Friday, January 25, 2013

Futsal games at the Waltham Y, January 24

Regarding the Futsal games played Thursday evening January 24 2013  at the Waltham Y, four factors stand out:

1 The ball used.

This was the first time ever, that I played in a game using a Futsal ball. It belonged to Paul, it was a Nike Rolinho Premier Futsal ball, inflated to 8 PSI. By way of contrast balls I have recent experience with during games, have been outdoor balls inflated to below 4 PSI.

An ideal outdoor soccer ball has a circumference of 69 cm., whereas an ideal Futsal has a circumference of 63 cm, 91% of that of a an ideal outdoor soccer ball. Hence, the volume of an ideal outdoor soccer ball is 32% greater than the volume of an ideal Futsal ball.

The weight of the Futsal ball we played with evening of January 24th, definitely seemed greater than the weight of the deflated outdoor balls I have been playing with indoors in the past; this resulted in dribbles and shots traveling at less than expected velocity. Blurbs about the the Nike Rolinho Premier ball proclaim that it is official Futsal size and weight, which according to the blurbs, is 'smaller and heavier' than official outdoor soccer ball size and weight. Whereas actually, the ideal Futsal ball is only 95% of the weight of the ideal outdoor ball. Hence I conclude that the Nike Rolinho Premier Futsal ball we played with this evening Jan 24, is indeed heavier than a standard outdoor ball, even though actually a Futsal ball is not supposed to be heavier than a standard outdoor soccer ball.

The Nike Rolinho Premier we played with today was much less bouncy than an outdoors ball. This is to be expected because whereas an ideal outdoors ball dropped from a height of 6' 7" should bounce 4'9" high (72% as high as it was dropped from), an ideal Futsal dropped from 6' 7" should bounce only 2' high (30% of the height it was dropped from).

The audio voice-over-man at - Football-Tests, talks about how a player's rate of improvement is retarded when there is a lack of consistency in terms of the ball used. The text ath the page provides interesting anecdotal evidence:
"Maybe there was a disagreement over the weight of the ball, we will never know, but history books confirm that two balls were used during the 1930 FIFA World Cup™ final, one from Argentina, the other from Uruguay. Argentina led 2-1 at half-time, after using “their” ball for the first 45 minutes, but after the break the Uruguayans used their ball and won the match 4-2. Today, FIFA decides which ball is used in the FIFA World Cup™ and not one of the teams".
IMHO, the soccer programs of the YMCAs in the Boston area, should get together and standardize what kind of ball and ball PSI will be used in their soccer games. The progress rate of players is impaired, when they have to play in games with different kinds of balls, and when they have to practice with different kinds of balls to prepare for such games. Now I face the prospect of having to practice sometimes with an outdoor ball at 4 PSI, and sometimes with a Futsal ball at 8 PSI. This will retard my rate of improvement and could create an addition expense, if I now have to purchase a Futsal ball.

2. I Foolishly Did Weightlifting Exercises for the Calves 2.5 Hours Before the Game Started

My attitude before the game was, 'I am not going to let these soccer games disrupt my practice routine, so I am going to go ahead and do weightlifting exercises for my calves anyway'. The unfortunate result: the pain in the calves and soles of my feet, which had finally disappeared in the previous two games I played in, resurrected itself. Reminds me of how I experienced pain for a long time in the calves and soles of the feet after practicing dribbling while colliding with a punching bag, and after doing my conditioning routine once while wearing two pairs of socks.

3. The Waltham Players Unlike the Oak Sq Y players like to play defense

Waltham Y soccer again showed how it differs from Oak Sq Y soccer, in that, to my surprise, during the games at Waltham Jan 24, the majority of the guys on my team wanted to play defense. This forced me into playing offense, which I am not used to doing. My team-mates often attempted to pass the ball to me up on offense but many of these passes were intercepted. Sometimes, I was clearly in the open but did not get a pass, because the player attempted to dribble and shoot instead. Up on offense, I am more dependent on my team-mates to get me the ball, compared to when I play defense, and can create ball contact opportunities for myself, by my own initiative, more easily.

