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Food Guide for Women’s Soccer



Women's World Cup Nutrition Tip By Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of Food Guide for Women's Soccer As the remaining teams in the tournament contest the round of 16, the players spend their off days training, resting and refueling. Many soccer players and their parents misunderstand the role of protein in a sports diet. According to Food Guide for Women's Soccer, many wrongly believe protein should be the foundation of their sports diets. While you do need adequate protein, it should be a accompaniment to the carb-based meals that fuel your muscles. Smaller amounts of protein—about 10% to 15% of your calories—can adequately build and repair muscles, make red blood cells, enzymes and hormones, and allow hair and fingernails to grow. This translates into a small-to-medium portion (20 to 30 grams of protein) at each meal. Stay tuned for more from the Women's World Cup http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/


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Wambach is Back



Just like I predicted in my blog last week, after Wambach missed a great scoring opportunity against Australia, she’d bounce back better than ever. Folks, “Wambach is back”. Her goal against Nigeria put the USA through to the next round in the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup and was the only goal of the match. When the pressure is on to score key goals, the best find their way back to putting the ball in the net. It’s just the way it is. For the best to stay the best, that’s the way it has to be. Sometimes you wonder why the top goal scorer’s continue to be the top scorer’s year after year, even though often other players seem to have similar or more technical skills than they do. They just fail to register as many goals as them. The answer is that the best goals scorer’s in the World have that special mental make-up that others don’t. I like to call it their “inner game” is better. And of course, I talk about that extensively in my Golden Goal Scoring Courses and in my book, The Last 9 Seconds. I believe it’s the 9 seconds before a goal is scored that counts the most. What is the player thinking, doing, and where are they going? What’s going through their mind so they get to the right spot at the right time and what are they doing with their final touch? Seems simple but it’s the hardest thing to do. That’s why consistent goal scorers are highly sought after and make the most money. When a striker fails to score for 5 straight games, everyone wonders what’s wrong with them even if they are getting absolutely no decent balls that anyone can possibly score with. If a striker doesn’t score often, they will disappear into obscurity, sometimes without ever getting another chance at the big leagues. If a striker goes into a slump, especially once they approach 30 years of age, they are often labeled as being finished and ready for retirement. How unfair. I recall consulting Jeff Cunningham of the MLS. He was one of the all-time leading goal scorers in the MLS before getting to Toronto. After a terrible season with Toronto FC, where he could not find the back of the net much, I had the pleasure of meeting him and started consulting him. Players can be very fragile when the pressure is on them. Jeff was a true gentleman and very receptive to my advice. He wanted to improve and listen to my comments even though he was an experienced goal scorer. The following season he got back on track and won the MLS scoring title with FC Dallas at the ripe old age of 33. That’s’ practically unheard of in soccer. But if you can clear the mind and get your “inner game” back in form, great goal scorers will put away their past misses and poor performances and get right back on track. Strikers have to have that special makeup to be able to score goals year after year especially after getting hacked, butchered, and fouled all the time. If they don’t, they’re gone. The striker position is so unforgiving. That’s why I knew Abby would bounce back. Her goal against Nigeria required deep concentration and focus. She was there and did her thing. Way to go Abby! Best of luck the rest of the way. Thanks for Reading, John DeBenedictis www.thelast9seconds.com   Women's World Cup Nutrition Tip By Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of Food Guide for Women's Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) As the tournament moves on, the question becomes: how do players stay energized? Do vitamin supplements help players? As Food Guide for Women's Soccer tells players, your best bet for fighting fatigue is to be responsible with your choices and nourish your body with the right balance of wholesome foods. Make the effort to eat a variety of foods and fluids from the different food groups every day to consume not only the amount of vitamins and minerals you need, but also the calories your body needs to prevent fatigue. If you are tempted to take supplements for health insurance, do so only if you simultaneously choose to eat responsibly. Remember, no amount of supplements will compensate for an inadequate diet--but you will always win with good nutrition. Eat wisely, eat well!  Stay tuned for more from the Women's World Cup  


