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Silicon Valley Eagles Blog

The Silicon Valley Eagles Soccer Academy blog is a great source of soccer coaching tips, parents and players improvement tips and advises, and updates on the soccer world news.

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b2ap3_thumbnail_1st-tournament.jpgThe U8 team was formed a few months ago after a lengthy tryout process. A few practices were held during the summer to help the players get familiar with each other. Coaches even had a trainer work with them a couple times per week for the past three weeks in preparation for their first tournament. Coaches, parents and players were eager to participate in their first tournament as the “A” team from the club.

They lined up for their first game, and before you knew it they were down 3-0. Coaches were scrambling to change the formation, parents were screaming “boot it,” “run harder,” “get more aggressive,” and Soccer-Player_webplayers were terrified and wanted to stay on the bench. The team did not win a game the entire tournament, and everyone was wondering what exactly went wrong.

I can tell you from experience, especially at the younger ages, tournaments are for the team bonding experience and nothing more.

There are so many variables that affect results in tournament games that you will drive yourself crazy if you treat it as something anything more than a social event. But Coach, “We played them in the regular season last spring and only lost by a goal. They just beat us 5-0”.

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Abounds Fruit1 200x200Practices are a good way to test what snacks work best for your child in regards to energy and performance. Just as the old adage goes for adult athletes, “Do not try anything new on race day;” this also can be applied to youth soccer players. Testing what food works well for pre/post practice can then be applied to pre/post games.

A snack before a soccer practice or game should be something that isn’t heavy, but is enough to keep kids fueled. Try to fuel muscles 1-2 hours before an athletic event. Some kids will need two hours to digest before they play. This depends on the individual kid and timing of eating needs to be experimented with at practices. Also, a snack that travels well is best, since travel to and from games is commonplace. Make sure to avoid fatty foods, extra sweet foods, and caffeine. These cause spikes in blood sugar, and then sugar levels can drop quickly during performance. This will make kids feel sluggish.

- Here are some examples of good pre-practice and pre-game snacks:

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b2ap3_thumbnail_running-kids.jpgMost children enjoy running, and they get even more excited about running when they can run fast. Speed is a valuable aspect of being successful in any sport. Good running technique significantly affects how fast a child can run but does not always come naturally to a child. Coaches and parents can use drills, motivation and nutrition to increase a child’s speed.

Step 1

Tell the children to pretend they are answering two telephones, one on the outside of each hip, while running. This helps them focus on bringing their hands to their hip and then take the hand up to the same ear. Running using this technique can increase momentum from the arms and improve the children’s running times.

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