What’s it all about?Posted: June 10, 2013
So, who am I and why am I starting this blog?
Let’s answer the second question first. I am starting this blog by popular demand. Keep in mind that in our house, “popular demand” means my wife suggested it. (I suspect that I am not alone in this.)
Now- to the first question:
I am an old (if 68 is considered old) American sport-centered person who was introduced to soccer as a serious sport at the comparatively advanced age of 19 and immediately fell in love with it. I played in college and in several amateur adult leagues until my knees gave out (I foolishly continue to try and play despite desperate communications from my body to my brain to stop). As a player, I never amounted to very much. However, when I graduated from college, I entered the teaching profession and that gave me a perfect platform to coach soccer at a time when youth soccer was just getting started and most high schools only had a team if they were too small for football (American football , that is.) As a coach, I have been blessed with much success.
I have coached youth soccer at many levels, both genders. I have studied the sport both in the US and abroad. I have a national license – one of the first coaches to get one. I have watched literally thousands of soccer matches at all levels, from 5 yr. old tykes to World Cup matches. I have had the honor to shake hands with individuals like Pele and Johan Cruyff and the even greater honor to coach 8 yr. old munchkins to their first soccer championship. I have watched former players perform before tens of thousands of spectators. I have helped develop a number of players who have represented the USA at various age levels and I have coached more who reached professional levels but didn’t make a national team. I have been sought out by many for my views and for helping to develop young players and yet I also have been told by some educated soccer people that I have it all wrong. I have seen the game grow here in the US in amazing ways. Through it all, my fascination and love for the game has only gotten stronger. Because I am an American, and an older one at that, I have some non-traditional views of the game and its organization. On some levels I am a purist- I love the possession game, the passing game, the game played with few fouls. I think that 2011 Barcelona was the epitome of the modern game. But I also am a competitor and understand that the objective of the game is to score more goals than the opposition. While soccer can be played for the art it displays, I believe that the art is best viewed when it results in a victory.
In the coming weeks, I will discuss my views of all aspects of the game, I invite comments – both pro and con. I believe that there is no right and wrong when it comes to soccer- just different ways to go about playing and coaching and even watching the game. I’ll write about my experiences and about some specific beliefs I have concerning the development of players and teams. I hope you (the reader) will follow along and comment when it seems appropriate.
By the way: about the title of the blog- sounds fairly pretentious doesn’t it? The Soccer YODA? Coming from someone who hasn’t even coached at the college level? Listen; for me science fiction is only second to soccer (among non-living things); I know about Yoda and what the name implies-it was given to me by others in respect to my soccer coaching and study of the game. And it makes for a catchy blog title, I think!