Spring and Summer Leagues
Do you love playing outdoor soccer but find it sometimes difficult to field an entire team? Our team has dropped down a division in the past to account for playing with a short bench or without any subs.
Ninety minutes is a long enough game, and it can feel more like 120 minutes when you only have 9 or 10 players on the field.
Of course this is because summer is so short in Edmonton, and people, rightly, want to travel, and take family vacations during our wonderful and brief summer season, especially when the kids' seasons are over and Mom and Dad are still playing.
Edmonton summer nights are long and beautiful, but summer storms and new rules around lightning cause games to be rescheduled, and maybe to a day when only 10 players can make it.
We're inviting you to come on in and play some 5 v 5 during our adult coed spring and summer league. Get some touches, a little practice and get used to playing without boards before hitting the big pitch, and in the summer if you can get 4 friends to join you - you can field a team!
Join a league and play the field!
Adult Soccer Training
Learning to play soccer as an adult has been bittersweet. I am happy to have found and fallen in love with the beautiful game, but am sad I didn't start when I was younger.
Learning the game was easy enough, but becoming good at it continues to be a challenge.
I watch my children's practices and technical training and try to pick up what I can. I watch you tube videos and attend practices when my team has them, but it's difficult to get a group of adults together regularly. Two or three minutes of warm up on the field prior to kick off isn't really enough time - especially since I need most of that time to stretch!
Joining a team is a great way to learn soccer, but without some regular practices, it is difficult to learn ball control, creating space, passing, not to mention learning the Laws of the game, positions, and nuances of strategy and tactics. All new players benefit from small sided play, lots of touches, and repetition to build skill and increase confidence.
If you have started playing soccer, or want to start, or are thinking about starting, here are some resources to get you started:
CONCUSSION PROTOCOL - NOT JUST FOR KIDS
Last night I played soccer and stopped a shot with my face. I kept my footing but went down on one knee to make sure my teeth were all there (and not in the turf) and to get my bearings. I had a nose bleed and went off to get that under control. Some ice and a towel made everything better and I resumed playing as soon as my nose stopped bleeding.
That scene has played out for me several times in soccer and in other sports, and I have never thought much about it afterward. I had a bit of a revelation though when a teammate was asking me questions like the date, which I know, as a soccer parent, is part of the concussion protocol.
Whenever a child is hit in the head, I expect the coach to follow the protocol and I have been the "mean" Mom who makes my child wait the prescribed number of days before resuming games.
But when I get hit in the head I make sure that I am not bleeding, or that I don't get blood on my jersey, and that my nose and teeth aren't broken - yes, vanity - and that's it.
Am I impervious to concussion? No.
Do I understand the risk of concussions and particularly of repeated concussions? Yes.
So why do I not apply the protocol to myself? Great question. I need to practice what I preach and become a better role model and take better care of my brain. I am also going to make sure I have a towel in my bag in case of a nose bleed.
Here are some resources about concussions:
BIRTHDAY PARTY PLANNING
Do you look on Pinterest for Birthday Party ideas, save them diligently and then 8 weeks or so before your child's birthday realize that 2 months is no longer enough time to plan a child's birthday party?
I know I have had wonderful ideas for my kid's parties and then been unable to get a reservation because I didn't plan it 4 to 6 months ahead.
When we opened Urban Futbol I wanted to eliminate some of the challenges and frustrations I have experienced trying to plan a fun filled birthday party for my children.
NEW YEARS RESOLUTIONS
As the new year approached were you thinking about your New Years Resolution?
I was thinking that I had had more to eat and drink over the holidays than I originally planned and began to feel guilty and then started thinking about a new years resolution. Then I stopped.
I have, over the years, made significant changes to myself - physical, educational, spiritual. And not one of those changes came about because of a new calendar year. They happened because I wanted to make the change, internal resolve, if you will. The internal resolve may have initiated from a health concern, or family as motivation - it could be something else entirely too. I also considered that taking time with family and loved ones and eating a bit more doesn't need a resolution to correct, I just need to go back to the way I eat for the rest of the year.
We all can and do make changes in ourselves that we truly want and are internally motivated to achieve, sometimes drastically and sometimes incrementally, and the rest of the time we just live our lives, driving our kids to soccer practice.
So happy new year to you and if you have a resolution I wish you success in achieving it, and if you don't that's ok, I don't have one either.
BECOME A SOCCER (PLAYER) MOM
Soccer Mom. Be honest, when you read that you pictured a woman who drives a minivan and shuttles her kids to practices and games. She cheers for her kids and sits on the sideline talking to the other Soccer Moms about parent teacher meetings and whether she should buy an Instant Pot or not.