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Women Play Tough But Fair



As I sit and watch the 2015 FIFA Women’s World Cup I sense that there seems to be something different about the women’s game than I’m used to seeing with the men’s. There is a refreshing quality about the spirit that the games are played in that’s noticeable. But at first, I could not figure out what that was. The women play the game as tough as men. There are some tough bone- crunching challenges in the game that make you want to look away. At the same time, we see some great finesse and strategic play that did not exist 20 years ago. The women’s game has come a long way. I find it very enjoyable to watch. But what I noticed most is that they play the game fairly most of the time. I do not see cases where players are deliberately attempting to injure an opponent. Also, and this is the part that took me a while to figure out, I don’t see feather-like contact turn into academy award, “I just got shot”, performances. The women play tough but fair. You know that when someone is down, they are probably injured in some way and not faking it. And I’m not the only one to have noticed this. When I’ve brought this up with avid soccer fans, they have all agreed. In the event of tough challenges, it often results in a badly timed tackle and not any intention to cheat or disobey the rules. Of course there are some exceptions but generally this quality is refreshing. I wish that more men players played in this spirit.   Thanks for Reading, John DeBenedictis, author of The Last 9 Seconds: Follow on twitter @JohnD_Soccer Like on Facebook


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US Women Beat Nigeria, Win Group



US Women Beat Nigeria, Win Group By Whitey Kapsalis, author of To Chase a Dream (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) The US Women beat Nigeria in an important final game of the first round, winning the group and advancing on to the next round. A late 1st half goal by Abby Wambach was the difference in a game dominated by the US. A few counter-attack opportunities by Nigeria kept the game interesting, but the US was in control throughout. The highlight of the game was Lauren Holiday’s presence and composure in the midfield. She orchestrated the offense by being around the ball a lot and by playing balls that kept the Nigerian defense off-balance. Once again, the back five of the US defenders were stingy and disciplined throughout the game, breaking down most of Nigeria’s attack in the defensive third. http://www.tochaseadream.com/   US vs. Nigeria By Shane Stay, author of Why American Soccer Isn’t There Yet (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) Columbia vs. England will likely determine who the US plays next in Edmonton, Canada. The Women’s World Cup is getting more exciting! Wambach’s goal, a volley with her foot – not her head – put the US past Nigeria, as predicted, to win Group D. The midfield was better, with room for improvement. This win avoids a second round game against a strong Brazilian side. As Wambach and Morgan got more playing time, maybe that was the key as Abby’s goad in the first half finished the score against Nigeria, 1-0. Coming off a tie against Sweden this was a great confidence builder for the team in the next few days. Furthermore, Morgan’s start was the first in two months, due to an injury comeback. US fans are hoping to see more from her. Combined with Lloyd, and other midfield talent, things are coming together for the US, gaining momentum heading into the knock out rounds. Some keys to look for will be the US remaining composed in possession and not getting rattled when they don’t score right away, with a solid and relaxed defense, who, up to this point, has played well, keeping the US in games, but has also looked jittery at times. http://www.shanestay.com/blog   Women's World Cup Tip--Get Your Sleep! By Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of Food Guide for Women’s Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) As the tournament moves on to the crucial knock-out rounds, every aspect of players caring for themselves both on and off the field becomes more crucial. In addition to good nutrition, other lifestyle aspects come into consideration. According to Food Guide for Women's Soccer, in addition to fatigue, lack of sleep directly affects athletic performance. According to research quoted in the book, cumulative sleep deprivation has been shown to reduce cardiovascular performance by 11%. It also affects other measures of performance, such as focus, perceived exertion, and alters the supply of energy to the muscles. Stay tuned to more from the Women's World Cup http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/  


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Women Coaches Produce More Goals



Here is an interesting statistic from this year’s FIFA Women’s World Cup. Teams coached by women have scored more goals and also given up more goals than teams coached by men in the competition thus far. The top two scoring teams so far are Germany and Switzerland and between them they have scored 21 goals. Each team has only played 2 games. The good news is that both teams are coached by female coaches. At the other end of the spectrum, the top two teams that have conceded the most goals so far are Ecuador and Cote D’Ivoire. The bad news is that those two teams have conceded 29 goals in 4 games and are also coached by female coaches. It seems as though that teams with women coaches produce more goals both for and against. It’s interesting that female coaches are at the helm at both extremes. (I shall refrain from making a comment here). In this World Cup, only 7 head coaches of the 24 teams are female. If we look at the total goals for and against record of those 7 female coaches, we see a total of 33 goals were scored and 39 goals were conceded. The combined total from the remaining 17 male coaches shows only 41 goals scored and only 35 goals given up. This could be purely coincidental but based on those numbers I would say that, from an entertainment point of view, watching teams coached by females would provide a lot more excitement. In fact the numbers suggest that games would be filled with goals if all teams were coached by females. Maybe we should consider forcing all teams in the Women’s World Cup to be coached by females. That could make things interesting. Come to think of it, if this is a trend and not just a coincidence, the MLS, which is traditionally a low scoring league, should consider banning male coaches and forcing all teams to hire female head coaches. That may help boost TV ratings for the MLS as well! Please don’t comment on that last sentence because I’m just kidding. But it is an interesting observation isn’t it? Will it continue? Keep an eye on it. Thanks for reading, John DeBenedictis, author of The Last 9 Seconds: The Secrets of Scoring Goals on the Last Touch (DeBenedictis Books) Follow John on Twitter - JohnD_Soccer  


