Every season, every team has its ups and downs, its peaks and valleys.  Our U17s have been down for a couple of weeks. As I probably mentioned in previous writings it can be frustrating as a coach to see the start of a slide come on and not be able to do anything about it.  Sometimes it just takes a good ol' fashion whupping to enable everyone to refocus. Ours came this past Sunday in the Elite 8 of President's Cup. I had hoped it bottomed us out... and it did.

We returned to league play this evening against a very good side.  I made a couple of lineup changes based in part on observations of play the last two weeks. We emphasized flank play tonight. After a bit of a slow start the lads developed a rhythm and the flow of play really began to go our way.  At times we played beautiful soccer.  Attacking down the flanks opened up the middle of the field and backside.  For the first time all season we were dynamic and versatile on attack.  Our wing defenders became much more involved on the attack with one getting a goal!

As a parent I know children have an incredible resiliency.  I marveled at how our own sons bounced back from adversity as if that was what one was supposed to do.  A child never seems to have a thought of doing anything else. That is not always the case with older youths and adults. Our team might have hung their collective heads and went through the motions for the rest of the season, but instead they came out determined to regain focus and momentum.... and they did.

Coming off our worst defeat of the season, the boys played their best game of the season.  Defense and attack were both quite good this evening.  Miminium of breakdowns on either side of the ball. Best team play and teamwork we have had all season.  Team shape and team support were the best we have had all season.  It was wonderful, as it always is, to see a team pick itself up, dust itself off and regroup.  I am so proud of the lads response to the whupping they received.  It's a good feeling knowing they will take this lesson in resiliency and carry it over to their lives as well.  Good job gentlemen!

And Congratulations on an outright League Championship!


  1. Dear Coach Brown,

    This is the first blog posting I have ever made. It's possible I am revealing insight into my age.

    Regardless, I felt compelled to first extend my appreciation for your insightful and well-written articles.

    As a father and sports enthusiast I can appreciate your passion and desire to mold quality individuals first and foremost; athletes second.

    Resiliency was a common theme shared by my former H.S. principal during my parochial school days.

    Sports often mirrors our life. It's how you bounce back from the fall of defeat which makes us true winners.

    Your articles and your gift of time and guidance to our youth and those who visit this site across the globe are received with thanks and appreciation as you share your wisdom, experience and youthful passion.

    Kind Regards,
    S. Andrews

  2. Thanks for the kind words S. Andrews. Just trying to do what I can with what I have been blessed with and hoping it has a positive impact on those I come in contact with. Thanks again.