustrated with the the lack of effort and commitment from the team, and that he felt the footsaves were because they had trained in a 5v5 indoor court for about half the season.  Coach told him the indoor thing was crap and started to try and play his private keeper coach, saying since he was an indoor player for a long time he had taught it to Wyatt.  Funny thing is Wyatt has been with him for almost 6 years and he only teaches foot saves for a few special types of saves, everything else is hands, hands, hands all the time.  Wyatt thought it was pretty stupid to ask him what he thought was wrong and them tell him he didn't know what he was talking about, after all it's Wyatt's opinions Wyatt thought.

The coach told him he probably wouldn't start him and most likely not roster him atleast for the Saturday game and probably not start for the Sunday game.  Wyatt told him he was going to go to his private keeper training Friday and would let him know how he felt and did, and the coach agreed to wait to hear before he made and roster decisions (which basically turned out to be just having everyone show up and play it by ear both games).  Keeper training that night focused on footwork across the goal and clearing the corner low and high.  Wyatt told the keeper coach about his coach's foot save comments and the keeper coach basically made it all about the hands and catching for the whole class that night.  Wyatt updated his coach afterwards and went to bed thinking he was still probably going to be riding the bench all weekend.

Saturday morning we got to our alternate turf field location.  Wyatt got there early and got to business warming up.  The reserve keeper showed some of the behavior that he was known for at his previous club and figured since it seemed like Wyatt wasn't go to be there he didn't need to be on time and showed up almost 30 minutes late for warmup.  Coach wasn't to happy about that, and was rather impressed with how Wyatt was looking in warm-ups so he gave Wyatt the start against RGV Toros, a new club in the DA from down on the Texas/Mexico border area in Texas.

Things started out with the teams being farily evenly matched, our boys seemed to be a little more into the game then they had been recently and controlled the play.  Wyatt had a few little things to do in the first 20 minutes, but then was coming out to challenge a through ball, only to have his center back try adn clear it and set up a nice kick from about 20 yards out.  Wyatt tried to scoop it up instead of collecting it with a forward dive and wound up loosing it through his hands to make it 0-1.  After that he seemed to wake up and start getting his keeper on, and was much more agressive in coming out and collecting things and challenged some nice crosses into the box as well.  His distributions were pretty good for the most part and the boys recovered quickly and made in 1-1 before the half.  Second half the coach subbed in the reserve keeper who almost immediately had the defensive mid give up a free kick at the top of the 18.  Kid took the shot over the wall and to the keepers right.  Instead of moving and jumping to clear it he just stuck a hand up and deflected the ball into the goal to make it 1-2.  After that he had a few other saves to make, but RGV went defensive and let their keeper and defense hold off the attack to see the game out to a 1-2 win.  The boys did start to rally, but a 70 minute send off of a defensive mid took the wind out of them.  Despite giving up the goal and having the coach blame him and the defensive mid for the loss, Wyatt felt pretty good after the game.  Said it is the first time this season that he thought the boys actually were playing with some passion.  

Sunday they faced Sporting Kansas City, an MLS club that historically sort of struggles in the DA, but do to some reorginization seems to be having a much better year.  They had played the other non-MLS club intown on Saturday, soundly thrashing them 6-1, so we were expecting it to be a hard game.  The reserve keeper got the start and looked like he was going have a good game at the start.  He showed up right after Waytt did, which is usually 30 minutes early.  Took the warmup seriously and was pretty focused going into the first half.  He made a few good saves, then got complacent.  Had a low pass come through the box with in reach and let it go by and watched a man on the back post tap it in.  He buckled down though and followed the coaches commands to boot the ball down field every chance he got.  The game quickly turned into a series of back and forth coutner attacks with the stud forward finding his mojo again and putting in two shots after beating the opposing keeper to make it 2-1 going into the half.  The opposing keeper pretty much stayed in the 18, and mostly within 10 yards of the goal the whole half which left him a sitting duck at times.  Second half, coach played it smart and kept the players the same, not wanting to disrupt the energy.  Sporting up the pressure some and got the boys on the back foot for a little bit, capitalizing to set up a nice shot on goal.  Our keeper went for a foot save intead of hionly to have it tied s hands and wound up diving the wrong way on top of that to make it 2-2.  Sporting got them reeling and pressed again and got a 1v1 near post shot on goal, our keeper went for another foot save and got beat to make it 3-3.  At that point, Wyatt went in for the last 20+ minutes.  He didn't have to make any big saves but he did a good job of collections and distributions.  Got the boys back on the right foot and helped set up a counter that netted the forward a hatrick to make it 3-3.  At that point Coach told Wyatt to put the breaks on and slow the game down.  That meant more defending for the team, but by that point both teams were gassed and started getting chippy.  Ref finally started throwing cards, resulting in our defensive mid getting sent off and the boys going a man down for the last 5 or so minutes.  Wyatt and the defense kept it together and saw it out for the draw, but probably could have gotten a win with one or two last counters.

