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March 1, 2018

This month sees many of our teams crisscrossing Florida for Commissioners Cup, President’s Cup, and State Cup. Journeys can often be long, the mercury is on the rise, and referees sometimes don’t understand the offside rule. So we thought we would provide some survival tips for the coming weeks.

For all tournaments, planning is key. Make sure you know where you are going, how long it will take to get there, whether there are adequate amounts of drive-thru coffee outlets along your route, and that both home and away jerseys are packed along with cleats, shin-guards and our blue warm up shirts.

FCS TIP: Budget 10-20 minutes extra just for the time it can take to park at tournament locations.

Often players will be expected to play between 3-5 games over any given tournament weekend which is physically and mentally demanding. They will require rest and sensible nutrition options to ensure recovery. Most importantly they will need to stay hydrated. Lots of water and limiting time spent in the...

January 24, 2018

Inverting The Pyramid - Jonathan Wilson

A book for the soccer nerd. From the early chaos of the birth of the beautiful game right through to the modern masters such as Pep Guardiola, this book details the evolution of the game throughout the world. Taking a socio-historical approach, Wilson charts how the game developed in various cultures and highlights the tactical evolutions that have shaped what we watch and what we play today.  If you want to know your ‘total football’ from your ‘catenaccio’, this book is for you.

Purchase via Amazon Smile and help FC Sarasota!

The Damned United - David Pearce

For at least one of our coaches, Brian Clough is an iconic figure. As a player he had a goal return to rival Harry Kane until injury put an end to his playing career. He took up management and won the 1st Division (now the Premier League) with Derby County and Nottingham Forest where he also won the European Cup (now the Champions League) twice in a row. In between these two jobs, Clough took th...

January 8, 2018

In our modern capitalist free market society that we live in it is generally accepted that to make people perform better you must incentivize them. Professional soccer players almost universally have many different performance bonus related clauses written into their contracts. Zlatan Ibrahimovich earned just over $140000 for each of his 28 goals scored for Manchester United in the 2016-2017 season.  Social science has repeatedly investigated these sorts of incentives to find out just how effective they are in driving people to perform better in relation to their tasks, and time and time again have found that this approach actually has a negative effect on performance!

At various times over the past five years we have overheard players taking amongst themselves about the sort of incentives they are being offered by parents. The one most typically overheard is similar to Ibra’s, and offers cash for every goal the individual player scores.  As coaches we tend to flinch at such notions,...

January 3, 2018

I became a goalkeeper on a Tuesday morning back in 1989. We had a 15 minute break at school so we all rushed outside onto the concrete playground with a tennis ball, set up some teams, and started playing. I found myself at the back next to the wall with the faded weird rhombus chalk outline of the goal posts, the ball bounced across the horde of 9 year olds over to Russell, the best player at the school, who volleyed the tennis ball towards me. I remember just throwing myself to the left and tipping the ball over the wall. I got back up with trousers torn and arms and legs bleeding and my friends shouting praise at my save and disappointment that we might have lost the ball. These scenes would then be repeated at every chance we got for the next ten years. A group of friends, a ball, and a space to play was all we needed.

If you ask our coaches they will likely tell you similar stories of hours spent every day kicking a ball around at home, at school, and in the park, often playing aga...

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Positive Reinforcement In Youth Soccer

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