4. Good Chip Passes I Made Were Not Well Received

Often I sent good chip-passes, not directly to a player, but to a point I expected the player to run to. The disappointment: the players whom I expected to run to meet the pass just stood there, and watched the pass, even though, if they had run to catch the pass, they would have had a good chance to receive it. They did not anticipate the direction of the pass. They did not seem to realize, that since the ball was chipped up in the air, and had 'hang-time', they would have been able to reach it even though it was targetted not at them but at a point between them and the goal. In this they reminded me of certain Oak Square Y players. Cause for hope: I've noticed players can rapidly improve their ability to receive passes that are sent not to where they are but to a point between where they are and the goal.

General Observations/Highlights

During the games evening of Jan 24: my angled one-touch passing & shooting was good at first and then later became inaccurate; my angled one-touch shots lacked velocity (due to the strange heaviness of the ball); in two dribble attempts that succeeded, in difficult situations I dribbled by two players each time before passing off successfully; in one failed dribble attempt, a slant-right, the defender easily stole the ball, because the ball, being heavier & smaller than what I am used to, simply did not travel with the velocity I expected it to when I gave it a glancing blow on its topside; my chip-passes were good but improperly received; my one touch passing off bouncers was good; (IMHO), I helped in producing goals by positioning myself intelligently on offense, which opened up opportunities for my team-mates to score even though I did not touch the ball; I scored one goal; when a long fast aerial pass came to me as I had my back to the opponent goal, and hit the ground just as it neared me, I flicked it backwards and sideways with the sole of my foot and would have scored except the defender behind me, who was much impressed by what I did, managed to block the ball.

I estimate that the inaccuracy in one-touch passing that developed after a while, was not due to the weirdness of the ball alone, but due to a combination of the heaviness of the ball and fatigue. I noticed that this inaccuracy also developed as time wore on, in a good player who unlike me was used to the kind of ball used today. As one tires, it becomes difficult to generate accurate passes with a heavy ball.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Whole Foods Boss John Mackey's New Book

I saw a bunch of yellow and green books in the Whole Foods Store. They looked like Brazilian soccer uniforms. Turned out the books were copies of Whole Foods founder John Mackey's 'Conscious Capitalism: Liberating the Heroic Spirit of Business '.

So this evening on the internet, I took a look at the reviews and the comments on the review at, re 'Conscious Capitalism' and other books by Mackey or his co-author Sisodia (of Bentley College in Waltham MA). Now I present my initial reactions to this study, admitting I have still not read any of the books themselves at this time.

Mackey's idea in my words:

Looking behond short-term shareholder interests, is the road to maximizing return to shareholders. Looking beyond means, catering to the interests of consumers, employees, the environment, vendors also. There is data showing good guys outperform bad guys. Looking beyond, means unifying the disparate groups concerned, by way of a goal they can all be enthused about. Whole Foods was founded with the primary goal being ethical. The secondary profit making goal was nevertheless important because it was felt that the primary ethical goal could not be achieved if the secondary profit-making goal was not achieved.


Investors who hold a given stock for only a short period of time, conflict with the Mackey approach.

Those who consider a corporation's stock value to reflected in its short-term profits conflict with the Mackey approach.

The concept that 'fiduciary duty' enjoins executives to obsess over short-term profits, conflicts with the Mackey approach.

It is possible, that the primary cause of the good guy company successes reflected in the data presented, is something other than being a good guy; and it is possible that the primary cause of the bad guy failures, could be something other than being a bad guy.

It is conceivable that a company could render itself popular with all 'stakeholders' (shareholders, workers, customers, distributors, the environment and the community), and still be a negative force in the world.

I can see myself writing a hilarious spoof, about a great entrepeneur, who rendered himself popular with shareholders, workers, customers, distributors, environmentalists, and the community, while he ruined the world. Or maybe it could be about some wizard who was not just popular with all such, but actually financially good for all such, who ruined the world.