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Soccer Experts Weigh in on US, Sweden Game



  Shane Stay and Whitey Kapsalis, two soccer experts weigh in on US, Sweden game.  Also included is a helpful nutrition tip from Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark. Here is what they have to say:  US Women Build in Confidence Against Sweden Shane Stay, author of Why American Soccer Isn't There Yet (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) Even though it turned out to be a tie, the US women looked much better in this second game against Sweden. That is, in the second half of this second game. Despite strong defense from the US in the first forty-five, the front side of the attack was lacking a connection, as opportunities in the box were missed, with a through pass massively over-paced as the first half came to a close, missing out on a prime opportunity to create danger in Sweden’s box. As the team regrouped at half, the pace to the next forty-five was much better. As the Winnipeg-based crowd picked up the spirits’ of the players, there was good patience in possession, the spacing was exploited in Sweden’s defensive third, along with good footwork from Lloyd, Krieger, and very good composure from Christen Press. Lloyd came very close to scoring near the Swede’s goal-line which turned into a clash of heads, leaving both players on the ground momentarily. There was a close call for a penalty kick as the ball ambiguously glazed off a Swedish defender’s hand, but the real attacking threat came from a delicate shot past Solo which a US defender deflected off her head into the crossbar, averting a near certain score from Sweden. In the end, a 0-0 score will do for now as the US moves on with a point, on top of Group D with four points. Wambach and Morgan came on late, with little impact. Overall, the US outplayed Sweden and things should pick up on the scoreboard carrying this confidence into the next match against Nigeria, which should be a walk in the park. http://www.shanestay.com/blog      Unusual lackluster performance by US ends in scoreless draw with Sweden By Whitey Kapsalis, author of To Chase a Dream (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) Perhaps it was the fact that they were playing their old coach, or perhaps it was just one of those days, but the US Women’s Soccer Team gave an atypical lackluster performance last night in drawing even with Sweden. The US was unable to sustain any momentum in the attacking third and did not create any real scoring threats. Passes in the final third were not connecting and play in the midfield was a bit methodical, contributing to the lack of firepower we have grown accustomed to seeing. Defensively we were strong and had another huge save off the goal line to prevent what could have been a big loss. Let’s hope the game next Tuesday produces a more inspired effort, the kind of effort that has always made this team so special and fun to watch. http://www.tochaseadream.com/   Women's World Cup Nutrition Tip By Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of Food Guide for Women's Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) As the tournament progresses, history shows that the most successful and experienced teams know how to build: they have to get better as they go along. Refueling is an important part of the equation. According to Food Guide for Women's Soccer, the best post-exercise snacks include a foundation of carbs to replace the depleted glycogen (muscle energy) stores, and a small amount of protein (10 to 20 grams) to repair the muscle damage. The target is about three times more carbs than protein. Good choices include a fruit smoothie made with Greek yogurt, or an energy bar plus chocolate milk.   http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/


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If They Don’t Score You Can’t Lose…But



