Teams, Athletic and Non- LO6880

Barry Mallis (
22 Apr 1996 09:07:02 -0400

RE>Teams, Athletic and Non LO6833 4/22/96


On a low level of abstraction, soccer does offer a chance for a kind of
extemporaneous collaboration. A good coach will move the team toward that
concept, toward deliberate freedom of thinking, so to speak. In such a
state, players have a graeter sense of anticipation.

The first rule of offensive soccer is: Play Without the Ball! This
strikes most American youngsters I've coached as unintelligible. With
intense, consistent practice, meaning becomes attached to it.

I spoke to one coach a year ago whose team was superlative. "How do you
obtain such field discipline, such consistency?" His reply: "The kids
hate practices, because all we do is overlaps [a kind of pass where the
passer runs behind the receiver to his/her other side, into open space
ready to receive the ball back if necessary]. But when they get out on
the field, see what happens."

What I saw in that team was a hightened sense of collaboration. These 18
and 19 year olds were constantly talking to one another.


Barry Mallis

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