It is conceivable, that a good guy company's continued existence, is not preferable compared to the good-guy company's termination.

It is conceivable, that a good-guy company performing certain functions, is not preferable to government or a non-profit performing those functions instead.

It is conceivable, that a bad-guy company could, despite its low stock earnings performance, perform a key role in enriching and empowering a hyper-selfish special interest that remotely and secretly controls the low-performing company. Hence it is dangerous to assume that low-performing bad-guy corporations are weak and not dangerous, simply because good-guys are high-performance.


Generally I welcome the idea that good guys can do well. If a strong case can be made that good guys can do well, then executives will be less likely to fear being good, due to a concern re being accused of neglecting 'fiduciary duty'. Seems to me the business community tends to sometimes simply assume that 'fiduciary duty' consists of being a bad guy. Which reminds me of the proverb: 'These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren. ' (Proverbs 6:16-19 King James Version (KJV)). It is wrong to unrealistically imagine, that 'fiduciary duty' consists of being a bad guy.

Mackey and Sisodia's books and CDs (to me as of now), seem weak in a certain respect: explaining to executives etc., who attempt to follow Mackey and be a good guy, how to defend themselves legally against accusations that they are neglecting their 'fiduciary duty'.


I wrote the 687 word essay above, in about 1.5 hours from approx 2-330 AM Jan 10. This was preceded by a couple of hours of reading the reviews at

Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Soccer January 8 2013 games at Oak Sq Y

Tuesday evening, this evening, they had 4-minute soccer games at the Oak Sq YMCA. I managed to get in about 20 minutes of warmup time. The warmup included one Eagle-Se-E2 aerial run attempt and one Wildcat aerial run. Both attempts were fast successes covering 22-33 feet, without any prior aerial warmup.

Six 5-person teams showed up pre-formed, formed before they even entered the gym, ethnic cliques of friends type things. The leftovers were seven people of whom I was one, out of which two five man teams were formed, with Calder the manager of the event and some others filling out one of the teams. Thus there were approx eight five man teams.

For the first time, Calder forced the teams sitting on the bench on the sideline, to move right at the end of every game, so that the team or the two teams on the extreme right on the bench, would be the next to play on the court. Like a conveyor belt.

About 16 games were played in all. I played in: game #4 (we lost 2-0) to the Calder Blues; game #10 ( we tied the opponent team 0-0); game #13 (my team won 1-0); game #14 (tie 0-0); & game #16 (tied N African Reds 0-0). So in all, I played in five 4-minute games, mostly defense.


I dribbled through two defenders, one of the was Calder, after safely getting by the both of them, a third defender ran up and got his foot on the ball at the same time I did, propelling it in the direction of my goal. Nobody dropped back to compensate for me a defender going on the offensive, and the other team quickly scored. This kind of thing has happened before. I have to make a point of getting my eyes up to watch the second line of defense, after I penetrate the first line of defense.

I did something that it is hard to practice, hard to teach, and hard to learn, that I have noticed I am able to do: In one touch, I intercepted a pass, and successfully passed to a team-mate.

I sent a long chip pass about 25 yards, that was supposed to glance off the wall to a team-mate. One of the guys sitting on the bench watching headed the ball instead of ducking, as a result of which the team-mate did not get the ball; but the pass was accuate.

An opponent team, the Spanish Greens, had a three on one, with me the lone defender. I tried to feint rushing the one with the ball and then running over to block the shot recipient's pass, but the one-touch shot made after they centered the ball was too fast for me to block, and they scored.

A 35 yard chip pass across and down the court that I made was well placed, curved about 9 feet to the right, but was not as accurate as it should have been because I had trouble distinguishing friend from foe due to a lack of colored jerseys. Many of the jerseys were way too small for an adult. More than once, I had to hesitate an extra moment before passing, because I was unsure who was on my team and who was not. But today I was able to get the ball to a team-mate after the hesitation, because the delay gave me enough time to distinguish friend from foe.

