Final Reflection – Soccer Trainings

  • What did you enjoy about the experience?
    • I enjoyed spending time with my trainees and teaching them soccer. These trainings also relieved some of my stress with school because when I was training them I wasn’t thinking about school work, which was really nice.
  • What was the most challenging aspect of your Twenty Time project?
    • The most challenging part was finding a good time where both me and my trainees were free, and then trying to avoid bad weather, sickness, and injuries, which I think for the most part we avoided pretty well.
  • What is one thing you learned about yourself by participating in your Twenty Time project?
    • I learned that I am actually a pretty good teacher. I found that I was a good teacher because my trainees improved a lot throughout the year. Throughout the year I also learned how to give more clear explanations because sometimes someone wouldn’t understand something I said so I would have to find a different way to explain.
  • What are you most proud of? Why?
    • I am most proud of my trainees because they also have busy lives and they still came out every week and trained with me. They improved so much throughout the year and I am very proud of them. I really hope they both continue to play soccer.
  • What lessons did you learn from your successes?
    • I learned that playing soccer is a lot different than teaching and that if I do a good job teaching, then my trainees will learn fast.
  • What lessons did you learn from your failures?
    • I learned that I can’t control the weather or whether or not someone is sick or hurt. What I learned from this is that for next time I need to set up back-up dates to train if one of these things happen.
  • What is one thing about this project you believe you’ll remember for a long time to come?
    • I will definitely remember the first time Allison tried using the form I taught her for shooting, and her shot was perfect. It was powerful and went right into the upper-90 of the goal. I will also remember when she got 7 juggles (her high score) and was so excited.
  • What is something the teacher could have done to make this project better?
    • I think that Mrs. Wittman did an amazing job with this project. There will always be uncontrollable technical difficulties with presentations. However, I think that maybe in order to not go onto an extra day of presentations, there should be a more strict rule about sticking to a 4-5 minute presentation like it says on the sheet. I know a lot of people, including me, probably went over 5 minutes.

Training 7 Season 2

Today, Catherine unfortunately had swimming again, so I only trained Allison. First, I did the foot skill drills with her, and she is still definitely continuing to improve. After skills training, she juggled. I noticed that her juggles are becoming way more controlled than they used to be. She is now starting to average around 4 or 5 instead of 2 or 3. After juggling, I had her do half-volley shots. I would throw the ball to her, she’d let it bounce once, and then she’d shoot it. She was very good at this, only one of her shots went over the goal. Her shooting is definitely a lot stronger than it was when I first started training her. After that, we did one touch passing. Her one touch is very exceptional, I was impressed about how good they were. I was also impressed when I did a drill with her where I would pass her the ball really hard and she would have to control it and get it back to me in two touches. Her first touches for the most part went right where they were supposed to, which made me very happy with Allison. For the last few minutes of the training, I tossed her the ball and she would trap it out of the air and get it back to me in one or two touches. I think that one of Allison’s strengths is definitely trapping the ball, whether it be in the air or on the ground. I am excited to see her next week! (and hopefully Catherine too!)

Training 6 Season 2

On Monday, I trained both Allison and Catherine. I took it easy with them more because Allison had a cold. First, I did one touch passing with them in a triangle, which was like a warm up, and then I had them play one versus one against each other. Allison is older, so she has more moves and scored more goals. She tried a variety of moves, and used the correct shooting form, which made me happy. Catherine tried some moves too, but I didn’t really get to see her shoot that much during that drill. After they played one versus one for a while, I had them do a shooting drill (they’d pass to me I’d pass it back and then they’d shoot). I definitely think that their shots are a lot stronger than they were at the beginning of the year. After shooting, I had Allison demo how to do volleys and trapping and then had Catherine do it. She had never done volleys or trapping before, so I was expecting this to be a little bit hard for her. To my surprise, she really got the hang of it after a few tries and her volleys started coming back to me. I am going to train the girls again today and I am looking forward to it!

