Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: Arsenal, Boston United, fa cup, manisha tailor, Norwich City, Rachel Yankey, Rene Steer, St Neot, youtube
By Manisha Tailor
One tackle can cause loss of form, one tackle can lead to mental breakdown, and just one tackle can end the career of a professional footballer. Perhaps this was thought in November 2010 when one horrific tackle broke the leg of Arsenal and Welsh International, Aaron Ramsey, in a manner which caused onlookers to wince and look away in disgust. “The determination and professionalism that you need, it’s quite tough”.
A feeling shared by one former Arsenal player who has experienced various levels of the football pyramid after suffering two serious injuries which saw him drop down from the football league to non-league. A player who has most recently been compared to football greats such as ‘Pele’ and tipped as scoring the best FA Cup goal ever. That player is Rene Steer: Injury, setback, to current form that has attracted much interest across the globe.
Steer spent 6 years at Arsenal seeing him make numerous appearances for the reserves in addition to graduating to the first team in 2007 before departing on loan to Gillingham in 2009. Since then he has played for clubs including: Oldham Athletic, Staines Town and Woking, having left last season following a serious injury. “I personally believe that I’ve been unlucky with 2 serious injuries at the wrong time which has stopped me showing clubs what I’m all about”. He started this season with St. Neot’s Town but has most recently joined Boston United who play in the Conference North Premier League.
From the heights of the Arsenal to playing non-league, such difference can potentially impact players psychologically with a difference in status, money and fan base. Now to add injury, ruling a player out of something that he loves and has a passion for, ruling a player out of something he lives to do – playing the game. Steer, having experienced the two, illustrates that mental toughness is paramount to help overcome such challenging circumstances. It is his resilience, determination and focus that is admirable, and tells us much about his strong character. This season we see the form that saw him lauded so early in his career.
His left-footed 40-yard wonder goal in St Neot’s FA Cup game (see video clip below) has lead him to become an internet sensation with over 400,000 views and fans commenting: “it’s truly ridiculous”….. “goal of the season”. Manager Iain Parr is positive about Steer’s current form: “The last two or three games he’s showing what he’s all about defensively”.
Rene, Norwich City FC scout in addition to a highly regarded football coach at The Rachel Yankey Football Programme, has received words of support and encouragement from the most capped England International, Yankey, who stated in a tweet: “very proud of one of my coaches after coming back from injury. Step aside Leighton Baines!”
Steer’s journey through his injury was most certainly an emotional one hence why the ‘wonder goal’ is that much more special and significant. “When Rene scored that goal I was happy and emotional because I said to him that goal had a meaning, it was meant to be. The year he had out in football due to his injury was probably the worst thing that happened to him, and to watch him come back fighting and putting in so much work to get fit and reach his top form again has been inspirational to me and our friends. That goal made up that year of him missing football and now he’s reaping from it. I’ve watched him reach his all time low to picking himself up and reach is high, watching his journey has been amazing” (Ola Williams, Wingate and Finchley FC).
Having the courage and confidence to bounce back after a serious injury that takes you away from what you yearn to do is tough and without the will power and determination, along with a supportive network can be an extremely long road. Rene Steer is a real example of someone who has strength in mind, but most importantly a real willingness to want to do well. “My aim is to try to get back playing league football and for the rest of the season, to keep playing and maybe chip in with a few more goals.”
As stated by Williams, an inspiration to those who may also have suffered from a set back within the game. A humble, funny, down to earth, well grounded and genuinely lovely person. This combined with his strength in character is most certainly a recipe for success. Focus, and possibilities are endless. I look forward to seeing Steer playing in the Football League in the not so distant future.
Watch the goal below:
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer Fitness, Soccer News, Soccer Refereeing, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: 1998-99, Arsenal, dennis bergkamp, fa cup, great goals, interception, Manchester United, peter schmeichel, roy keane, Ryan Giggs
By David Clarke
Ryan Giggs has been a prolific goal scoring attacker for Manchester United. One of the goals he is remembered for is the 1999 FA Cup semi-final replay against Arsenal.
It was a game that had everything, a great Arsenal goal by Dennis Bergkamp, a disallowed Arsenal goal, Roy Keane sent off for a second bookable offence, a last minute penalty save by Peter Schmeichel and a fantastic goal by Ryan Giggs to win the game.
But what is often overlooked is that Giggs won the ball by intercepting a pass before running from the half-way line, beating five defenders and scoring past Schmeichel.
An interception is as good as, and sometimes better, than winning the ball in the tackle. In youth soccer an interception can catch the whole team out and create space for goal scoring opportunities.
You can get your players to try and intercept the ball by reacting to it quicker than the opposition. A lot of junior players will wait for the ball to come to them from a pass which gives the defenders chance to step in and take the ball before it gets to them.
Get your players to think about:
- Read what the opposition midfield and strikers like to do.
- Keep an eye out for players waiting for passes to come to them.
- Be ready to block through balls from midfield to attack.
- Interceptions give good opportunities to pass or run with the ball into space so don’t waste them.
Filed under: Dave Clarke, Soccer Coaching, Soccer News, Soccer Skills, Soccer Team Management, Soccer Training | Tags: fa cup, jermaine beckford, Leeds United, Manchester United, michael jordan, motivation
By David Clarke
Motivation was in the forefront of my mind this month. Watching a player from a lower league who has attracted the attentions of a number of high profile Premier League clubs made me wonder what motivated him.
The English leagues have a transfer window during January. It just so happened that the club he plays for was drawn against one of the top Premier League teams and he was going to be in the shop window on TV. During that game the player excelled scoring the winning goal and pulling the Premier League defence all over the pitch.
The national press picked up on this and highlighted why this player would make it in the Premier League. They have never seen him play week in and week out when he doesn’t fancy the pitch or the team or there’s no one watching in the stands.
He is motivated by the challenge of playing at a higher level with a higher profile and a higher salary. When the transfer window closed again he played against a team from the Premier League but this time there was no winning goal in fact no goal at all, and hardly a shot.
One of the reasons he gets so many chances to score goals is that behind him supporting him he has a quartet of excellent players. One who can win the ball, hold it up, knock it down and take the defenders away from him. Then there is the clever winger who can beat players get into the penalty area and cross the ball. Finally there are two midfielders who can play long or short passes to put the attacker in space.
He gets the goals and the kudos that goes with it hence the motivation from a higher challenge. So how do you motivate the players that comprise the engine room of the team who create but don’t score the goals what kudos do they get?
Here are my tips for motivating all your players, you need to think about:
The way you communicate – with the right approach and by using positive language you’ll get enthusiasm and positive action – from yourself and those you coach.
Various coaching methods enhance the motivation levels within soccer training sessions and during matches, including goal setting, rewarding positive outcomes and involving players in the planning process.
Allowing and encouraging players to take responsibility for their own behaviour and performance outcomes has a significant impact.
Involving players in the design of soccer training sessions and programmes is a key step to increasing loyalty, commitment and ownership.
Remember it’s not just the goal scorer that wins the game.
Listen to this clip from Michael Jordan about winning and losing:
And watch Manchester United lose to a lower league team: