A Day in July …

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It was a beautiful morning today. First I spent some time in the presence of the Lord praying and reading His Word, then I exchanged some encouraging notes with Netha, a missionary friend of ours who is getting ready to move to Zambia to do full time mission work there.street soccer in Anaheim

Then I got a text from one of our supporters who heard about our need for a car.  Praise the Lord!  He told me that he felt that the Lord put it in his heart to help us with our car issue.  That’s wonderful news because our 20 years old Corolla is ready to break down any day now.

Then I got another text from a friend about his wife.  She fell last night and dislocated and fractured her left ankle in three places. He asked for prayers because his wife is the heartbeat of their home.  I called him and offered to cook and take dinner over to them.

As I was gathering my thoughts and adjusting my plans for the day Manuel, (names are changed for anonymity – and for our safety) one of our neighbors knocked on the door. I brought him in and offered him coffee but he explained that he didn’t need any coffee to get his blood pressure up.  He was asking me to help him with his son, Alvaro.  He is a young guy who is on meth along with his friends and keeps hanging out in his dad’s garage right across our entrance.  By the way, these are the guys who showed us a week ago that they will shoot us or cut our throats if we said, or did anything after they found out that Manuel complained to us about their meth addiction and criminal activities.  Alvaro was so high on meth last night that he lit up some fireworks inside their apartment damaging everything and endangering his two little babies.  Later he had no clue who did all that. As we walked over to their apartment Manuel proudly showed me that a family moved into his garage, helping him with the rent.  At their place I met Manuel’s friend, Edmundo who was helping him clean and paint after the explosion.  He was fluent in English so he helped my communication with Manuel.  He asked me if I knew about any good rehab program because after what happened last night it looked like Alvaro was willing to seek help.

I went home and wasn’t really sure what to do.  We just moved here, we don’t know much about the town and its resources, but people look to us for solutions.  I called my friend Kevin at another urban mission who told me about Anaheim Lighthouse where they refer their people with drug and alcohol problems.  Back to their house, gave them the info. They were going to try to find Alvaro and head over to the rehab facility with him. If he wasn’t ready yet, then they were planning to have an “intervention party” for him.

With that behind me I was heading to the grocery store to get the meat for the dinner I promised to cook for my friend’s family.  I had very little time left because of the practice I run on Minday nights.

Needless to say that I got nothing done from what was on my plan for the day, but it was a good day anyway.

J….esus – first,
O…thers – second and
Y…ou – third, … wait, no Y just yet   :)


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Using body language for communication

a2s1A. 6v6 + 2 (8v6) on a 30X40 yards field

2 teams of 6 + 2 extra “neutral” players, who always join the team in ball possession, thus creating an 8v6 scenario, play a free-flowing possession game.
The emphasis is not just on keeping the ball, but on making creative runs off the ball ahead of time. In the first picture the blue team and the two extra red players are in possession of the ball. The Coach should have extra soccer balls and a good vantage point.

(Coaching points are marked with ->)

-> Can the players recognize the space where no defenders are present, and run into those areas to receive the ball?

-> Advanced level: can they get into tight spaces where pressure is present, but making their moves proactively and lightning fast?

-> Can they “Get In – Get Done – and Get Out? . . . meaning: with quick execution check in to pressure, get a one touch pass done, and get out of there?

Limit the touches on the ball based on the players’ ability level: 3 – 2 – 1 touch passes.

a2s2B. 7v7 a 30X40 yards field

Two even teams of 7 players continue playing as it was established in Game A. In the second picture the yellow team has the ball and their players must make their movements for support. The only restriction every player has to adapt now is that they can’t talk, can’t shout, can’t whistle or handclap. No verbal communication and making noises of any kind is allowed. They can only use body language for communication. No pointing to directions either.

-> By using body language only, they can disguise their intentions and make it difficult for the defensive team to predict the movements of attackers.

-> By using body language only, the attackers must lift their heads and put them on the swivel, must look for and read each other’s signaling, respond to them accordingly, therefore think ahead and pro-act.

-> By using body language only, they will develop a keener sense of spatial awareness.

Such body language is: eye contact, open face, open shoulders and hips (instead of turning them away), the direction, the angle, the pace and most of all the timing of runs.


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Step 1
30 x 30 grid
12 players (4 blues, 4 purples, 4 reds) are randomly passing around with 6 balls.
Players with the ball are looking for open team mates, and players without the ball looking to connect for receiving a pass. Coach must have extra soccer balls and a good view for the whole grid.

1st Restriction: everyone must be on the move and the ball can never stop; it can only change direction.

(Coaching points are marked with ->)

->first touch to space or toward support – the player receiving the ball has to have an idea
->prepare body position according to that idea – early action will ensure smooth ball circulation


Step 2
30 x 30 grid
Coach must have extra soccer balls and a good view of the whole grid.
12 players with one ball are playing a Three Teams Possession game
(4 blues and 4 purples vs. the 4 reds creating an all time 8v4 scenario).
Whichever team loses possession to another or plays the ball out of bounce, becomes the defending team (e. g.: if a purple player loses the ball to the reds, now the purples defend while the reds join the blues and create a new group of 8 attacking players). 1st Restriction and all coaching points are in effect. Start out with a free flowing 8v4.

2nd Restriction: the player receiving the pass can’t pass it back to the server. He/she must pass it to a third player. We are now looking for the third player on the move. This tiny adjustment will facilitate movements with and without the ball, thus moving as a team from one place to another.

-> point out the visual cue: when A passes to B, C in the same time is already on the move to support B; then while B passes to C, D is already on the move, and so on . . .

3rd Restriction: the 8 attacking players must alternate colors as they pass the ball among themselves (blue – purple – blue – purple . . .)

4th Restriction: limited touches on the ball. 3 then 2 touches on the ball allowed.

-> first touch,  body position, idea


Step 3
30 x 30 grid
4 reds collectively apply greater pressure on the 8 attackers, thus forcing them to think and play faster.

-> constant movements off the ball will ensure higher number of short and long supports