These Moms are dedicated, and I love and respect them. I am one (minus the minivan).
How I might differ though is that I decided to become a Soccer Player Mom.
I grew up playing sports, but never soccer. My kids started to play when they were about 3 years old, and I was able to guide them at that age, but as they progressed in the sport and moved into competitive play, I found that not only is soccer an exciting game to watch - it looked like fun to play.
My husband, Greg, and I were invited to join a co-ed team and I was eager, but very reluctant. I didn't know how to play, I understood the rules but had no skill, no ball control, no experience. But I did it anyway.
That first year was fun, and I wasn't very good, and I loved it. Greg soon suggested I find a Women's team to join. I worried I wasn't good enough, but I joined the Wildcats FC, who at the time were new women's team (35+). Our coach had a tryout and I worked as hard as I could to make the team. They are an amazing group of women that I am so fortunate to have found, led by talented, patient and dedicated coaches.
I have been playing for about six years now. I'm still not very good, and I still love it. My kids cheer me on, they coach and guide me, and they always give me positive feedback and don't make me feel bad when I make a mistake. They've taught me to be a better player and spectator and to be more patient and positive in the feedback I give them. Greg and I still play coed soccer together and we go watch each other play when we can.
I am so happy that I decided to take a chance and learned to play. I can honestly say it has changed my life. I encourage any Soccer Mom who thinks it looks like fun to try it, you won't regret it. Check out our drop in and league pages and Play the Field.
THE ART AND SCIENCE OF ADDING LINES TO A PITCH
Until recently, I had never considered how the lines are put onto the pitch. When we were planning Urban Futbol, we just sent a plan to our turf supplier with the markings we wanted and didn't think more of it.
Our line cutting began yesterday, and what a process it is to measure out the dimensions of the field down to the millimeter. You read that right, millimeter.
The first line to be established is a touch line, and then a goal line. From there they can make sure the pitch is square, because buildings never are. Once the perimeter is marked then all of the other markings are determined using two measuring tapes staked in the ground at center and the center of the goal line. Markings are made for one half of the field at a time and then mirrored on the other side.
Once they're sure the lines are correct, they cut the green turf out and replace it with white turf, and the grain of the turf must be maintained, so that means a lot of tricky cutting for the curves. The white is glued in with white glue (and green glue for the green turf) and the glue needs to cure for about 24 hours. Once the glue is set the turf is brushed so that the strands stand up straight.
The last step is the many thousands of pounds of rubber crumb that will be spread by hand all over the field. The rubber provides support to players and prevents the turf from matting and going flat.
Once that is done - we invite you to come and play the field!
TURF INSTALLATION BEGINS TODAY!
The turf is getting installed today! Unfortunately it arrived three hours later than scheduled, but the crew quickly had it off the truck and started unrolling it.
Once it was unrolled they prepared it for the seams. The floor will technically float because it isn't glued to the floor, but there will be about 16,000 lbs of rubber added to give it the characteristic bounce of a turf field. Once the seams are done the adhesive needs to cure overnight. Tomorrow the white lines go in!
SMALL SIDED GAMES - NOT JUST FOR KIDS
You may have heard more in recent years about small sided games and the benefits for long term player development, but did you know that small sided games benefit players of all ages?
The benefits to young players are obvious the first time you see a group of 5 year olds playing. The size of the pitch and number of players is important, but what about players old enough to play 11 v 11, how do they benefit?
Small sided games provide players of all ages and all skill levels:
Small sided games are recommended for players by FIFA, Soccer Canada, and US Soccer.
All of these benefits mean that players of all ages can experience real gains in their skills by participating in small sided games, and in a northern climate like we have in Edmonton, that means you can realize those gains in a smaller indoor turf space.
Local players of all ages and skill levels can consider the immense player benefits of small sided games, and the cost benefits of a smaller, premium quality indoor turf field.
We hope to see you soon.
Play the field.
We have been working towards opening Urban Futbol for almost twelve months and we are finally in the homestretch. As I read that number I can't believe it has taken nearly a full year for this to come together. In a time when we are so accustomed to instant information, access, replies and service we had to relearn patience. Several times we thought we were just weeks away from opening only to find a new hurdle that needed time and effort to overcome.
We now have the keys and the space is finally starting to take shape. The safety netting will be installed followed by the turf, which is really the key pieces we need to start playing. We plan to film the installations in time lapse and post the video to the website so you can see the space take shape.
As soon as we have a firm opening date, we'll open the scheduling system to online reservations, but you can contact us directly if you are looking for practice times for your team, or want to find out more about Birthdays and other event opportunities.
We are really excited to offer this space for team practices and small sided play - we hope you enjoy it as much as we do.