Fuel Soccer Talk: Getting fit with Sam Snow; Bend it Like Beckham – and others; Zlatan impresses – even in training

US Youth Soccer Q&A focuses on fitness with Sam Snow

Sam Snow is the the former Director of Coaching for US Youth Soccer. Snow made a significance impact in the youth soccer world after first joining the staff in 2003 and becoming the Director in 2004. His experience and knowledge are grossed from years spent in national, collegiate and youth education. Coaching is a second nature for him, as he has coached at the high school (Norfolk Catholic High School), collegiate (Florida Southern College, University of South Florida, Virginia Wesleyan College), state (Florida Youth Soccer Association) and regional (US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program South) levels.  

How is soccer beneficial for a fit and healthy lifestyle? 
There is evidence from sports medicine indicating that soccer as a lifetime sport is a healthy choice. Heart health, balance, agility and to a degree strength, are all impacted positively by regular participation in soccer. Research has shown that movement, such as when playing soccer, is linked to specific brain functioning in children. For example, cross lateral movement (a somewhat frequent movement in soccer) gets the right and left sides of the brain to work together. It helps to wake up different lobes in the brain.
How does soccer help players stay physically and mentally in shape?
Physically there is a positive impact in lowering blood pressure and in maintaining flexibility. Mentally the game impacts visual acuity and quick decision making in a game of high sensory input.


Bend it like Beckham and other famous bends

We have all seen the movie, “Bend it Like Beckham.” It’s OK to admit you have. That got me thinking about the great “bend” goals in recent times.

At or near the top has to be David Beckham’s most famous goal. England trailed 2-1 to Greece in the 93rd minute in 2002 World Cup qualification. If they lost, they would have had to play Ukraine in a tricky playoff to qualify for the tournament. If they tied, they would have automatically qualified (after Germany tied Finland in a simultaneous game).

Seconds from the final whistle, England won a free-kick 30 yards from goal. With the crowd on its feet, Beck stepped up and bent it into the top left corner. The goalie had no chance. England went to the World Cup.

Here are someone’s top 10 – a very enjoyable watch.

Zlatan adds another “WOW” moment to his highlight reel

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has been conjuring up amazing highlights his entire career and that hasn’t stopped during his time in MLS.

The Swedish superstar added another to the reel at LA Galaxy training on Wednesday, hitting an amazing bending trick shot from corner kick-distance from well behind the goal. Check out the video below.

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