Soccer Drills – Teaching Young Soccer Players How to Defend

Soccer is a game about field position and possession and being able to defend effectively is a key element for each of these factors. There are four key elements that I have found to teaching young soccer players to defend effectively. Footwork is a key factor in getting young soccer players to defend effectively. Together with knowing when to commit to a tackle and when to hold position I find these are the two vitals elements to having a strong defence. These factors, I combine with knowing where the danger zones are on the field, and communicating with each other in order to create an impenetrable defence. I do not promote playing boring soccer with lots of players behind the ball, but if you can defend effectively then your team will be able to play the ball further up the field, thus creating more attacking opportunities.

Footwork is a key element in teaching young soccer players to defend effectively. There are two things that I focus on with my young soccer players in relation to their footwork. The first of these is to never get caught with their feet square. They should always defend with one foot in front of the other, and with one shoulder in front of the other. They must also never be caught flat footed. This means that they should always be on their toes in a defensive situation. This allows them to react much more quickly to what the attacking player does in front of them. It is also vital that they do not get caught with both feet off the ground at the same time, as this makes it almost impossible for them to change direction or react quickly.

Players must learn when to commit to a tackle and when to hold their position and wait for an opportunity. Players must only commit to a tackle when the odds are in their favour of winning the ball. This usually means that they are closer to the ball than what the attacker is. Until this happens they should jockey for position and maintain a distance of about 1 meter between themselves and the attacker. This will give them enough reaction time to stay with the attacking player. Players must watch the ball at all times. This will lessen the ability of an attacker to fake them into committing to a tackle at the wrong time. The ball is the critical element, not the feet, hips or shoulders of the attacking players. Teach your defenders to watch the ball at all times. I also encourage players to stay on their feet when defending as much as possible. There is a time and place for a slide tackle, but a player that is off their feet cannot react as quickly as a player who is on their feet.

Teach your players where the danger zones are on the field. Defenders must position themselves on the field to push the attack towards the sidelines and away from the goal mouth. Teach them how to position in front of an attacker to encourage the attacker to move into a less attacking area of the field.

The key to any successful defence is communication. In my junior teams I always find my defence much stronger where I have a strong communicator playing in the sweeper or centre back role. Communication starts at training. Whenever you conduct drills at training ensure that you are not the one doing all the talking. Make sure that there is plenty of talk amongst your players. What they do on the training paddock they will take onto the field.

So the four keys to creating a strong defence are teaching your players correct footwork, making sure they understand when to commit to a challenge, helping them understand the danger areas on the field and how to keep attackers away from them, and making sure they communicate with each other. Your defensive drills should encourage development of these four key areas, in order that you will have a strong defence.

Soccer- Is Your Child Ready For Competitive Soccer?

Many soccer parents contemplate and wonder when is the right age for their children to start playing competitive soccer. To be honest, this question cannot be answered and is too generic. When will you as the parent be ready for your kids to play competitive soccer is a better question.

A bigger and stronger player has just injured your son on the field. How do you react? Do you run on the field protesting or do you start to yell abuse at the player. The question is this; your child will be ready to play soccer when you are ready to cope with all the ups and downs. Can it be simpler than this?

Young kids play soccer because it’s fun. They have no intentions of hurting another player or injuring them. Unfortunately that’s the nature of the sport and injuries are bound to happen. Can you handle this?

I’ve seen children as young as 5 participate in soccer and love every minute. The parents are very supporting and expect at times that their kids might get hurt. On the other hand, I’ve witnessed 10 year olds that cannot cope with the pressures of the game. Pressure from the over demanding coaches and parents make the sport unbearable even on the best of days.

The right age to play competitive soccer can be any age as long as you understand the variables that usually effect the enjoyment of the game. For starters, parents must accept that their children are going to get hurt and must learn to deal with it in a civilized manner. They must understand that soccer is a team sport and that their children are not going to be the center of attention.