After the game, we grab lunch and then headed back home.  Wyatt decided to go work with the club trainer.  The trainer is also a goalkeeper coach and decided that Wyatt needed to get his old edge back and focused on him for about an hour.  Started off with some diving drills over and under a cord, then had him do rapid fire saves with shots being taken from a group of players from the U14 DA team.  He didn't give him much rest between each set up shots, but by the end he probably saw about 800 or so shots based off the fact that they had 110 balls and cycled through them 8 times.  He was pretty worn out by the end of it, but as the drill went on over time, Wyatt stopped hesitating and made quicker reactions to the ball and more nice saves instead of just poking at things.  Trainer talked to him about not thinking to much about things and just letting his training kick in, seemed to make a difference.  They he ran him through the full set of balls in 1v1 where the players where supposed to dribble him and he could only use his hands to stop them.  He got into that one and relaxed and stopped overthinking it as well and only got beat a few times.  After that it was passing and communication drills, with the traditional high energy scrimmage with losers buying hot choclate for the winners.  Wyatt scored 7 of the 9 goals for his team in a 9-4 win, while also back peddling to do a lot of the defending as well.

This week is Thanksgiving/fall break.  He has a keeper camp around noon for 3 days, and practice atleast tonight with the club trainer wanting him up at the club in the evenings if he doesn't have anything else going on.  Team doesn't have any games until mid-January, but is supposed to keep training except for a holiday/winter break of a couple or weeks around Christmas and New Years.  Coach has promised that he is putting together something fun for them to do over the schedule break, so be interesting to see what that turns out to be.

 

 

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Watching those highlights, I've got one suggestion for Wyatt, and that is to Slow Down! You can see that he always wants to go at top speed, which is good. But he needs to be able to have a cool head and just put his foot on the ball for a minute. You can see this when he rushes his goalkicks or kicks out of his hands, when he takes his time he hits them beautifully, but when he rushes he scuffs them. Just my verdict, other than that, looks to be a good goalkeeper!

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15 hours ago, GKJacob said:

Watching those highlights, I've got one suggestion for Wyatt, and that is to Slow Down! You can see that he always wants to go at top speed, which is good. But he needs to be able to have a cool head and just put his foot on the ball for a minute. You can see this when he rushes his goalkicks or kicks out of his hands, when he takes his time he hits them beautifully, but when he rushes he scuffs them. Just my verdict, other than that, looks to be a good goalkeeper!

Not watched the videos but advocate the point. I myself find if I am going at 100mph trying to get the ball up the pitch as quickly as possible I find my kicks start to suffer. Should probably listen to my own advice really. 😂

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On 11/23/2018 at 4:07 PM, GKJacob said:

Watching those highlights, I've got one suggestion for Wyatt, and that is to Slow Down! You can see that he always wants to go at top speed, which is good. But he needs to be able to have a cool head and just put his foot on the ball for a minute. You can see this when he rushes his goalkicks or kicks out of his hands, when he takes his time he hits them beautifully, but when he rushes he scuffs them. Just my verdict, other than that, looks to be a good goalkeeper!

Gave Wyatt your comments and he went to his trainer at the club and spent part of Sunday working on developing a mental cadence that he can use in the games to set his pace and not rush the kicks.  He had done something similar before, but the current coach is pushing both the keepers to just get it out long fast.  The trainer had him doing goal kicks, punts, and throws at game pace to some other players while the trainer and the players were yelling and pushing him to get the ball off.  Mixed that in with some stuff he has learned from his bio-feedback guy he sees to come up with something that seems to help him set a more consistant cadence.  Will have to see how it works out in mid-January when they play their next game.  He shared it with his keeper coach as well and both are going to add it to the stuff they work on with him.

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Well despite being of for Holiday break from school, Wyatt had probably one of his busiest weeks in a while.  Monday through Wednesday he had camp with his private keeper coach.  He gave him the run-down on the games and talked through the goal in the game versus GDV Toros FC, so the coach worked several drills into each session to help him work on the technique for future game.  They also worked a lot on differient distrbution techniques, transitions from saves to distributions, as well as working through the basics.  Wyatt seemed to be overall in better spirits going into the week after the double header weekend.  He threw himself into the training sessions with alot of effort.

