Things I Think Are Cool for February 19, 2012

19 Feb

Books

I’ve been listening to the audio edition of The Omnivore’s Dilemma by Michael Pollan.  I haven’t finished the book yet, but it’s been a really fascinating discussion of our country’s food supply.  The first section focused on the effect of the oversupply of corn – and how corn has found it’s way into thousands of food products as well as becoming the mainstay feed of livestock that never would have never naturally ate corn.  Our government’s selective subsidizing of growing commodity crops has led to overproduction with food companies reaping the benefits.

Product Reviews

Soccer Cleats 101 brought a review of the Adidas miCoach module and the type of data it provides to players.  While I’m a huge data and analytics person – and I love seeing some of the data that Opta publishes as well as the player performance analytics in Champions League coverage – I don’t think fitness is the greatest determining factor in player performance in most cases.

I need boots to tell me how many touches I get, the accuracy of my passes and how I make decisions on the field.

Food

Healthy Green Kitchen recommends you add some live cultures from cultured or fermented foods to your diet.  I’ve been making home made, whole milk yogurt for the last five months or so – and I feel like it’s a positive influence on my health.  Of course, it’s free from food additives too!

Mark’s Daily Apple offered a Brightly Colored Vegetable Salad today.  Looks worth trying out.

Soccer

We are just one week away from starting practices at our club, and the European soccer calendar is at a frenzy right now with the top leagues, Cup competitions and the Champions League all active now.

Coach Tim had a good session plan for working on Possession.  I think I will use the Four Goal Game and the Real Madrid game from this session with my U8 team this spring.  I’m trying to get them to play more on their toes and less flat footed – moving around more and playing head up.

While to the new fan, all Football (soccer) looks the same – there’s many different styles of play in the sport today.  Just as there are American Football teams that play a running-oriented offense versus a passing oriented, or defensively focused, there are different systems and styles of play among soccer teams at the top level.  Backpage Football points out that not all teams should play the same style – that some are better oriented toward the Barcelona “Tiki-Taka” offense while other teams are at home playing balls long down the field.

Of course, that leaves open what direction I lead my U8’s down the road of – but with seven kids who haven’t developed enough leg strength to send the ball accurately to a team mate, or the ability of players to play it down out of the air, it leans more in the direction of a dribbling oriented, short ground passing style.

What to Watch

STR Skills School is continuing to put out the best in soccer skills tutorials on YouTube.  This week: Pienaar’s turn used against Boswinga from recent Premier League action.  I keep telling my kids – if you can’t turn the ball you will not go far in soccer.

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