If you as the parent can get this right, your child is free to play at any age, no problems. But make sure you’re ready to stand in the stands when your child needs you the most. Otherwise your child could be 20 years old and still not be ready for competitive soccer.

Think about it; are you ready for your child to play competitive soccer? I’m guessing your child was born ready to have fun, what’s the hold up.

Croquet – The Traditional Backyard Game – History and Rules of Croquet

Although many people think croquet is a gentle game for backyard picnics, it can be a fiercely competitive game of skill and strategy. Croquet is based on simple concepts that can be enjoyed by people of all ages and abilities. Croquet is believed to have originated in France in the 1300’s. The name “croquet” appears to have come from a French physician who recommended the game to his patients as a form of rehabilitative exercise. He gave the game its name after the crooked stick used to hit the balls through the wickets. Croquet gained tremendous popularity throughout the British Empire and rules were formalized in 1868 in Wimbledon. Croquet became a popular, and sometimes fiercely competitive, game. However, the emergence of tennis cut short the popularity of croquet and most croquet fields throughout England became tennis courts. Despite this, croquet remains popular at back yard gatherings because of its roots, simple manner of play, and because people of all ages and skill levels enjoy the game.

Croquet is a very simple game. The field is made of nine wickets, or upside-down “u” shaped stakes and two end stakes set up as pictured. The object is for a player to start at one stake and work his or her way through the wickets as pictured, hit the stake at the opposite end, and work his or her way back until he or she hits the original stake. Whichever player achieves this goal first, wins. Each wicket passed through or stake hit scores 1 point. The winner will total 16 with each other player scoring somewhere under that.

The colors on the stakes and mallets determine playing order. Players can agree on an order or, more often, use a coin toss to determine order. Each hit is called a stroke; bonus strokes can be won by going through the proper wicket, hitting a stake, or hitting another ball. Hitting another ball is called roqueting. Single bonus strokes for the first two are played from where the ball lies. For roqueting, a player is awarded two bonus strokes and has several options on how to use them.

The player may choose to take his or her two bonus strokes from where the ball lies. He or she may choose to place his or her own ball a mallet head’s length away from the ball roqueted and take two strokes from there. The third and fourth options have the player place his or her ball and the ball roqueted side by side. From here the player may strike his or her own ball causing both to move or he or she may place the foot on his or her ball and hit it causing only the roqueted ball to move. In either case, he or she still has the second bonus stroke to take as he or she chooses.

There are many other options and variations to croquet, but no matter how you choose to play, the game is competitive, addictive, and fun for people of all ages.

Croquet: Adapting the Game for Your Back Garden

The problem that most of us have is that our back gardens do not exactly conform to the size and shape required for the traditional set-up required for the prescribed croquet game rules! Well, why not create your own version!

A croquet set will normally consist of the following: mallets, six hoops, different coloured balls, a peg with various different coloured rings on it and some clips. The better sets will have boundary pegs and corner flags included. All very well when you have the 25 by 38 yards rectangular, manicured piece of lawn as required in competition croquet; not so perfect if you have a long and thin, round, odd-shaped or garden full of other garden game equipment cluttering the lawn area. To complete the setting, grandpa insisted on planting your birthday rose right in the centre! Fear not, croquet game rules can be adapted to suit whoever is in control.

Instead of using yard lines and chalk lines forming the perfect rectangular croquet court, why not use the flower beds as the out-of-bounds lines? Instead of following the normal set pattern for the hoops and peg, why not set out your own obstacle course, where participants can get snookered behind the sandpit, or the supports of the climbing frame? We have created very interesting courses that are in all sort of shapes and lines, causing frustration and hilarity at the same time, entertaining players and spectators alike, for extended periods of time. Whether the circuit is completed once or more than once, who cares!