Training 5 Season 2

Today, Wednesday April 6, I trained Allison again. Catherine unfortunately was not able to make it again today. First, I had Allison do the foot-skill and dribbling drills (inside-insides, toe touches, inside-outsides, the V, dribbling through the cones, and juggling). Today, impressively, some of her scores were way higher than they were last time, which was interesting, and means that she is definitely improving. She is still working really hard on her juggling, but I told her that she still needs to practice it at home in order to get better at it. After those drills, I did volleys and trapping with her. She is very good at volleys, most of them went right back to me. This is very impressive because she is only in elementary school. Allison knows how to take the ball down from the air, but I am trying to get her to challenge herself more and go forwards with her touches. To end the session, I passed with her. We did one-touch and different variations of two-touch including: right to right, left to left, right to left, left to right, and behind-the-back touches (which will be shown in the end of season video). Overall, Allison is doing great and I am excited that she is having fun with these training sessions. I can’t wait to see her (and hopefully Catherine) next week!

Training 4 Season 2

This last training session, fortunately, both Allison and Catherine were able to make it. First, they told me about their soccer games. Catherine told me about how her team played against girls that were two years older than her, and Allison told me about some of the goals that her team scored. I liked that they took the time to tell me about their soccer teams and how they are doing. Afterwards, I did the foot-skills drills with them again (inside-insides, toe-touches, inside-outsides, the V, and juggling). Allison is continuing to improve, the majority of her scores are definitely higher than her scores the first time I did the drills with her. Catherine has not been here as many times, but her scores, by about as much as Allison’s, have improved. Allison’s scores are a little bit higher than Catherine’s, but that is expected because she is older and she has been to more of the trainings. They are also still both working on their juggling. Allison’s high score is seven right now, and as of now averages around three each time she juggles. Catherine has been juggling with a bounce (on the ground) in between each juggle, so I told her to try getting rid of the bounce. She did try it, and got two, which is not bad, especially because she does not usually juggle without a bounce. This training session, they wanted to juggle for a while, so I let them, even though it took up a lot of the time. To finish the session, they did shooting. I am definitely seeing a huge improvement from both of them since our first training session. They are using the correct form, and their shots are a lot harder than before. Unfortunately, we did not have enough time to do volleys, but I can’t wait to do them at our next training session!

Training 3 Season 2

At my last training session (Wednesday the 23rd), Catherine was at swimming, so I only trained Allison. First, I scored Allison in the foot skill drills: toe-touches, inside-insides, inside-outsides, the V, juggling, and dribbling through the cones. Her scores are continuing to improve. I am, however, still working with her on her juggling. She was getting upset that she could not get that many, no matter how she tried, so I just told her to also practice juggling on her own. Hopefully she takes my advice, because it actually will work. After the scoring, we passed around the cones for a few minutes. Her first touches are very good, and her passing is to target, which is also great. Then, after passing, we went to trapping and volleys. This time, Allison actually requested to do trapping and volleys, so of course I did them with her. We did the progression where I started by throwing the ball to her feet, then to her thighs, chest, and head. I am still impressed by her performance at these. Almost all of her volleys are right back to me. After we did the progression, I showed her another drill for trapping the ball out of the air. I would throw the ball, and she would bring it down to the ground with different surfaces of her foot: the inside, the bottom, and the laces. I showed her the technique for each, and then she did them. I think that she was very good at these as well. She needs to work on taking the ball down with her laces, however. Overall, Allison has been doing very well in these trainings, and I cannot wait to train her again this Wednesday.

