Mental Toughness


Quite often in youth sports, we see too much emphasis placed on results and not enough placed on development. This should never occur. When we make development the primary goal, results tend to follow.

Below are three quick tips on ways to grade success in youth sports that have nothing to do with results:

  1. Enjoyment Level – If a child is enjoying playing, they are most likely developing.
  2. Personal Goals – Set realistic personal goals you wish to achieve for each match. For example, a match goal could be to successfully complete 10 passes.
  3. Performance – Did your team play well for their level despite the result?

There are often people who will give their opinion on how you have played. And this is great as long as long as their opinion is constructive and positive. We as players must keep in mind that there are so many positives to be gained even from losing. This is often the very best way to learn.

KEY POINT – Even when you lose, learn how to flip everything into a win. Be mentally tough!

That’s the DEEL.

Watch. Learn. Execute. Repeat.


So far this season "old man winter" has had his way with us which has impacted our ability to train "on the pitch." However, there are still many ways to keep learning and developing your skills "off the pitch."

Watching football on the "tube" is one of those ways! There are few things better than watching how professional players execute their skills from an aerial perspective.

The next time you find yourself watching a football match on the TV, "watch to learn" and try looking for these three things: 

  • THING 1—Don’t always watch the ball, look for what is happening off it. Great run? Creation of space? Defensive shape?
  • THING 2—See if you can figure out the formation and style of each side. How does it compare to your Asheville Shield FC team?
  • THING 3—Focus on the player in your position. What are some things they do that you could work on?

Training yourself to learn "off the pitch" can improve your game "on the pitch," and mold you into the player you want to be. So team, watch others do it "on the TV," and then execute it yourself "on the pitch."

Oh, and if you have a moment check out the new Asheville Shield FC online learning database where I’ll pick videos which you learn from, easily accessible and coming soon!

That’s the DEEL.


The Woes & Wisdom of Winter Training

The Woes & Wisdom of Winter Training

This week, I want to focus on something extremely important at this time of the year—preparing for the cold weather. Unfortunately, we have had an unlucky start to the season after having to cancel our first training day, I don’t plan for that to happen again though so here are a few things to think about when training or playing in cold temperatures.