Monday, June 28, 2010

Bow your heads

Ok, here's the deal. England lost in the soccer to Germany 4-1. Imagine if the US had a national football team.... that then lost to Canada 28-7. That would pretty much some up the national mood over here right now. I think today should be set aside as a day of mourning. The critical ingredients in the defeat were as follows: 1) A lack of technical skill 2) A lack of mental skill 3) A poor refereeing decision If ever you complain about the officiating in the NFL, at least take comfort in the fact that video replay allows challenges and allows officials to review plays at their own discretion (inside of two minutes). This is something soccer could learn a lot about. As for the lack of mental and technical skill, it all ties back to what I've been hammering on the last couple of days; fundamentals. The communication, tactical awareness and foundation technical skills of the English team were appalling. Think about the Lions in their 0-16 season. It was that bad. This further reinforces to me the vital need for sound basics at all positions. Whether it's football or soccer, you cannot expect to achieve wins and reach high levels of competition without a solid base to build on. This I think is the hallmark of the great coaches. Think Bill Walsh, Paul Brown, Vince Lombardi etc. All are known for their attention to detail and their devotion to getting better at the core skills of the game. Mike Leach, formerly of Texas Tech would also point us to this. When he's not busy locking students away in cupboards, Leach was known for having his quarterbacks take part in drills simultaneously, with everyone from the 1st to the 4th string guy taking drops and making reads. It's little wonder that over time he's had multiple quarterbacks seemingly just slot right into his offense and excel from day one. I'll say it again. Fundamentals. I hope the Rams are listening... Have a great day everyone.

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