We lost, but not by nearly as much, and we definitely saw direct improvement from the practice before. As a whole, we moved for the ball more, we played much more on their half of the field, even keept it down there for a good 5-10 minutes. I was pleased with our improvement, and the team seemed pleased with it, too. I got a few good shots on goal, which made me happy. When we showed up in our dark purple shirts to play a team in dark blue shirts, the ref said the “home” team had to change. Since we were listed first on the schedule, we had to change, but we didn’t all have an extra shirt of any color, let alone matching ones. The ref just said “it’s in the rules. You have to have a shirt of a different color.” I just thought that it would be nice if we could get a copy of said rules. We eneded up playing in whatever non-dark shirts we could find. Mine was orange. But our keeper only had a long-sleeved plyester jersey as her only acceptable shirt, so when she hit the ground late into the hot second half and we moved her off the field, into shade, with ice packs and electrolytes, I stepped into goal. I didn’t have to play for long, they shot wide nearly every time (I’d like to credit that to good positioning), and when I did have to come out to slide, I did so well. It came back to me much better than I thought it would have.
We hit up the local italian ice place afterward. (Keeper’s fine.)
One of the team’s frustrations from the game was lack of shots. So this week’s practice focused on crossing and shooting. I introduced them to the game “World Cup Soccer”, which wasn’t an instant hit, but they got much more into it as we played a second round. Finished with a small scrimmage. Fun! Many of us seemed tired and a step slow, so having an easy, feel-good practice seemed great. Plus, we don’t have a game this weekend. Next practice, I want to focus on controlling play (field positioning, body positioning and don’t try to take the ball from your teammate), and using our new crossing skills to complete an up-back-through pass. I might need to bring a whiteboard for this one.
Quad’s still pulled, but it gets better every day. It’s just not getting enough time off between practices and games, but this game break should help. I’m going to walk, instead of run, the Peachtree this weekend (plus, I’ll get to spend the 6.2 miles with my husband.) This should give my quad some decent healing time, as will going to Savannah the weekend after for our A-Plus #1 Wedding Anniversary. I already had a good left foot, so I’m playing left-half more and trying to stay off my right leg when crossing and shooting. At this practice, I noticed that nearly all of my right-footed shots went right to keeper, but my left-footed ones went in.
I think my perception of play is different now. I’m noticing more what my teamates can do, and they seem surprised when I notice something they’re doing really well and tell them about it. I’ve suggested some position changes, like sending our super-fit, new-to-soccer player from forward to center mid. She loves it, and the team is really benefitting from her speed and enthusiasm. Or a midplayer that didn’t push up very far, but always seems to win the ball when it gets near her- she’s doing great on defense now. I always ust played the game, it’s really cool to tell other people what they’re doing well (especially when they don’t notice it), and point out improvements. The challenge is playing and watching at the same time, but it’s getting easier.