The power of your backyard

Article Written by Maddy Evans
Source: Topdrawer 
Published: June 7, 2017

My parents have me to thank for never having a nice, green lawn while I was growing up.

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Kid-Friendly Criticism by Positive Coaching Alliance

It's been said that feedback is the breakfast of champions. Feedback, both positive and negative, can fill Emotional Tanks if it is understood as helping a player improve. But criticism, even the constructive kind, can drain "E-Tanks". And too much criticism over a period of time can destroy an athlete's love of playing the game. Filling E-Tanks, as discussed in recent months, is a way for coaches, parents and players to create a portable home-field advantage. As we approach mid-season, let's look at ways to keep our players E-Tanks Filled, while accelerating their learning capacity!

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Recruiting for college

Illinois senior Nicole Denenberg has seen it all during her four years as a college student-athlete, and now she's sharing pearls of wisdom in her new blog. Today, she gives advice to players attending college soccer camps. 

I wanted to offer a few more tips before wrapping up the topic of college camps and progressing in the journey towards a college selection. Because I received feedback on my previous blog, I would like to add some final thoughts on how camps can help you with your future academic and soccer goals.


How a Soccer Star Is Made

The youth academy of the famed dutch soccer club Ajax is grandiosely called De Toekomst — The Future. Set down beside a highway in an unprepossessing district of Amsterdam, it consists of eight well-kept playing fields and a two-story building that houses locker rooms, classrooms, workout facilities and offices for coaches and sports scientists. In an airy cafe and bar, players are served meals and visitors can have a glass of beer or a cappuccino while looking out over the training grounds. Everything about the academy, from the amenities to the pedigree of the coaches — several of them former players for the powerful Dutch national team — signifies quality.


Committing to Play for a College, Then Starting 9th Grade

SANFORD, Fla. — Before Haley Berg was done with middle school, she had the numbers for 16
college soccer coaches programmed into the iPhone she protected with a Justin Bieber case.
She was all of 14, but Hales, as her friends call her, was already weighing offers to attend the
University of Colorado, Texas A&M and the University of Texas, free of charge.
Haley is not a once-in-a-generation talent like LeBron James. She just happens to be a very good
soccer player, and that is now valuable enough to set off a frenzy among college coaches, even when —
or especially when — the athlete in question has not attended a day of high school. For Haley, the
process ended last summer, a few weeks before ninth grade began, when she called the coach at Texas
to accept her offer of a scholarship four years later.
“When I started in seventh grade, I didn’t think they would talk to me that early,” Haley, now 15,
said after a tournament late last month in Central Florida, where Texas coaches showed up to watch
her juke past defenders, blond ponytail bouncing behind.
“Even the coaches told me, ‘Wow, we’re recruiting an eighth grader,’ ” she said.
In today’s sports world, students are offered full scholarships before they have taken their first
College Boards, or even the Preliminary SAT exams. Coaches at colleges large and small flock to watch
13- and 14-year-old girls who they hope will fill out their future rosters. This is happening despite
N.C.A.A. rules that appear to explicitly prohibit it.