Author: Jacob Sweeney

16 Sep Parents, Soccer and Chess.

A few weeks ago. A parent got angry with me. They didn't like the position I was playing their child on the field. They thought he was a great forward, and perhaps he is, but I thought he was a better defender. Perhaps most importantly, a defender was what the TEAM needed. Here is a great article I wanted to share. I hope you will take the time to read it, because it is really good. I have copied the article below for those too lazy to use the link. Thanks to my assistant coach who sent me the link.   "I had a parent email me last week seeking advice for how to help her 10 year old son deal with the fact that the coach is playing him as a defender, whereas he’s usually played as a forward. It wasn’t clear to me from her email if the issue was hers or her son’s, so I (hopefully subtly) encouraged her to figure that out first. I then tried to get the point across to the parent that BEING A TEAMMATE is being a member of a team and doing what is needed – being on the bench, being the goalkeeper, being the goal scorer, being the defender that stops the other team from scoring, or the weak sided midfielder that runs up and down the field all day and rarely receives the ball. You get my point. Being on a team means you do what the team needs from you at that moment. Being a teammate means you play your heart out in whatever position you happen to be assigned. Just like a chess match, each position is essential to the proper performance of the team. I get this. Or at least I thought I did.
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06 Sep Well Said…

“The way the game is educated, told, driven, we are still far away from real soccer nations,” Klinsmann told the Post. “The biggest educational problem is people think it's a coaches' game in the United States. It's not. It's a players' game.   “There's too much emphasis on telling people what to do.”
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29 Aug Turn Club On Its Head Part 2

I never expected to see anything on this again, but here it is. To read the article click here. You can also read below. U.S. Soccer has called a meeting in Chicago on Oct. 16 in response to growing discontent among American youth clubs. SI.com has learned that several major clubs received invitations from the federation via email, memo or phone call to discuss the issue of training compensation and solidarity. Article 20 of the FIFA Regulations on the Status and Transfer of Players states that training compensation must be paid to clubs that helped develop a player from ages 12 to 21 when that player signs his first professional contract and when he transfers between clubs in different countries. Article 21 states that a total of 5% of the fee for non-free transfers between clubs in different countries must be paid as solidarity to the player’s youth clubs.
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04 Aug Social Media and Soccer

With the rise of social media, so too has come the rise of too much information. One of the first things college coaches do when considering a new recruit is check out your Facebook or Twitter account. Don't believe me? Read below. (You can find the original story here) If you’ve ever hung around a group of millennials, you know that we use some combination of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Vine, SnapChat, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. And if you’ve never hung around a group of millennials, you probably know it anyway. But did you know that these social networking sites have the power to make-or-break peoples’ careers, like athletics scholarships and full-time jobs?
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Wedding Ann

03 Aug One of The Best Parts of The Job

As a young man there were several great people who helped me develop and grow. I can think of coaches, teachers and church youth leaders that all had positive impacts on my life. If I can, in some small way, have the same impact on the lives of those I coach, teach or mentor, I will feel like a huge success. Being remembered at the time of big events in peoples lives is probably one of the best ways my former players, students, and youth can show their appreciation.  I recently got these two wedding announcements/invitations in the mail and I am so happy for both of them. Staci Sokolski played for me at McKeel for 5 years and recently contacted my about helping with fund raising this next season. Caroline McKendrick played for me one season at LFC, her and her family have been family friends for years.  These two ladies are such great people, devout in their faith, hard working in their effort and fun to be around. I am so grateful to receive these announcements in the mail and proud of these girls for the decisions they are making.
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20 Jul How to turn club soccer on its head!

I found this article the other day and thought is very interesting... Here is a link to the actual article here. Chances are you missed the story when it first broke. And if you did happen to catch it, in spite of it barely registering a blip on the soccer media's radar, you probably weren't sufficiently bothered to pay it much mind. But the news of America's youth clubs petitioning FIFA for their solidarity funds could have a cataclysmic impact on our soccer scene. So here's what you missed: A few weeks ago, SI.com and VICE Sports reported that Crossfire Premier, a top youth soccer club in the Seattle area, had asked FIFA to intervene in its dispute with Major League Soccer and the United States Soccer Federation. After the Seattle Sounders sold U.S. national team winger DeAndre Yedlin to Tottenham Hotspur of the English Premier League for a reported $4 million fee, Crossfire Premier reached out to Spurs for its share of the so-called "solidarity funds." Solidarity funds are a mechanism instituted by FIFA a few years ago that ensures all of the clubs who had a hand in developing a player get a cut of an eventual transfer fee to more fairly distribute the spoils of his – and their – success. The rules are fairly complicated, but since Yedlin was sold to a club in a different country before the age of 23, the clubs responsible for developing him are technically entitled to a share of 5 percent of his transfer fee – depending on how much time he spent with them.
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10 Jul Why Are You Playing?

At some point in your soccer career you are going to get angry or frustrated with your coach, team, or situation. It could be for any reason; maybe you think the they are not good, maybe you don't like the position the coach is playing you, maybe you aren't playing as much as you would like, maybe you didn't make the team you wanted, maybe... well, you get the idea. At some point you will be unhappy about something. In situations like this I encourage players and parents to think about why they are playing soccer in the first place. What do you want from the game? Are you playing for fun or do you have some competitive aspirations like making the varsity team, earning a starting position or post high school play? Knowing why you are playing club, high school or recreational soccer will help you keep a healthy perspective on what's going on on the field or in practice.
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