Team actually practiced three times during the week as well, got in full sesssions, outside on the club fields which made Wyatt extremely happy.  The coach combined the training with the U14 team since he was expecting some folks to be missing. Monday's session focused on lessons learned from the games over the weekend.  The other keeper was missing, but Wyatt had the 3 U14 keepers to work with.  They worked alot on building out of the back and movement from the defenses to the mids and building towards he forwards.  Also a lot of work on playing with a high line to pressure and disrupt the other teams game style.  Tuesday and then Saturday's practices were more working on playing style and getting a look at a potential new player, an attacking mid who maybe able to help up front with finding some more goals for the team.  The reserve keeper only made he Tuesday practice, so the coach was a little miffed with him.  The coach also cracked down on the team some.  After talking with Wyatt last week, I think he actually looked at the boys during the game and saw what Wyatt was talking about some with his distributions.  Coach has talked with him about his speed on gettign the ball off or hesitations at times and Wyatt told him that alot of it was due to the fact that the boys weren't opening up or even looking like they were willing to receive the ball.  So the coach spent a lot of time Tuesday and Sunday going over that.  He also got cracked down onto the boys who would complain about not receiving balls either from Wyatt or other players, who weren't even bother to make an effort to get into a position that was good to pass too.  So a net plus from Wyatt's perspective.  

The keeper coach also managed to get a session in Tuesday night.  He worked on closing the angle and protecting the near post from shots coming in from the sides.  Wyatt had fun with that, and was able to work with two differient sessions since his team practice got over early enough to make his, plus part of the one before it.  The keeper coach had seen the game highlights as well, so he talked with Wyatt a little about the goal in the RGV game, and then gave him some stuff to work on in terms of commanding the back line better.  In the RGV game the reserve keeper didn't do a good job with his wall so he focused some on that as well.

Besides the camp, Wyatt also had two regular practices with his private keeper coach.  Other then working in the extra low ball drills, they worked on double saves, 1v1s, and transitioning into throws from diving saves.  Wyatt also got in two sessions with the club trainer.  On Friday they had a session that included workign with two young women that play on the Iranian U20 or U17 national team.  For Wyatt it was kind of cool training with some one who has international experience.  They chatted quite a bit in between them trying to score on shots outside the 18 at Wyatt.  He did a pretty good job of making them work hard for the few goals they were able to get.  The trainer also has him showing up 30 minutes early so they can work on keeper stuff.  On friday it was diving and high catches, or as the coach calls it "flying" which Wyatt really loves to do.  He also has mixed in some extra core strengthing drills and rolls.  A coach was there as well and was impressed with Wyatt's vision and awareness of the game, especially as for a keeper.  He really liked Wyatt's foot skills, and the fact that Wyatt can play with either foot in and out of the net.  The regular Sunday session was a little lower key, but as I mentioned earlier Wyatt asked to focus on his cadance for goal kicks and punts.  Helped that there was an 06 keeper there as well for him to work with.  The field players got a big dose of receiving punts, also a few had to learn that when the keeper can drop the ball right on you, you probably need to focus more on the ball when he sends it your way.

This week Wyatt is back in school, but looks like the team will continue with regular practices barring some freezing temperatures moving in later in the week.  He definitely seems to be in a much better mood and is looking forward to his winter break.  For that he is going back for a week at the Barca US residency academy, and also a ID camp that he was looked at last year by a german scout who wants to see him again.

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Another week of pseudo regular training for Wyatt.  Team held regular practice Monday and Tuesday, continued focus on possession and passing.  Coach also apparently listened to Wyatt about the mids and defense not opening up and looking for distributions in games, so they focused on that a little bit.  Not sure what impact it will have on things overall, but was good for the coach to take some action on something that Wyatt had pointed out as an issue during games.  Wednesday the team did conditioning and agility training.  Wyat got there early and worked on distributions of various types with one of the Iranian girls players again.  Focused on making a save or goalkick after a ball wasn't on frame, keeping his cadence and putting it back into play while she would run out and get open.  Also did some work with PKs, and then settling backpasses above his knees.  He really enjoyed that and carried the energy over into the conditioning training, out working the team despite already have trained for 90 minutes.  Thursday no team practice, but there was still club keeper training.  Since the older two DA boys groups were out, the coach combined Wyatt's group with the mid range DA and ECNL groups, but wound up only being Wyatt, 2 U17 girls, and a U13 who was there for the regular session.  Lots of focus on shot blocking low balls on the line, working from the ground and cutting angles.  They worked a little on 1v1s as well, but Wyatt strained his groin at some point, so he just worked on some catching after one or two run throughs on that set of drills.

