Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The last post...

This will be the last post for this blog. It has been a great year filled with many memorable events, tournaments, players and parents. Try outs for the 2010 season are underway and personnel are changing. One thing that will remain constant in the loyal Sodium fans are the memories, and this blog. I will never remove the teams blogs, they will be our little time capsules etched in eternity. If you are ever feeling nostalgic, come on back and relive the seasons. The great games, the great plays, the great players and the great friendships we all made. My only hope is that the words posted here bring a smile to your face and warm your heart as you recall the season. I still cannot believe this years blog generated over 7000 hits! Far surpassing my wildest expectations! Thank you all for your support and visits this year!

The next blog will be the last
Don't get all excited, what I mean here is that instead of starting a new blog every Sodium season, I will just continue to post at the same address. I may change the pictures or layout, but the address will remain the same until they all graduate and the team disbands. [a very sad day that will be indeed]

So, without further delay, I introduce to you, the official THUSC Sodium blog:

As we will do for many years to come, we yell: GO SODIUM!

Monday, May 4, 2009

2008 Champs didn't fair well in 2009

In an interesting side note to this years State Cup, none of the 2008 champions in the U11, U12, U13, U14 or U15 brackets made it to the finals. So, Sodium, you weren't alone in your agony this year.

2009 State Cup Results
Lake Oswego defeats FC Portland in PK's to claim the crown and represent Oregon in this years Regional Tournament.


Sunday, May 3, 2009

The bitter taste...

The bitter taste of defeat. Remember this taste Sodium. Take it with you to next year. Remember what it feels like to lose to a team you have no business losing to. Remember what it's like to fall short. Feel the hurt and remember the tears. Could have's, should have's and would have's don't win games. In the end it's balls in the net. They had 1 more than we did. Hold your heads high Sodium, and get mad. And next year, get even. Because next year, it's time to take it personal.

After last years visit to Regionals we lost some players. But this year Sodium saw the emergence of new, more exciting faces; Lexi Frey, Aliyah Chance, Mac Kearney, Elianna Beard, Taylor Moscoe and Camille Fairbairn. And for the 2010 season we have already added keeper Taylor Luty. At try-outs, even more potential Sodium greats will emerge.

I would like to recognize those who guest played for us this year;
Bailey & Bethany Hall, Sahalie Doe, Crystal, Delaney, Cailin and other players from Mercury.

I am not one to dwell in the past. I am someone who learns from it and moves on. I do not dwell on the "Why" but focus on the "What".
What are we going to do make Sodium better next year?
What sre we going to do to make sure we are competitive with LOSC, Rush, FC?
What new players are we going to bring on?
What position changes will be made next year? [if any?]
What personnel will & will not be returning?
What are the coaches strategies for next year?
What can we as parents do to help in our girls development?

As most, I'm sure, I can't believe this season is over. Anti-climatic compared to the last 2. But now is the time to reflect and regroup. To come out next year a seasoned, well-oiled, soccer machine. As with years past I am sure we will loose a few and add a few players. For those who leave, for whatever reason, it has been our pleasure playing with you. Thanks for all the great memories you have provided and you will always have a warm spot in our hearts and on our team. For those who join, welcome! We're glad your here and look forward to a great season! Jump on and strap in, it's going to be a wild ride!

To coach Tom and Nikki for their countless hours, the lessons they taught and their commitment to the team. For pulling from the girls what they didn't know they had.

A special thanks goes out to Kristina Cook, Molly Kearney & Caryn Camp for their hard work, organization and scheduling this season.
And to all the parents, Thanks. For the car pools, the hotels, the expenses, the band-aides and shoulders to cry on and all the support this year. It wouldn't have been Sodium with you.

And of course, THANKS to the Lady Warriors. We are so very proud of you.
For the hours of great soccer you provided. For the laughter and the tears. For being great daughters and giving your parents the opportunity to be proud. For giving everything you have for the team. For sacrifices you made. For the many victories and the few defeats. You are sisters united in a common goal. You are warriors on a field of green. You are Sodium.

You are now and will always be, the greatest team.