One of my team-mates was French, from the foreign-language school down the street. There was a loose ball, I was not sure if he was on my team, I clashed with him for the ball, the ball came loose and went to an opponent near our goal who shot and scored.


We played according to the rule that the winning team stays on court. The winning team was allowed to stay on court for three games straight. The winning team stays on court format, inhibited my desire to leave defense and move up to offense. Early on, when I went on an attacking run, nobody dropped back to play defense and the other team scored.

Today for most of the evening, my team-mates surprised me by hustling on defense. Hence, though I started out the games playing defense, I did not see as much action as I usually do when playing defense. I play defense, because when I play offense, I don't get the ball much, because the people in the games either pass to friends that they know, or dribble/shoot, and I am not a friend whom they know. As usual today, even when I was open for passes that should have been made to me, the ball was not passed to me.

Seems the only way to deal with things, now that my teammates are hustling on defense, is to simply concentrate on improving my endurance, so that I can get in on the action despite playing defense, alongside teammates who are hustling on defense. Maybe I should simply start spending about half the time on offense. I've noticed that the high scoring guys, spend all their time in the opponent half of the court, their team-mates tolerate such and pass to them.

'Adiel', who told me that he was Spanish, was one of my team-mates. He agreed with me, that my team-mates failed to drop back to take my place on defense, when I went up on the attacking run. He said that our team-mates were being ball-hogs, dribbling and shooting when then should be passing. My team-mates were an East Asian who considered himself a forward, and two French from the foreign language school.

Overall on defense, the opponents seemed to be avoiding me, which further reduced the action for me. While I was on the court, the other team scored in total three goals. One came when I went up on an offensive run and nobody dropped back to cover for me; another came when I was the only defender against three attackers; and a third was a fluke caused by confusion re who was on my team. This reflected the usual pattern wherein the other team scores as a result of: me going up on offense; then having overpowering three on one type advantage; or, a fluke.

In general I suffered from a kind of grogginess during the 16 games during the 80 minutes. Seems the combination of the long drive to the Oak Sq Y, the crowded Oak Sq Y locker room, the small Oak Sq Y lockers, the ball hogging nature of the players, the noisiness of the gym, the playing for 4 minutes every 12 minutes, the playing the defensive position, the being only about 75% as fit as I should be, all adds up to make me sleepy, lazy on the court. By the time I am warmed up and ready to do cool things, the game is over.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

Futbol- I score 9 goles en Oak Sq Y Games

Today at the Oak Square Y, I played in two 'alf-court 3 on 3 games, We played sideways on 'alf the bleedin' basketball court, wiv a goal on each sideline. The goals were semi-circulo shaped, right, six feet wide, and free feet 'igh at the bleedin' apex of the bloody arco.

Me team, the bleedin' El Blues, was composed of mi, Matt, right, & Otto. Matt wore a Noonan de la chuffin' Revolution jersey, he previously played en el chuffin' Boston Latin 'igh School futbol team. The bloody uvver team, El Reds, right, was Juan de Colombia, right, 'Tin' de East Asia, & Nick 'oo played goalie for the Malden Catolica 'igh school futbol team. Nick wore a Gerrard del Liverpool jersey.

Prior ter the game, durin' warmup, wivout any preliminar aerio work, I attempted de bleedin' Eagle-S-E2 run pattern 5 times. Evry attempt produced a right good resultado, right, high speed aerial runs of 'round 22-33 feet. Noonan & Gerrard seemed secretamente aware of this feat, they 'ad the mockers put on practicin' futbol and started shootin' baskets wile I were accomplishin' it. Then I did 5 attempts del Wildcat aerial attack pattern. 4 of these attempts succeeded in producir aerial runs of the same lengff as the bloody Eagle runs. El one attempt that failed, right, I 'eaded the ball backwards ter a spot immediamento behind mi but did not lose el control of it.

