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Lessons From Monday Night Soccer – Game 4

So I may be a little late on this one (since the game was on Monday) but I thought I would throw in a few other postings before sending this one out.

Monday night was not as great as it could have been. We suffered our first loss of the season and I sprained my ankle. On a positive note, I managed to crush the opposing goalie (his fault not mine) and scored what I consider an amazing goal.

Of course, not to disappoint, there were some more lessons to be learned during the game.

1. Don’t Attack Your Opponent Straight On (Let them make the first move)
Throughout the course of the game there was one player who continued to stop me each time I tried to make a break for the net. As the game wore on I became more frustrated and eventually played a little defence to get my mind off it. Sitting back after the game I remembered a strategy I had once read. It suggested that you don’t try to play straight up the field (as it will be easier to stop you) but you should play on an angle from the net, drag the defender along, then break when they make a mistake.
Lesson Learned: Alter your strategy continually. If you’re trying to attack a larger opponent, the easiest way may not be directly at the goal.

2. Know what you are there to do
As I’ve mentioned a number of times in the past, I have a great team. We decided in the very begining that we were there to compete for the season title but not at the expense of having fun together. Last week during half-time, we all noticed that while we were all having fun talking about important things like pick-up lines and each other’s game-play the other team was talking strategy and positioning on the field. In the end, they won the game, but I guarantee that we had more fun.
Lesson Learned: Know your strategy from the start. If it’s to win everytime, then dedicate yourself to that goal. If it’s to have fun, make sure you have the right people for the job!

3. You may not agree with a decision, but choose you battles
Since I play in an intermediate Rec soccer league, each game is self-administered. This means there are no referees and rules are clarified (depending on your own interpretation) throught the game. During Monday night’s game, there were a couple of instances where off-sides were called that may have been questionable on both sides. Each time our opponents didn’t agree with the call they made a fuss over the rule and created a bit of a scene. Does this make me respect them more or less? You guessed it.
Lesson Learned: Accept decisions professionally and with class. If something is valuable enough to your team then fight for it; if not, then pick your battles and let it slide.

That’s all I’ve got for that game. The total loss was 3-1 but our keeper played extremely well. I think I also forgot to mention that the game was almost 3-2 but my beautiful bend-it-like-Beckham shot missed the top corner by inches!