Monday, January 12, 2009

The Away Ground Syndrome: January 10, FC NGV

FC NGV has been around for a little over three years and that has meant spending time on the ground kicking the ball fairly regularly for a decent amount of time. My game though seems to have taken a few steps backwards.

Here’s the problems I continue to have with my game: can’t trap, can’t pass, can’t dribble, can’t shoot, can’t finish and can’t move. I think I was a much better passer two years ago and there have been phases in between when I have been able to finish moves with some consistency, but other than that I seem to have no footballing skills. Worse still, I seem to show no capability for improvement. Funnily enough, I think that’s a problem with our entire team, with hardly anyone having improved over the years. Some though don’t panic near a football like I do and are decent players even though they are on the same no-growth path as me.

But this post is not about how to improve. This is about how the ‘worst’ players can get ‘worster’ in unfamiliar conditions. Take me. Saturday we played at the RSI ground on MG Road and it was a proper 5/6 a side on the best field that we can get. And what happens when there is space, some grass and a stage set for a contest? I play like I have loosies and left my diapers at home…shitting all over the place and stinking the game for my team.

The funny thing is that more than any other factor I think it was the ground that did it to me. Somehow not seeing the NGV dust bowl and a million cricketers surrounding my teammates took away any little comfort I have in the game. Everytime I looked up the surroundings seemed uncomfortable and alien and before I could say NGV I would have fucked up whatever I was doing. Maybe if I have people cheering against me if I’m playing, it may make me collapse with pressure.

On another note, the value of dictating the area of play in our type of 5-a-sides is immense. Somedays its better to sit back and let the opposition come on to you so that you can score on the counter. Somedays you need to stop their attacks before the goalkeeper completes a pass or you will never get the ball out of your own half. Depends completely on who’s on the team and how many players can hold the ball and not lose possession but it is the most important thing to be keeping an eye open for.

1 comment:

anshu bora said...

Whenever someone asks me to suggest ways to improve their game i say this:
- watch a lot of football
- play a lot of football
- train yourself on days you are not playing football.

I'll say the same to you. You already watch a lot of football. That's self coaching. You know how a winger is supposed to play. You know how a Mid fielder is supposed to play. so try and implement it.

But i'd say that the most important thing is to train yourself. Start spending more time with the ball on days that there is no football. It may mean getting up early and just juggling with the ball or improving your running with the ball.

I don't think playing matches really improves your game all that much unless you realize what the hell it is that you are doing wrong, and make it right.