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Fundamental Soccer Blog

Painting With a Soccer Ball

by  Alan Maher
The summer is an easy time here on Long Island. Things slow down. I go to the library daily and it is quiet there.

The parking lot is across the street next to a car repair shop. On a recent Saturday, I sat in my car in the parking lot looking at the car shop. It was empty except for three men painting the outside of the building. The building is light tan with a dark brown trim.

One man painted the trim. He had a trim brush and needed help around the glass which had tape to prevent spots on the glass. He had spots.

The other two men painted to main part of the building tan. They had buckets of paint and wide brushes. There was a pan with a roller that was untouched. The two men did not seem to have a trim brush for tight corners and spots missed by the big brush.

I sat watching in fascination. I was filled with questions. I had ben a painter in my youth. Professional.

Why was the roller ignored? Why no trim brush for the light tan? Etc.

Then I went to a soccer field to watch summer soccer camp.The painting scene by the library came to mind.

I saw one group of girls run from cone to cone. No ball!The temperature was almost 100 degrees and another group was warmed up for 45 minutes without a ball. The balls were in a bag on the side of the field, waiting to be used.

A third group sat in a semi-circle listening to the coach. No soccer balls and no cones. They just listened.

Learn to use the tools that are available. The soccer ball is the primary tool. Learn how to use it.

Alan Maher

You may recognize Alan Maher from his many articles published by FUNdamental Soccer over the last three decades. What you may not know is that for more than a quarter of a century Alan Maher was the chairman of printed training material for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. His articles can be read not only in NCAA's own magazine, Soccer Journal, but in every soccer magazine in the country. Alan also published the extremely educational/innovative "Attacking Soccer with the Neutral Player" book as a supplement to FUNdamental SOCCERS' popular '9-Step Practice Routine'.