Field Players

Welcome to this month’s article on skill development with Soccer in Slow Motion.

This month we want to share with you a new street soccer term and share how it’s used. We’ll share a compilation video here and then in next month’s article we’ll break down a couple simple ones! The “akka”, it refers to a move that changes directions of the ball in the air. If you’ve heard of “the snake” that’s performed on the ground then you have an idea.

What makes this set of moves so special? There is no limit to the variations of moves and players have taken the basic akka and made them even more advanced. They are hard to defend, especially if your opponent does not know of them.

The compilation video below shows how they’re put to use in game play, can you spot the SISM players in it? But before I continue, let me step backwards and answer the question: what exactly is street soccer again? In street soccer there is an emphasis in showcasing one’s mastery of the ball, it’s the practice zone for players where executing a skill they’ve been working on is more important than scoring. It’s a focus on outperforming their opponent over shooting on an open net. The goals don’t move and they’re always in the same place; on the other hand, your opponents vary in size, speed, knowledge, and skill. That’s what street soccer players value in their quest for skill development, the confidence to dominate through skill.

So coming back to akkas: these moves allow us to split defenders, pass a ball behind your opponent, and escape from tight spots where players might otherwise be trapped due to a lack of space. We’ll cover more variations in future articles.

So check out this video clip and see how effective it can be!

If it looks like a creative form of expression and ball mastery, you’re right. And when you have several as part of your arsenal of moves, you’ll understand the confidence that comes with them.

We look forward to next month’s tutorials!

Louie and the SISM team


The hidden gem of great goalkeepers lies in their ability to navigate their area. In nearly every training session across the globe keepers are indirectly working on their footwork. Learning the technique around moving from point A to point B in between your posts will determine the extent of your career. A step wrong and you’re too slow to react. A step left instead of right, your balance is off, and the save unlikely.

Remember, when working on even the simplest of drills to the most complex tactical creations of your coaches, sound footwork will be what makes or breaks your ability to consistently stop shots. We always encourage our keepers to emphasize speed and agility movements in the off-season as this is one way to really increase your balance and mobility. As keepers we must remain agile enough to make split second decision that hurry our bodies across the 6-yard box at a moment’s notice. Proper footwork will always give you the best chance at making the save. Footwork is the difference between raising the trophy or packing it up for the off-season without silverware.

Lessons from the World Cup

The officials had more power in helping them make good decisions – VAR. Ice Hockey learned these lesson years ago and soccer is just catching up. Plus in the England vs. Tunisia game and the penalty decision on Walker. He admitted afterwards that that would have not been called in the EPL but players must adapt to the official in front of them and their ways/ background. I wonder if he would have “fouled” if he knew the background of the official?

Coaches at every level must have knowledge of officials and their habits. Even at local levels such knowledge is invaluable.

Knowing the habits of officials is a skill that many coaches ignore at their peril.  


The Mercy Rule

The entire first half is played no matter the score and the referee keeps a record (time and jersey number of the scorers) of all the scores during that time.

At halftime the referee verifies the score and if there is a 6 goal differential, the game is over.

The referee write a note on the game card to explain why the second half was not played.  Maybe the score was 10-4 or 7-1.

If at halftime the goal differential is NOT 6, the second half starts.  As goals are being scored the referee must keep track of the goal differential and as soon as there is a 6 goal differential, the game is over.

After the halftime, the goal differential can happen at any time.  If the score was 5-0 at halftime and let’s say in the second minute of the second half the team with 5 goals scores another goal—the game is over at that time and the referee makes a note on the game.  The referee writes the time the 6th goal was scored on the game card.

Example of an explanation: In the second minute of the second half #4 of team A scored a goal which made a goal differential of 6.  The game was terminated at that time (10:35 a.m.) per district rule.

Referees get paid for the whole game no matter what.  Also they should NOT continue to referee that game because it is no longer legal or sanctioned and the referee(s) could find themselves in trouble if a red card is issued (would it be valid?) or someone gets hurt (would there be any insurance?).

A Reminder

The Pitch is active with all sorts of teams giving it their all. The temperatures are coming down a bit and before long, we’ll be into the cool of the fall and winter.

