Sunday, February 12, 2012
The sun offered a post-groundhog day tease for the Green vs. White/Gold game Saturday in Loveland, but in the end the truth was the 18 degrees farenheit that registered on my Tacoma thermometer. The green turf contrasted mightily to the bank of snow whiteness that surrounded it.
It is hard to be overly analytical or certainly to be critical in sizing up an intrasquad scrimmage before the season begins. We had fairly even teams pitted against one another. In a week they will be called upon to act and respond as a single and together unit, one collective heart pumping life into the team beast trying to beat up on whomever…. This week it will be Adams State and U. of Northern Colorado.
The players played with situation awareness and togetherness as combating Green and White units, but it was hard for me to put too much into team evaluation when I kept imagining how it would look if they were all playing on the same team and a single purpose. The effort and intensity were present at sufficient levels. The boys were having fun and competing.
The role playing was happening a lot. Kacy and Chris Roach were getting goals (not to be confused with points) That is their job in almost any kind of game. Pep was a force, too, and it was nip and tuck throughout.
For both sides the defense was successful in setting up solid 6 v 6 defense, and our offense (both sides) were busy enough getting the offensive personnel in place that the defense could curl up in the comfort of settled defense. The defense excecuted well for the most part, and goal scoring in set plays came at a premium. We have goalies that can make bad shots look even worse. I think offensive payers can and should learn from the popcorn experiences of goalies making shots look weak or pathetic. If not, they can learn to sit next to the coaches. A lot of good shots were taken, though, and offensive execution looked pretty clean.
Situation awareness is so key right now. Technical fouls like face-off transgressions and things like like off-sides infractions are up to individuals paying attention. These are things we can control, like moving to the ball to connect a pass better, and like keeping 4 guys on our defensive side and three on offense at absolutely all times. These things don’t require giftedness. No unforced errors. Control the things we can control in order to keep our number possibilities at a high percentage.
One thing I personally want to see is early transition technique. We have goalies with the somewhat rare quality of keeping the “porch’ swept or cleaned by controlling many shots and rebounds. It’s not so much coast to coast fast breaks I want to see. I want our (mostly shorties) to get that quick, not hurried sort of ‘buttonhook’ outlet to LSM or shortie within a few yards in order to give that guy a chance to see his next pass and not get trapped. If he doesn’t get what he wants, he can start to bang the drum, I mean ball with tempo. We want the guy to find a space and square his shoulders to the goalie RIGHT NOW, so the transition, albeit not really a classic fast break, carries a rhythm and tempo that puts the offense into continuous motion created by efficient defensive transition and solid ball movement. Fast breaks don’t have to be perfect 4 on 3 geometry. Any confusion or hesitation by the defense and or their decision making process is automatic front end offensive opportunity.