Textbook Finishing by Carli Lloyd to Win World Cup. Did She Read my book?

Carli Lloyd practically won the US Women’s World Cup on her own with her three goal performance and she did it in textbook fashion. There it is in plain English on page 217 and 229 of my book on how to score a goal from a cross. Carli Lloyd followed my instructions step by step. Did she read my book?

Her hat-trick performance was one of perfection. Her actually finish is no different than any player can and should be able to do provided they know how to kick and pass a ball. But for some reason few seem to be able to score consistently. The actually physical skills needed to score are simple. And practically every player good enough to play on a State, College, or National Team has them. Why then, do not more of them score when they should?

A shocking 16 of 24 teams in the tournament scored 5 or fewer goals in the whole tournament. The US team scored 5 in the finals with clinical finishes. Canadian coach, John Herdman was asked before the final what Canada needed to do to get to a final. His answer, “develop goal scorers”. The question is how? In my opinion, there are plenty of players that have the needed physical skills to score. The question then becomes, do they have the mental skills? That’s the issue and that’s what I tackle in my book, The Last 9 Seconds.

The second goal displayed even more textbook finishing by Carli Lloyd than the first. Her run into the box to score followed the step by step path I lay out on page 219 of the book. And her third goal is right there on page 188. After her third goal the color commentator in the game said that Carli Lloyd was in “the zone”. Wait a second, that’s chapter 23 and 24.

Lloyd was definitively in “the zone” as her split second decisions were the difference between scoring by being at the right spot at the right time and not scoring by being a bit too early or too late. Her third goal is what I talk about in my classroom sessions to my goal scoring students. I discuss the mental aspects of the game including knowing the opposing goalkeeper and what he or she may be doing at any given time. These super advanced skills are all mental skills that separate the top players from the average because in reality, the skill of kicking a ball in the net, or passing a ball in a 8 yard by 8 foot target should not be that difficult. Being focused and in the zone to make the right decisions at the right time is the main skill that strikers need to develop but it’s not an easy task.

In her post game press conference Lloyd said she had visualized scoring goals the night before and said that scoring is a mental thing. My gosh, that’s chapter 25.

Ok now, if you’re a coach, surf right over to www.thelast9seconds.com to order your copy of my book. Be warned it’s got a lot of information (400+ pages) but as Dr Jay Martin said in a review in the NSCAA’s Soccer Journal, “It’s an entertaining read. It’s an easy read. The book just works on so many levels. This book is highly recommended.”

And if you’re a member of the National Soccer Coaches Association of America, check out the latest issue of Soccer Journal for a special discount. If you’re not, you better become one because this association is open to bringing in different ideas and opinions from coaches around the world to make everyone a better coach. It’s probably why the USA is on top of the world right now in soccer. www.nscaa.com

Thanks for reading. 

John DeBenedictis

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