As long as the rules are laid down before the start of the game, everyone is in the same boat. Providing the croquet equipment used is the same for all participants, all you need is a sense of fun, a will to win and a mean streak, ensuring your opponent’s ball is in an uncompromising position after croquet was taken. An uneven piece of lawn will ensure that every shot has more than the usual dimensions to it and make planning shots ahead even more challenging. Just visualise how the contours and the lay of the land, influence the game of golf in shot selection and putting! We would not suggest that bunkers come into play in the game of croquet, but obstacles like trees, flower beds, garden furniture and other play equipment, bring challenges to the game that a flat, beautifully manicured lawn could not even dream to provide.

Croquet as a garden game can be enjoyed whether you are a nobleman with the appropriate lawns to enjoy, or the person with a postage stamp for a back garden. Croquet sets come in various sizes and prices; imagination we all have built-in at no cost already. Go outside, have a look at the croquet equipment and type of space you have to your disposal, grab a pen and paper and design the ideal course for you and your family and friends. Be mean but fair and set up your own set of croquet game rules and get stuck in for a fun time for all involved.

Croquet – A Recreational Sport

Is croquet a sport, or more of just a recreational activity for people to play in their backyards, or both it be both a competitive sport and recreation. Croquet was actually once played as a competitive sport in the Olympics. It began to get popular in the late eighteen hundreds, sharing fields or courses with tennis. Tennis eventually beat out croquet as the more popular sport, and croquet was dropped from the Olympic Games. Currently tennis is a very popular competitive sport, while many do not know what croquet is. Croquet is making a comeback, however, growing once again into a national and international competitive sport.

Croquet was spread around the globe in the late 1800’s by the British Empire. It was a new recreational and somewhat competitive sport quickly gaining popularity. At the turn of the century it was added as a sport in the Olympic Games, only to be taken back out again by the subsequent Olympic Games. Croquet was removed from the Olympic Games because countries could not agree on the rules. American croquet associations played by different rules than the European associations played. This created some conflicts on how rules would be dealt with at the international level. Croquet left the high level sports arena and was cast back down to be carried on only by small clubs and groups of croquet followers. It was also played for recreation in backyards and parks.

In the 1960’s and 70’ croquet began to gain back its lost ground. Large croquet clubs on the east coast of the US decided to compete with each other and agreed on some official rules. With official rules established and the establishment of the croquet association to govern those rules, croquet was played as a competitive sport once again. Since 1980, croquet has grown from a sport played by a few professionals to several thousand professional croquet players in North America today. Local, national, and international croquet tournaments are being held often.

Nevertheless, croquet is still little known to many people especially as a competitive sport. Many Americans play croquet [] for recreation in their backyards or in parks, oblivious to the fact that it is a sport played professionally; that there is a World Governing body for croquet – the World Croquet Federation; there is the USCA – the United States Croquet Association; along with national croquet associations in many countries throughout the world.

Different rules have developed over time for croquet. The type of croquet that many Americans play in their backyards requires different rules than that played professionally in clubs and tournaments. The lawns are also trimmed like a golf course four tournament and club play, while backyard players will play on whatever grass is in the backyard. Different types of croquet set are used for different styles of croquet as well. A backyard croquet set can just be a simple inexpensive croquet set. Usually backyard and recreational croquet sets are nine wicket sets ranging from four to eight players. Some professional croquet sets are six wicket sets with fancy mallets and balls designed for professional play on well kept fields.

Croquet is both a recreational activity that anyone can play in their backyard, and a competitive sport gaining more popularity even as you read this article. Soon some of those backyard croquet players, currently oblivious to the fact, will become the Michael Jordan or Tiger Woods of croquet, making millions of dollars winning tournaments and getting sports and athletic sponsors. Thousands will flock to their tournaments and millions will watch them on television.

The Fun Sport of Badminton

It’S fast! It’recreation! It’S so easy to learn that even the five-year-olds can enchant by playing it. More that just a play for families, badminton will assemble you to the Olympic Games if you choose to improve your qualification level!

The badminton captivated the hearts of the family multi-with generations during decades, while the young infant that the hasn’T reached the précours can play, as well as the grandfather and even the large-large-father. Even the beginner of first-day can feel the comfortable play.