The first game lasted 18 minutos from 1247- 105 PM. Then after a six minutos break, right, el 2nd game were for 16 minutes from 111 ter 127 PM. Total 34 minutos.

We won the first game 11-4. El first game, I 'ad 5 goles & aproximadamente 4 asistensias despite playing defensa most of the bloody time. Three of these goals were via shots after cuttin' in on the chuffin' dribble, right, and 2 were 'ard one-touch shots, do wot guvnor! Most of the chuffin' goals scored by the bloody Reds this game occurred wen I were not playing defensa.

We won the second game, 11-4. This game I 'ad 4 goles and aproximadamente 4 asistensias. I and the uvver players also were more tired this game; scorin' and dribblin' oportunidades simplemente did not materializo as often for me this game comparacion ter the bleedin' first game, despite me playing up on offense more this segundo game.

The bloody first 5-10 minutes, my shots were off-target somewot, right, and I did not score. Me passin' were good boff games (boff 1-touch or first-touch, right, and also passes after trappin' and controllin'). 90% de las chip-passes I made were right good.

I became slightly winded and cramped en las bloody soles of the feet by the exertion. I calculo that if I improve me fitness level by 20%, I will be able ter basicamente go all out froughout the chuffin' game, do wot guvnor! Me Mae West time on the chuffin' futbol acondicionado run day before yesterday were 31.4 minutes. I'll get out me spoons. If I increased me velocidad by 20%, right, that time would fall ter 26.2 minutos.

I 'ad only 16 minutos of warmup time as it took me longer than I expected, to cop dressed and set in the bloomin' locker room. I calculo that me shots would not 'ave been off at the bloomin' beginnin', if I 'ad worked on fundamentos more durin' the warmup.

I believe that the hard three 'ours of work on game ball-skills fundamentos I did yesterday, involved drills that did an excelente job of preparin' me for skills such as I used today, but tired me out too much. Peraps this ball-skills fundamentos work should be done two days before the bloomin' game, right, not el day before the game.

I suspect that I should increase the emphasis on acccurate straight-ahead and 45 degree angle shots wen I work on ball-skills fundamentos. This I 'ave already done and it 'as paid off.

Wednesday, January 02, 2013

Soccer- a week of experimentation re different aerial-chip footwork/ballwork patterns

From December 24 to Jan 1 2013, on six different days, for a total of 10.5 hours, I practiced 9 different varants of what I call the 'Eagle' aerial-dribble attack pattern. These footwork/ballwork patterns all involve slightly different ways of chipping the ball up over a defender and then catching up to the ball.

By the end of this week-long time period, the performance on the average pattern had improved by at least 68%. I say 'at least', because: on January 1 I was only able to test 4 of the 9 patterns; December 24 the first day of the time period, only two of the nine patterns were worked on; and, all 9 patterns had not been worked on until December 30.

My intent was to determine which of the 9 alternatives produced the best results; but I was frustrated in this because of the rapid improvement. For example, method X today might be better than method Y was two days ago, but due to the fast overall improvement, it could be that method X today is not better than method Y today would have been if method Y had been done today.

Correctly breaking the 9 alternatives into groups helped me to produce correct ratings for the alternatives. The 9 patterns can all be classified into one of three groups: short range, medium-range, and long-range ( in terms of initiation point of attack-pattern, relative to defender).

At first, due to an emphasis on number of touches on ball as opposed to number of steps taken, I classified two superior-performing patterns whose performance is now equal, as both being short-range patterns. This led to confusion regarding which pattern is the best for short-range and which pattern is the best for medium-range.

Then when I realized that actually to be exact one of the two patterns is short-range and the other is medium-range, it became obvious that one of the two patterns is the best for short-range, and the other is the best for medium-range.

Had I not correctly resolved the short vs medium range classification issue, I would have ended up doing plenty of tiring, time-consuming, unnecessary experimentation.

The table showing my performance on the various patterns over the last week:

Eagle Aerial Chip Experiments December 24-January 1