Monthly Archives

June 2012

Soccer in the Sand

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This weekend I’ll be at Grand Haven (Michigan) beach playing a little Soccer in the Sand. Last year I played on a team with some of the guys from my old U14 Lakeshore Premier team. It was great! We couldn’t have had a better day at the beach. I’ll be playing with a similar team again this year and we’re going to be wearing the special edition Charity Ball jerseys. Big thanks to the guys for being willing to play for something even bigger.

Here is our team schedule

If you live in the Grand Haven area and your not doing anything this weekend, come check it out!

Soccer in the Sand

Nike Better World

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Over the past couple years, the guys at Nike have been taking old, plastic bottles (that would typically end up in landfills) and using them to create some of the coolest, enviro-friendly soccer kits to ever hit the pitch. Today, every new Nike national team kit is created with at least 96% recycled polyester. Each jersey is made using an average of 7 plastic bottles and each pair of shorts is made using an average of 6 plastic bottles. That’s 13 plastic bottles per kit! Pretty amazing. Props to Nike for helping make the game and our world a little more beautiful.

Note: Since 2010, Nike Soccer has used close to 115 million recycled plastic bottles to create its high performance kits. Lined up end-to-end, that’s enough bottles to stretch halfway around the world. Nike Better World

Wondering how Nike does it? Check out the video below.

Christian Ouding: You Will Be Missed

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Yesterday I received some terrible news.

13-year old Christian Ouding passed away from a drowning accident in Lake Michigan on Saturday morning. I had just finished my tryouts with Lakeshore Premier when my mom gave me the difficult news. I was devastated to hear what had happened and was totally shocked.

Christian was a great kid and an amazing soccer player. I played soccer with him on ODP over the winter months. He was a quiet guy with amazing strength. It’s sad that someone so young has to go so soon.

Up until this point, I’ve never had anyone my age pass away. It’s hard for me to even write this because I don’t know what to think or say.

Over the short period of time I spent with Christian, here is what I saw…

• He was a gentle giant, one of the nicest guys and a monster soccer player.
• He came across secure in who he was. He was humble and didn’t have to prove himself.
• He had a powerful foot. He could put in shots from almost half field.
• He was quiet & focused. When he showed up for competition, you could tell that his head was in the game.
• Everyone liked him. There was nothing not to like about Christian. Nice cool guy.
• He was a dangerous player. His size and ability allowed him to plow through defenders and position himself for some killer plays
• He was feared and respected by other teams.

It was obvious that Christian had a great future ahead of him on the field and off the field. We will all miss him and he will never be forgotten.

To honor his memory, Charity Ball will be donating 50 new soccer balls to kids in Africa in his name


Making it Count!

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This past weekend I was presented with a check on behalf of Charity Ball for $1,318.55.

It wasn’t directly from a company or somebody who has a large bank account, instead it was from a team of 11 twelve-year old boys. Chris Hofland’s U12 USA soccer team (Holland, MI) went out and did odd jobs to raise money for Charity Ball and to help poverty-stricken kids around the world receive new, quality soccer balls. Some of the guys went out and sold doughnuts at soccer games, some raised money at garage sales and others were courageous enough to ask their friends and family for cash donations. This is so cool. It goes to show that you don’t have always have to be an adult in order to help people. Kids too can can make a difference and change the world. A big thanks to the USA U12 Soccer Team. Way to go guys!

How to Prepare for a Soccer Game

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Have you every wondered what you should do to get ready to play your best? My brother and I play a lot of soccer around our house and we’re always thinking about how to play our best. Here are some things we do to gear up.

1. Mental
We both have soccer journals that we keep. Each week we write down different things that we learned in practice or from the last game. We often list stuff we could improve on and read over it on the way to the game so it’s fresh in our minds when we hit the field. We also visualize ourselves doing what we want to do in a game, like step-overs or shooting the ball in the back of the net. Sometimes we write moves on our hands that we want to use in a game.

2. Nutrition
You won’t see us at McDonalds or sipping a soda that often. What you eat has a lot to do with how you play. We try to eat things that have a lot of protein (eggs, chicken, fish, some veggies) and good carbs (pasta, whole wheat sandwiches etc.) on the night before and on game day. Cliff or Power Bars are usually in the car for some quick fuel. If we want something sweet, we typically do fruit like apples, oranges, or strawberries.

3. Hydration
The body is made up of about 70% water. When you play you sweat and lose water. When you lose water, you lose energy and the ability to think clearly. You want to be your best physically and mentally for the game. How much water you have in your system will impact that. We try to start drinking extra water 24 hours before the whistle blows. I (Ethan) have a gallon Gatorade cooler that I carry around and sip on 24 hours before each game. You might think I’m crazy, but I can tell a big difference when I don’t. I usually drink water with ice, but I’ve read that it’s best to drink it room temperature so that your body doesn’t have to use energy to break down the ice.

4. Sleep
We try to get to bed at a good time the night before. A minimum of 8-9 hours of sleep is what we shoot for. We’ve played at tournaments where guys stay up late messing around and it always impacts their performance the next day. We’ve learned our lessons. If we want to play well and help the team, we need to get good sleep.

5. Physical
Before the game I (Ethan) am always getting focused by stretching out and juggling. I try to get a lot of quick touches on the ball to quicken my feet. Good players should get 1000 touches on the ball each day. When I arrive, I take a slow jog with the ball around the field to get focussed. After, I do individual drills to prepare myself and then do team warm-ups with the rest of the guys so I’m at 100%. If my feet are sore before the game I will ice and tape them up.