FUEL Soccer Talk for 9/18: Brunch Recipes, Spectacular Goals, and Soccer Academy Recruiting
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FUEL Soccer Talk for 11/27: Illinois Paralympic DP, 5 Body Feints to Shake Defenders, and Sports Psychology Tips

Today we’re looking at Illinois’ new Paralympic program, 5 body feints to shake defenders, and some interesting sports psychology tips to keep your head in the game.

We’re moving right along through the week, check out these stories we have found for you.

1. Illinois Paralympic Development Program (Illinois Youth Soccer)

Illinois is offering the first one of a kind program to offer an Identification and Training program for Paralympic athletes. It is a program allowing different training and identifications for eligible athletes to prepare and showcase them for collegiate and US Soccer national team selection.

“Opportunities for youth Paralympic athletes to train and play in a competitive environment with their peers in the 7vs7 game formats utilized at the Collegiate, Olympic and International competitions are extremely limited. This new program has been developed to create teams for these athletes to develop their skill sets and offer opportunities to showcase their talents in the game environments for identification by next level coaches.”

The programs new competitive training and playing environment will be known as the Paralympic Development Program which will utilize similar coaching staff and training curriculum used for the Olympic Development Program (ODP) elite youth soccer players.

“Paralympic Development Programs players will train alongside their ODP peers to leverage learning opportunities for both groups.”

To be eligible to play, their website link above lists that athletes must be between the ages of 14-18 to play and lists the different neurological conditions the young athlete would have went through for the program to provide development for the young player.

Do you think this program will help in the aid of growing athletes who have endured a neurological condition(s)?

2. 5 Essential Body Feints to Shake Defenders (Unisport)

If you can get passed your opponent, you are helping putting your team in a position to score. Check out these 5 Body Feints that will get you passed defenders from Unisport!

These are definitely 5 moves to add to your arsenal. We hope you leave defenders in the dust using these moves!

What is the best move in your package currently to get passed a defender?

3. 3 Sports Psychology Tips for Parents and Coaches (Active)

Sports are not only a physical game, but a mental game as well. A healthy mind will aid in player performance, here are some sports psychology tips:

  1. Lower Expectations
    -While having lofty long term aspirations is important, having goals set too high can result in unrealistic expectations for players, coaches, and parents. If those goals are not met, there could be an adverse effect on a player. Self confidence is key to player performance.
  2. Watch What you Say
    -Sometimes parents say things that they believe to be supportive, but in actuality they set up players for disappointment. For example, if a parent were to say “You should score 3 goals today against this team,” it sets up an expectation for the player. If they do not achieve this goal, the player could be overly concerned about appeasing the parent/coach.
  3. Emphasize Process over Results
    -Practice truly makes perfect. Make sure the players are learning the essentials and building themselves up to perform the best they can. If they follow the process, they will likely perform well in game.

Players already set up their own expectations for themselves, there is no need for added pressure. Make sure to acquaint yourselves with these mental strategies to help the progress of the player.