Training 2 Season 2

I just started school soccer everyday, so I could no longer do the trainings in between school and my after school sport. So now, on every Wednesday after school soccer practice, I will be training Allison and Catherine. This Wednesday, Catherine was not there, so I only trained Allison. First, we warmed up, which consisted of stretching, etc.. Then, I scored her again on: toe touches, inside-insides, inside-outsides, the V, figure eights, dribbling and turning, and juggling (if it is still hard to understand what these are exactly, I will soon post a video that shows what they are). Despite the fact that we have not met as much as I hoped these last few months, Allison’s scores slightly improved. Her juggling score, especially, was much higher. At first, she was getting two regularly, but this time she got six in a row, which was impressive. After the scoring, I passed with Allison because Catherine was not there. We did the drill where there are two cones (each of us at one of them) and we take a touch around the cone and pass to the other person. After this, we did shooting again. I think that Allison is definitely starting to use the shooting form that I taught her without me having to remind her, and it is working. Her shots are now a lot more powerful, unlike the more lofted shots that she was kicking in our first training session. After shooting, I taught her how to do volleys and take the ball out of the air. I started by showing her the techniques, and then threw the ball to her so that she could try. She had never done these before in her practices, so I was not expecting her to be perfect. I started by throwing the ball to her feet, and then progressed to her thighs, chest, and head. To my surprise, a lot of her volleys were exceptional. I was very impressed that a lot of her volleys, even the headers, went back to me. I cannot wait to train her after spring break, it is really fun watching her improve.

Training 1 of Season 2

On Monday, I had my first training of my spring season with Allison and Catherine. Fortunately, even though it is winter, the temperature was in the 60s and sunny, so it was a good day to train. First, I had them do the passing drill where they take a touch around the cone and pass it to the other person. Also, this season I decided to test them on foot-skills (inside-inside, toe taps, inside-outside, the v, and dribbling through the cones). I would see how many (toe taps for example) that they got in 20 seconds, and then recorded their score. I will do these every session now to see if their scores improve. Overall, Allison (being the older one), got higher scores, except one time they got the same score, and one time Catherine had a higher score. After the foot-skills, I had them do a simple shooting drill where they would pass to me, I’d pass it back, and they would shoot. I had to remind them about using the form I taught them, but was very surprised when Allison used it correctly and hit her best shot that I’ve ever seen her kick. I was very proud that not only is she improving and listening to what I teach her, but I also was able to teach her to have a better shot. I hope that she continues to shoot the ball like she did on Monday in our next training sessions.

Midyear Reflection

Today I talked with a group about my accomplishments and troubles with this project and what I plan to do for the second half of my project. I have definitely seen improvement with Allison and Catherine, and I also think that I am starting to be able to identify what they are doing wrong so that I can fix it. My goals are still the same: to become a better teacher and to make Allison and Catherine better soccer players (and also now Kate and her sister). So that I have proof that my trainings are helping, I plan to ask about Allison, Catherine, Kate, and her sister’s season with their teams and how they are doing (if they scored a goal, did a move and beat someone, made a great pass, etc.). I also plan to make a video comparing them from when we started training to when we have our last training. Some troubles with this project were first of all finding a time and place to have the trainings, which was difficult because of all of our busy schedules, then counting on the weather to be good (which it wasn’t a few times), and finally, hoping to not be sick or hurt (Catherine got sick one time). Despite these mishaps, I have definitely accomplished a lot with Allison and Catherine, and hope to do the same with Kate and her sister.

Season 2

During the next season of my trainings, I hope to make more videos of my trainings and also maybe some of me too. At the end of this season, I will make another video and compare the two to see how much Allison and Catherine have improved. We will start training next week on Monday and will go for the rest of January and February every other week. We are still unsure about how the schedule in March will work. Also, I will now be training two other girls about the same age as Allison and Catherine: Kate and her sister (I do not know what her name is yet). Adding two more girls means that I will be able to do more drills that require more people. I will look at Kate, her sister, Allison, and Catherine to see if my teaching has worked on Allison and Catherine. If it has, then Allison and Catherine should have better form than Kate and her sister. This will be another good opportunity to see how good my teaching is and after I see then I will make sure Kate and her sister learn the correct forms (if in fact my teaching helped Allison and Catherine).