Winter League started this past Saturday December 4th at Riverwood High School. We started at 11:00am with thirteen or so third and fourth graders. Coach Kevin Lux and I ran them through ground ball competitions to see who had the best ground ball skills. Then we ran the always fun Popcorn drill which got all of the players moving the ball, defending, and making good stick checks. After Popcorn we played 6v6 defense versus offense. If the offense scored they received one point but if the defense cleared they got one point. The boys played the 6v6 well, and while their stick skills were a little shaky at the beginning of the hour by the end of practice they were humming the ball nicely. Well done guys.
At 12:00pm the fifth and sixth graders showed up next and Coach Lux and I put them through a similar practice. We did do one on ones from midfield and from behind the goal. Finally we wrapped up with another 6v6 competition and the boys sticks got much better as the drill went on. Still it was clear who kept their stick in their hands over the Thanksgiving break. Remember guys 10-15 minutes a day pays off big time when the Spring Season rolls around.
1:00pm rolled around and with it the seventh and eight graders came out with twenty players. Since there were enough players for a 7v7 scrimmage with some extra subs Coach Lux ran the players through a decent scrimmage. It started raining briefly for the last few minutes but the boys stuck it out and finished the hour out well. I want to remind all of the players coming out that while the coaches do our best to ensure that everyone plays during Winter League scrimmages it is still the responsibility of the players to get out onto the field. We call for subs every few minutes so we give you the opportunity to get onto the field. Take advantage out of it and get onto the field. It is the only way you will get better.
Finally, Coach Lux and I went to work with a solid group of U11, U13, and U15 Coyotes. About twenty five Coyote players in total showed up. These twenty five spent the hour working on stick skills, fast breaks, one on ones, and the Popcorn drill. Coach Lux and I kept things light but we did demand that players make the extra effort to catch the ball, make a solid shot, and play quality defense. At the end of the practice all the boys were in high spirits because they knew they each got a little bit better and shook off some Thanksgiving break rust. Those twenty five Coyotes got better yesterday and all of the other Coyotes who decided to sit in their toasty warm homes did not. I will continue to repeat this statement: Those that show up and get better will increase their game time. It is a simple fact that those that put in the work will reap the rewards. I congratulate the Coyotes that showed up yesterday in working hard and having fun.
Despite the overcast skies I would rate the first day of Winter League a solid success. I am hoping that all of the players that signed up show up over the weekend so the coaches can run scrimmages each hour. So to all of the players who know a buddy that stayed home and is signed up. Tell him to show up!