In England more than 2 million people actively, regularly, play badminton.By combining competence, speed and subtlety, one can become a higher pro.

The tools of the badminton are simple: a shuttlecock often indicated ‘under the name of the bird’ or ‘of the shuttle,’ and a racket which are tied up with the intestine or synthetic fibre. The racket is usually approximately 26 inches length and weighs only approximately 5 or 5 1/2 ounces. And, the infants can handle the same racket of weight as the parents — if their hands reach around the handle. The cost of equipment?

A package of shuttles and rackets can be bought for less than $10 or you can have done yours on order for completely a little more. ‘The bird’ is superb-light, weighing only from the 4 to 5 grams. The fourteen to sixteen feathers are fixed on a kid-leather skin, which is then put in a cork head which is approximately an inch of diameter. The feathers are what downwards slows down the bird towards the end of its flight through the net.

Soufflement of winds of winter’the stop of T the in love ones with badminton put. Played inside with a net, the sport is a possibility during all the year. An empty court of basketball is enough, and the players are clever in the conclusion of one which is available. The schools noted that even the students who are not athletically tilted can have pleasure to learn and to play of the schools of badminton.Many classes of kindergarten by the college offer above, increasing the qualification level while the students develop.

the coordination of Hand-eye increases, just as the perception of depth, the concentration, and the space conscience. Older students learn from the qualifications of organization and the techniques of drive. And after the school years, the adults travelling around the sphere can find a large club of badminton in each principal city.

Rapid! This’word of S one which describes the play itself. This small ‘bird’ can travel above 100 km/h. The players waver, twist, jump, race dispatches, backwards, and in length all while precipitating to again reverse the shuttle at the other side.

For will travel more than one thousand during a match, and the cover almost each inch of the court. Since the shuttle and the racket are so light, the lightest torsion of’a wrist of S can direct where the bird will fly.

Recreation! Delicious recreation! The badminton brings much joy and to laugh with the players. When they miss a projectile and the bird falls to the floor, the standard excuse is, “there’S a hole in my racket!”

The skills of playing badminton

The skills of badminton eventually embodied the ball speed embodied in the ball flight curve changes, and the control and the accurate change degree, placement, and in the same position on the ball speed, placement, radian, etc.
The basic technical essentials hit badminton racquet grip can be divided the stroke –the timing control – action pat consistency, etc.


Good grip method is correct and flexible. It is the basic of hitting the ball. Don’t grip too tight, so our wrist can fully use power, and control the hitting power and direction.

The correct griping way is easy to study, but you must spend amount time to learn how to use. If the ball essentials you have not mastered, you will often make a mistake and the way of griping racket will be wrong. Therefore, when you practice hitting the ball, you should keep reminding yourself, and check the griping way is correct or not. After a period of time, you can form the correct grip habits. You would quickly improve skills, and will play will be easier.
Hitting Point:

The stroke point should be high as far as possible, so hitting ball is forward to fight. We should swing to stroke actively. Do not wait until the ball has flied near the body. The moment that we hit the ball is the fastest moment. Hitting power cannot too early or too late. The power of hitting should cooperate with ball. This is very important.
Amateur players often pursue of rapid shots. It is wrong. Because it often too early or too late to send the power. It can not send the biggest power when the moment we swing the racket. The solution is that you calm, relax body and wrist to have good judgment after hitting. Here you should wear light shoes to reduce the burden. And the mens puma trainers can do this. So you can have a try. Buy a pair of puma to play badminton.

Action Coordination:

Action coordination is the key of hitting. Coordinated action can mobilize the force of the body, and focus the power to hit. The coordinated action is from the relaxed body. Rigid body can lead to stiff movements.

Action Consistency:

Skilled players can change of pitch and placement, and make the opponent can not judge before hitting the ball, it is the consistency of the action. Of course, our clothes should also coordinate.

How The Patriots Win All Those Lombardi Trophies?