I just finished watching the Women’s World Cup match between Canada and New Zealand that ended in a 0-0 tie. Although there were a few crossbars and a few great saves by the keepers, there were not that many chances manufactured by either team. In the past, it was not uncommon for a coach to say to his or her team, "If they don't score, you can’t lose." Teams would play defensive soccer and hope to steal a victory with a chance goal. It was after the 1982 Men’s World Cup that FIFA probably started considering changing their point structure to encourage attacking soccer. In that tournament, Italy played 3 first round games without winning a game and only scoring 2 goals but they managed to advance because they also only gave up 2 goals. That was enough to allow Italy to go through to the next round. As it turned out, they ended up winning the World Cup but it only came after they started scoring. In their last 3 games they scored 8 goals. But playing negative soccer was not attractive so FIFA introduced the 3 point system whereby a win was worth 3 points instead of 2 while a tie was still worth only one point. Today, it would be unlikely that a team can go to the next round with only 3 ties. Nonetheless, goals are still hard to come by thus far in the 2015 Women’s World Cup. If you take away some lopsided scores, which are probably a result of some weaker teams being entered into the competition due to more teams being allowed in the finals, scoring would still be very low. Courtesy of Les Jones, Covershots, Inc. So far, in 62.4% of games only 1 goal was needed for a team to win the game. Staggering when you think about it isn’t it? Only 1 goal can win you over 50% of soccer games. Are the goalkeepers that good? Maybe teams are playing as though they are afraid to lose in fear of being eliminated from the tournament. We did see goal scoring go up in the 2014 Men’s World Cup, so let’s hope that as we move to must-win games that teams will need at least 2 goals to win a game instead of 1. That would be more enjoyable to watch too. And don’t forget, that you also cannot win without scoring a goal! Thanks for reading. John DeBenedictis – Author: The Last 9 Seconds: The Secrets to Scoring Goals on The Last Touch (DeBenedictis Books 2013) Go Like my Facebook page The Last 9 Seconds by John DeBenedictis http://www.thelast9seconds.com/   Nutrition Tips By Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of Food Guide for Women’s Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ As the competition ramps up, here is a key fact to consider from Food Guide for Women's Soccer. Some statistics reveal that the majority of goals are scored in the last five minutes of the first and second half of the game. And according to a 2002 men's World Cup analysis, the peak of scoring was between the 76th and 90th minutes of the matches. This indicates that fatigue and/or lack of focus has a major impact on allowing opponents to score. That's why smart nutrition can keep you in the game, and competitive until the final whistle.  Stay tuned for more from the Women's World Cup http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/


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Even Abby, the Best in the World, Missed Scoring Chances



Abby Wambach’s missed scoring chance against Australia in the USA’s opening game, clearly proves that when it comes to goal scoring, that often the reason players do not score is not because of lack of technique or skill but something completely different. I would say that psychology plays a bigger part of missed scoring opportunities than coaches give credit for. Wamback’s missed header would normally have been a routine goal. We know she has the skills and techniques needed to score because she has scored on similar chances many times before. In fact she’s The BEST in the World when it comes to scoring. She holds all the women’s goal scoring records. Courtesy of Les Jones, Covershots, Inc. Her psychological make-up is usually spot-on because to re-iterate, she’s the best in the world at scoring goals. We know she has the skill because she has scored in these situations over and over so her miss cannot be blamed on lack of skill or technique. Even Abby, the best in the world, missed scoring chances. You can only attribute her missed opportunity, in the first half of their game against Australia, to a psychological breakdown for that instant. It’s clear on all the replays. It happens to the best of them; Messi, Ronaldo, Marta, Sinclair, and yes, even Wamback. Even these superstars have psychological breakdowns when it comes to scoring goals but much less often than most of their competitors. It took only a split second for her to lose her deep concentration needed to score in that situation. It was a common mistake that players make all the time. When she realized it, it was too late to correct. She’s a pro and she’ll bounce back better than ever. I have come up with three key things to focus on in such situations to keep a player focused. These 3 “secrets” have helped players I have coached break their own goal scoring records. They can be found in my book, The Last 9 Seconds. In it I explain how and why players miss chances and offer coaches some tools to help their players eliminate psychological errors. They will never be 100% perfect, but an improvement in conversion rate in these types of chances can be the difference between winning and losing. Thanks for Reading, John DeBenedictis, author of The Last 9 Seconds: The Secrets to Scoring Goals on The Last Touch (DeBenedictis Books 2013) http://www.thelast9seconds.com/   Women's World Cup Nutrition Tip Water, water everywhere...Hydration is a vital topic for soccer players, and especially in the summer heat of the World Cup. Australian forward Lisa De Vanna, who terrorized the U.S. in game 1 of the tournament with her incredible speed and ability, reveals in "Food Guide for Women's Soccer,": "The biggest nutrition improvement I've made since coming to professional soccer is drinking more water. Drinking enough has made a significant impact on my energy level and performance on the field." She sure showed that, scoring Australia's only goal of the game. Stay tuned for more from the Women's World Cup!  By Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of, Food Guide for Women's Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/  http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/  