With love in our hearts and our chests swelled with pride we yell: GO SODIUM!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Desire | Commitment | Team

This will be the last post prior to the first Quarter Final game.
I want to take this opportunity to address what it means and what it takes to be, not only a Championship caliber, but any, team. These are the opinions of a former coach and athlete.

Desire The player wants to be there. Period. You will never develop an athlete who's parents pushed him/her into a sport. They have to love it and desire to be the best and contribute to the success of the team. This desire will push them to give 100% in practice and thus, perform at that same level during the game. You play like you practice. A player with this desire doesn't complain that the coach is pushing them too hard, that they had to run an extra lap or another flight of stairs. Players with this desire push themselves and their teammates because they know it is for their own good, It will make them faster, stronger, better.

Commitment To be an effective part of any team, all players need to be committed. Committed to the success of the team. If that means getting physical & rough at practice because that is the type of opponent you face, then so be it. There should never be a question. Your opponent will never back down from you, your teammates shouldn't either. Commitment means being to practice on time and working your behind off while you're there. Commitment means practicing good nutrition and getting plenty of sleep because if you don't, you run the risk of not playing to the level you need to be at and the team expects. It means doing whatever it takes. A player who is not willing to commit 100% to the team, should not be on the team.

Team [taken from July 1st, 2008 post titled: Team]

~ noun
  1. a number of persons forming one of the sides in a game or contest: a soccer team.

  2. a number of persons associated in some joint action: a team of players.

  3. a number of persons joined together in unison to achieve a common goal: to win.

  4. a number persons committed to their coach and each other, giving 100% to be the best they can, day after day, game after game: Sodium.

To be part of a team is a great achievement. To be part of a championship team is an outstanding accomplishment. What that means is that you have fought together, sacrificed together and won together. You have developed a bond that few realize and even fewer recognize. These are your sisters. You are solders doing battle on a field of green. When you step onto the field this weekend look into your teammates eyes and see the look of a warrior. A Lady Warrior. Sodium.

Your fans will be screaming our heads off; GO SODIUM!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Thoughts on the coming week

Lady warriors, we are 3 games away from making history. I don't need to stress to you what Tom said at the end of the game yesterday [but I will].
Sleep: Probably the most important factor here. 9 to 10 hours per night minimum. Go to bed at 9PM instead of 11PM or midnight. Get more if you can do it. Sorry, but that may mean no sleep overs or late night homework sessions. You can do it for one week out of the year, I know you can. Do it for the team.
Nutrition: Fuel. You need to keep your bodies running at peak performance this week. Fruits, veggies, proteins and carbs. Look up online the best way to optimize nutrition before a game, and do it. All week. This should be something you try to follow all season, not just State Cup week.
Training: Train hard. Listen. Execute. You play like you practice. Give it 100% every time you set foot on the field.
Mental Prep: Have fun this week but work hard. On game day, it's time to focus. Focus on your responsibilities. Visualize every situation that may come your way and how you will deal with it. Visualize the win. Get the adrenaline going as you drive to the field. When you get there, view the opposition as the enemy. View your dominance over them. View the scores, view the stops, view yourself winning the 50/50's. Build up some hatred toward them. These girls are standing in your way to the State Championship. These girls want to beat you and they think they can. You need to prove them wrong. You need to elevate your game and push them and pound them until they break. Period.

If we lose, we go home. There is no tomorrow. Our backs are against the wall and we can not move forward unless we give it 100%. Push your team mates. If you see someone not giving 100%, get in her face! Push her. Let her know that if she doesn't give 100% then the team cannot win. You cannot afford to have players not giving it everything they have at this point. You need 100% commitment from every player. If someone is not willing to do that, she needs to find another team where that kind of play is accepted. Period. Sodium will not accept anything less than 100% and there are girls waiting in line to join the team and they are ALL willing to give 100%.

If you elevate your game every time you set foot on the field, if you bring your 'A' game, there is not a team in Oregon that can keep up. Part of that 'A' game is the sleep, nutrition, training & mental prep. If you want to take this team to the next level, it is vital that you all make it a priority to push yourselves and follow those guidelines. Do it for the yourself, do it for Tom, do it for Sodium.

You gotta believe. We do.

From our hearts we yell; GO SODIUM!