The Patriots don’t need prayers or special help from the officials (although many would say the refs are their twelfth, thirteenth, etc players) to win this years Super Bowl. I mean, weren’t  the football gods on their side last year? Probably not. Bill Belichick and his host of merry men can put Humpty Dumpty back together again at halftime and capture football’s Holy Grail. Again, see last year’s SB and a couple of games this year. Although I root for ANY team not from New England to win it all, watching the Patriots play is amazing. Like a Lamborghini on cruise control travelling down the Interstate. At any speed. Tom Brady just won his third MVP award. He’s fricking 40 years old and showing no signs of middle age. So it’s not true that only kickers play well beyond 40? This will be how many championship games with the Patriots? I believe they are 5-3. Not sure if that’s just the Brady/Belichick era or all time. I stopped watching all the hype shows because of the one-sidedness. There is another team playing today, right? The Eagles are no slouch. They got here without their starting quarterback. Not sure the Pats would have. I mean, who is Brady’s backup? Can’t be anyone who scares anybody or else Tom Remove the Threat Brady would’ve made sure the Krafts traded him away. A few years ago, Nick Foles had one of the greatest seasons by a QB in the history of the NFL. Although mostly a journeyman and backup since, he’s back at home and feeling it. He was like a surgeon against the Vikings. Of course, most of the hype has been for the offenses. Everyone knows that defenses win the Big Ones. The Falcons defense was exhausted by the end of the third quarter last year. I never thought I would say this: they played too hard and didn’t have good backups. They simply burnt themselves out. So, Philly, don’t burn yourselves out and yBradyou should hoist the Lombardi Trophy. Nick and Company will score enough. Your defense is better than theirs. Although I won’t bet against Brady, I think overall the Eagles are better. Can the Ferrari beat the Lamborghini?

Eagles Bare Their Claws-Slash Vikings

I was rooting for the Vikings to play the big one in their stadium and pound the Patriots and become the first Super Bowl Champs to win in their home stadium. Philly had other ideas. The Vikes started out on fire by scoring on their opening drive and looked unstoppable. That was all the good for them. The Eagle defense came alive and Nick Foles and company dissected the vaunted Minnesota defense. They were not any resemblance of the Purple People Eaters of lore. Remember the Dante Culpepper led 15-1 team? When the Vikes got him, I told all my many Vikings fans that they would never win a Lombardi trophy with him at the helm. They didn’t. Now the dilemma for them will be the quarterback situation for next year. Sam Bradford? Can’t stay on the field for 19 games. Teddy Bridgewater? The little I’ve seen from him has been unimpressive-not a Super Bowl winning quarterback. I like Case Keenum and he could do it. But I believe the Vikes will make yet another bonehead move when it comes to making that decision. Alex Smith? Who knows with Minnesota.

Admission – I’m A Closet Vikings Fan

Except when they play the Green Bay Packers or are involved in a game the Pack needs them to lose. Actually, I am just a NFL football junkie. Some teams I like less than others and for different reasons. Their style of play, their uniforms, a couple of their players, or even the coach. In the case of the Vikings, it’s all of the above with the exception of the coach who I know little about. If the Packers aren’t in the playoffs, then I’m a fan of the team from the Black and Blue division that is in it. Even the Bears. And Lions, if they ever make it my lifetime. I’ve enjoyed watching them since Fran Tarkenton created Houdini moves on the field. Man, he frustrated me when they played the Pack. And Carl Eller was always laying on top of our quarterback. Bud Grant was a coaches coach. Yes, that was back in the day. But I admit I have felt sadness over each Viking Super Bowl loss. I’m hoping that changes this season. My dream Super Bowl would be for the Vikes to play the Patriots, be the first team to win the Lombardi Trophy in their home stadium ( I doubt there will ever be a Super Bowl game in Lambeau-lol), and jump out to a 23 point lead. I doubt that they would blow it. Another desire would be to hear from some Vikes fans and explain something to me – Skol.