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One Team Has Scored



John DeBenedictis, author of, The Last 9 Seconds: The Secrets to Scoring Goals on the Last Touch (DeBenedictis Books 2013) Only One Team has scored in 8 out of 12 Games at Women’s World Cup The 2015 Women’s World Cup has just begun and already goals are hard to come by. So far, out of the first 12 games played, only one team has scored in eight of those games. This means that only one goal was needed to win a game. In fact 4 of those 8 games ended with a 1-0 result. The importance of scoring that one goal can be the difference between victory and defeat. Strikers are under intense pressure to score and if they don’t, the media are quick to start asking questions. Even the best strikers in the world will get scrutinized which is why it’s the goal scorers who will either emerge as our new heros or be labeled as failures. There’s incredible pressure on the Strikers. How unfair! Thanks for reading.  Follow John's blog at http://goldengoalscoring.blogspot.com/   Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, authors of, Food Guide for Women’s Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) Women's World Cup Nutrition Ever wonder what soccer players from various nations eat during the World Cup? Are their diets 'true to their culture'? One clue is the way the players, who travel the world, have adapted various typical dishes from other countries with the use of ingredients native to their own culture. In "Food Guide for Women's Soccer", Japanese team captain Aya Miyama (who scored on a PK in Japan's first game and win) shares her recipe for Japanese-Style Hamburgers. They include Panko (Japanese bread crumbs) and Tonkastu, a typical Japanese sauce (or steak sauce with ketchup if you can't find her version).  Stay tuned for more from the World Cup! http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/  


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WWC – USWNT v Australia



    Excerpts from the Experts Below are excerpts from articles written by soccer experts on the game last night. You learn more about each author by going to the link at the bottom of their remarks. Ashu Saxena, author of Soccer – Strategies for Sustained Soccer Coaching Success (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2012) USWNT v Australia: U.S. Off to a Good Start with a 3-1 Victory Areas to improve upon for the U.S.: Communication in team defending- Australia's early chances along with its goal could have been prevented by better communication to apply pressure, get into passing lanes and snuff out attempts on goal. Movement in the final third- there was not a lot of movement on and off the ball until late in the match when Australia seemed to fade.  Against a better opponent, this needs to improve and at a greater pace. Midfield play- not enough dictating of play via spraying effective passes to put players in scoring opportunities or retaining possession and moving to get the ball back.  U.S. gave up possession far too often. Passion- the competitive fire necessary to put an inferior opponent away (or at least compete with greater intensity) early was lacking.  This must improve to overcome stronger opponents. Next match prediction: Bolstered by its depth, the U.S. will continue to improve one match at a time.  Playing against former coach Pia Sundhage's Sweden, U.S. will improve upon tonight's performance and win 2-0. http://www.saxenacoachingservices.com/     Shane Stay, author of Why American Soccer Isn’t There Yet (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) Australians Give US a Good Run The Australian side gave the US a good run, as they have in past attempts, but fell short of walking away with a key win. The US started out slow, and very impatient. The keeper, Solo, had to make a number of saves in the first half. Add to that, with little build-up in possession from the back, the US looked like they were trying to get things arranged, but couldn’t quite find the right path. While in the second half, the team picked up the pace and the play became crisper, with energy brought from the bench. The build-up from the back improved, to mark the first game a 3-1 victory. With steady keeper play, the team got the jitters out, moving onward to the next step. Possibly, with Morgan’s injury – only coming on late in the game – the team must find a way to keep things moving in a positive direction into the next challenge. http://www.shanestay.com/blog/womens-world-cup-us-vs-australia   Whitey Kapsalis, author of To Chase a Dream, (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2014) USA Survives Early Jitters, Takes Control in Win Over Australia Two brilliant saves by US Goalkeeper Hope Solo kept the game tied until the US could finally settle in and dictate the tempo. They did so by calming their nerves and taking it to Australia for the final 15 minutes of the 1st half and entire 2nd half. A dominating performance the rest of the game resulted in a comfortable 3-1 victory. Key learning points regarding the 3 US goals: The first goal confirmed the importance of shooting the ball from distance. Once you have an opening, strike the ball with the intent to get it on target. Shots resulting in rebounds, or in this case, deflections can lead to great scoring opportunities….don’t wait for the perfect opportunity to strike the ball if within distance. http://www.tochaseadream.com/   Gloria Averbuch and Nancy Clark, Food Guide for Women’s Soccer (Meyer & Meyer Sport 2015) Women’s World Cup Nutrition Tip Here’s a couple of insights from Food Guide for Women’s Soccer. You might assume players simply ‘chow down’ before playing, but not so, according to U.S. forward Amy Rodriguez, “When we have an evening game, I eat a big breakfast, a lighter lunch, and then I make sure I don’t go too crazy with food before the game. It’s difficult to work out really hard on a full stomach.” http://www.pointsgroupllc.com/author/gaverbuch/ http://www.nancyclarkrd.com/        


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