So, a reminder, it doesn’t have to be scorching for our young athletes to become dehydrated. Sweating is the main cause of water loss from the body so when we’re active, we’re losing water. Replenishing water in ourselves is very important. To not do so decreases our performance and makes us susceptible to heat related illness.

Some signs of dehydration are thirst…yes thirst, if we’re thirsty, we’re already dehydrated. So don’t wait for our athletes to complain about thirst before encouraging them to drink water.

Other signs include headache, muscle cramping, irritability, fatigue, weakness, dizziness, and decreased performance. To prevent dehydration, our young athletes should be drinking fluids 30 minutes prior to activity, every 20 minutes during activity, and 60 minutes after.

Carlos Flores
RN FCN, Valley Children’s Hospital

For most kids, taking 10 gulps of water every 20 minutes while active is enough, more for older kids. If the urine is light like lemonade, the person is hydrated appropriately, if it’s darker like apple juice, time to drink. Fluids should be free of caffeine, so absolutely no “energy” drinks, this actually will worsen dehydration. No soda either.

Water is the best, but sports drinks, which include some electrolytes, are also ok. The down side is the amount of sugar they contain. So keep the fluids handy and keep them flowing. As always, play hard, play safe.


From the Commissioner’s Desk

How Soccer Bills Devoured This Family’s Budget


LIKE MOST PARENTS, Steve and Siobhan Jones of Folsom, Calif., will do just about anything to support their children’s passions. But the Joneses are the parents of four talented, soccer-crazed boys, which means that life can get a little bonkers.

Photos of the Jones family in Folsom, CA, on Aug. 21, 2015.
Photo by Ackerman + Gruber (

STEVE AND SIOBHAN knew soccer was expensive, but they had never actually added up the numbers. At MONEY’s request, they dug out their receipts and made some sobering discoveries. They were fully aware of only about half of their out-of-pocket costs—the San Juan Soccer Club’s $8,100-per-year team-membership fees that show up on their bank statements ($675 a month) and the club’s $100-per-child annual tournament fees.

The rest surprised them…“It’s much more than I thought,” says Steve. “It’s the smaller stuff that goes out in dribs and drabs that really adds up.” Adds up indeed. Once they’ve crunched the numbers, the Joneses realize that 17% of their after-tax income goes to soccer.  Click here to get all-the-details!


A Very Special Day For Me!

I was invited to be part of Kings Canyon Reedley Youth Soccer Leagues opening day Ceremonies. When I got to the campus I was shocked when I couldn’t find anywhere to park my truck, then when I got to the Reedley practice field there was At least 3500 people there just having so much fun. I amazed by just an overwhelming feeling of good vibes!!!

The event was MC’d by televisions celebrity channel 30’s Newscaster Tony Cabrera he did a wonderful job. The Reedley High schools ROTC’s Color Guard did Our Flags Arrival. But then this young lady who was in her referee outfit grab the microphone and sang the star spangled banner that was flawless her voice was just so amazing!!! So if she doesn’t become one of FIFA’s best referees she definitely has a backup plan if she needs it 🙂

The teams were announced that participate in their Fall season which included teams from their adjoining community of Parlier. There were face painting booths, Food vendors with BBQ, shaved ice, churros, as well the Fresno FC team was represented by their team mascot in which the kids just had so much fun taking pictures with the Fox!!!

I think the thing that hit me and filled my heart with joy, was a family I noticed as I was leaving this event… They had three generations at the event and it reminded of my early years as a player and having my family on the sidelines during my match, and the fun after the game with my friends and family on my team.

I just want to say thanks for the positive message that this little town of Reedley gave me that day. There is hope for our membership and this group proves it!!!

Thanks again!

Diego Haro

Pro Tip

“I thought I’d share my thoughts on the sign in your newsletter which was very good by the way.

“If I’m thinking of hiring someone based on their resume and interview, I usually call the applicant’s coach before any other references to get their opinion of the applicant. A coach, in most cases, will give you indications on the type of employee he’s going to be… and they’re usually right. This sign is bang on!”

John DeBenedictis

Executive Director of The National Soccer Coaches Association of Canada


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Because at FUNdamental SOCCER, we believe:

“The Outcome of Our Children Is Infinitely More Important Than The Outcome of Any Game They Will Ever Play!”