Friday he rested and did a lot of ice and streching to work out the grroin strain, by Saturday he was good to go for a rescheduled team practice.  The worked on passing and movement drills before doing some conditioning, and then ended with a long session of striking and finishing.  As part of the conditioning the coach had the boys stand in the goal in groups of 5 and jump up and touch the crossbar.  He got into Wyatt some at the point because Wyatt did really have to jump to touch it, so he was sort of hopping.  So for the keepers he made it so they hade to get their hands as high up over the bar like they were trying to push a ball over.  Not a hard one for Wyatt, but the U14 keepers are pretty short and couldn't even reach the bar and the reserve keeper apparently can't really jump that high, so the coach got frustrated with them and sent them off to the side to do keeper warm-up until they got into striking and finishing.  For that Wyatt was pretty on, only getting beat once by a player who chipped him on a drill where they were the keepers were supposed to come out and cut the angle while the players shot into the lower corner far post.  So the u14 player came in and decided to be funny and chip him and Wyatt couln't get back to it to push it over.  So coach had a go at him about being lazy even though the shooter was the one who hadn't followed the drill.  Wyatt was pretty miffed, but made up for it by getting more aggressive.  He said afterwards if the players weren't going to follow the drill then he wasn't going to make it easy on them by playing his part.  So he started coming out quicker and going hard to smother or dive onto the ball.  He also had some trouble with the reserve keeper who wanted to stand about4 or 5 yards off the near post, not for any real reason, just being to lazy to walk back by the goal with the other keepers while they waited for their turns.  So he was generally in the way alot and would pop balls in that were going wide or interfer with catches.  Wyatt kept telling him to move, but finally just shoulder cahrged into him and he figured out maybe he shouldn't be standing there.

Sunday the private keeper coach was out of town with his club for a tournament, so Wyatt went early to his skills training and got in an extra hour of keeper work before the skills started.  They worked more on his distribution cadence and placement.  Alot of the regulars showed up early as well because they like the drill the trainer uses with Wyatt sending out punts, kicks, or throws and they have to settle them, dribble in and shoot.  The traienr had them do more movement then last time so Wyatt had to judge how to place the ball so they could move onto it or bring it down.  Trainer also had them in groups and Wyatt would have to call out who was receiving and place it so that player could get it while the others in the group tried to pick it off.  Skills training focused a lot on bringing down balls from the air, settling them and taking shots.  Also some work with headers on top of the general touch and ball movement drills, finishing up with the regular small sided games.

Outside of that Wyatt discovered we get the Itlalian Siera A on TV now so watched the Roma vs Inter game after watching the Liverpool-Everton Derby with his mom.  She is a Liverpool fan and he favors Everton, so there was no peace in the house for a while Sunday morning.

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Slow week this week for Wyatt, with there being no upcoming games for more then a month, the coach doesn't feel the need to go indoors when the weather gets soggy and cold like it did this last week some.  Club wise everything was crammed into Wednesday.  Started off with 90 minutes of working with the iranian girls players again on distributions and recieving back passes.  Went from that into team conditioning and agility training (lots of running for that session), and then ended with a team practice focusing on the mids and forwards working to open up to receive balls from the keepers or the back line if it was played out short.  The coach combined the U14 and U15 teams for the practice, but Wyatt was the only u15 keeper there, so he lead the U14s in keeper warmup.  Only intersting thing at practice was Wyatt getting in trouble for not punting a ball really quick.  Coach got onto him, but Wyatt had one of the opposing players deliberately getting in his face so he couldn't get it off quick.  Coach told him next time to just punt the ball and hit the kid in the face with it if that is what it took.  Wyatt wasn't to cool with that since he didn't think it was worth hurting a team mate in practice and also the chances the ball would just come back at him and maybe into the goal.

Thursday there was no team practice, but his keeper coach had a session in the rain so Wyatt did that.  Basically worked through the regular drills, just working on dealing with the sloppy field conditions.  Wyatt really likes those sessions and the rain and cold kept away all but two other keepers so the coach got to focus a lot omore on small things and working with some more complex drills then usual.  After that he had another keeper session on Sunday that focused on recovering from the ground to make saves, so lots of down then springing up to make saves.  Wyatt liked it a bit as well since it featred some newer drills.  He also got to showboating a bit and made a flying superman across the goal face on one drill to catch a ball one handed and bring it down under control.  Keeper coach let him have his 5 seconds of glory, but then talked to him a bit about making sure he didn't cost himself a goal trying to do that in a game.

Sunday he also had his last skills season with the clb trainer before he heads out of the country for his winter break.  They focused a lot of settling balls in the air and striking them as they dropped.  U19 keeper showed up as well so they ended working on some passing and throwing drills, as well as some jumping strengthing exercises.

Outside of that it was a slow week.  Wyatt did go to the local YMCA and did the orientation course so he can use all the cardio equipment for those days he doesn't have practices for one reason or another. 

This week looks like back to the regular practice schedule and then maybe one more week before they break for a two week holiday before coming back and getting ready for the start of second half of the season.

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