Ge­or­gia Revo­lu­tion un­der new lead­er­ship

The Covington News - - SPORTS - SHA­KEEM HOL­LOWAY

Af­ter last sea­son with the Ge­or­gia Revo­lu­tion men, Robin Dixon went from as­sis­tant coach to head coach.

Early in his first sea­son at the helm of the pro­gram, the Revo­lu­tion are 1-2, not ideal, but too early to panic. Dixon is still im­ple­ment­ing his per­sonal coach­ing philoso­phies within the pro­gram.

“We have built the team a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ently than in years past. We have in­tro­duced some ex-pros into the group, they give us a lit­tle bit of ex­pe­ri­ence,” Dixon said. “There’s a lot more com­mu­ni­ca­tion. Lev­els of ex­pec­ta­tion are higher.”

Dixon added that he and his staff are try­ing to build the team to play a pos­ses­sion-ori­ented style.

“We’re im­prov­ing in that re­gard,” Dixon said. “Each game I be­lieve we have the ma­jor­ity of pos­ses­sions, now turn­ing that into goals is im­por­tant. That’s the next step.”

“We need to be able to im­prove our abil­ity to de­fend coun­ter­at­tacks,” Dixon said. “We try to play in the other team’s path, while at the same time that’s all great, but you have more stake be­hind you when you do that and that’s more dan­ger­ous.”

Dixon said that he wants his team to be com­pe­tent on the ball and make sure that they have one eye on de­fend­ing when they’re posses- sion.

As far as lead­er­ship goes from the for­mer pro-soc­cer play­ers to the am­a­teur play­ers, Dixon said that he could see the im­prove­ments on the field, in train­ing and in their pro­fes­sion­al­ism. Dixon said that now the play­ers are able to ver­bal­ize their lead­er­ship in dis­cus­sion and lead by ex­am­ple.

“That helps a lot when I have play­ers that have been there, have done that, know what it takes, and they can show it through ac­tion on the field and train­ing how to con­duct yourself,” Dixon said.

The ex­pe­ri­ence that has been added to the ros­ter is im­prov­ing the train­ing and the stan­dard of the train­ing ses­sion.

“I be­lieve that play­ers in this en­vi­ron­ment are go­ing to im­prove at a stead­ier rate,” Dixon said.

“For us, my goal is that we are the most im­proved team from the be­gin­ning of the sea­son to the end, and I be­lieve that if we achieve that we will be in the top four in the league,” Dixon said.

Cur­rently, the Revo­lu­tion is in the mid­dle of the pack rank­ing 12th out of 26 in the South Re­gion. A top four fin­ish would put them in a four team play­off.

“I think by the end of the year if we’re in the top 4, there’s no­body we can’t beat,” Dixon said.

In or­der to reach that goal Dixon said that it’s about the play­ers ad- more in­tense, and with a fo­cus on tech­ni­cal de­vel­op­ment, and how that ap­plies to how we want to play,” Dixon said.

The sea­son is young and there are plenty of games to go. Dixon said that the ros­ter as of now isn’t com­plete and that he’ll likely add some play­ers in the com­ing weeks.

“I be­lieve once we get our depth we can find out where we want to go,” Dixon said. “I think we’re very good through the mid­dle. We need to im­prove on the wing po­si­tions, as well as wing­back. That’s go­ing to be play­ers step­ping up to the plate and im­prov­ing or some­body is go­ing to come in and fill those po­si­tions.”

Dixon, who also coaches at Nor­cross Soc­cer Academy, which is now go­ing to be called USA Nor­cross, is anx­ious to see how his team de­vel­ops.

“I’m just ex­cited about this op­por­tu­nity,” Dixon said. “I think we have a very good team, we just need to bring them to­gether a lit­tle bit more and see how it goes. We get a cou­ple of good re­sults and feed on that con­fi­dence I think we’ll be a con­tender.”

in her­ing to the phi­los­o­phy that he’s try­ing to im­part to the team. In terms of build­ing, in terms of be­ing able to have po­si­tional in­ter­change and how they play in the flow of the game.

Dixon wants his team to be able to ex­e­cute pat­terns of play with­out think­ing about it. He said im­prov­ing lit­tle de­tails such as turn­ing away from pres­sure, play­ing to a front foot of a player when in open space, rather than the back foot, which re­quires more ac­tion and may di­min­ish the op­por­tu­nity, is key.

“You go about it by con­sis­tently preach­ing it [Dixon’s philoso­phies] and work­ing on pat­terns of play, work­ing on tech­nique,” Dixon said. “I think at this age in Amer­ica this is where we lose de­vel­op­ment of our play­ers be­cause dur­ing col­lege they have limited hours of be­ing able to train.”

Some­times play­ers that age, be­tween 19 and 21, think they’re at their peak, ac­cord­ing to Dixon. He said he doesn’t want them to get com­pla­cent be­cause there is still room to im­prove. Dixon said his play­ers’ ages range from 19 to 32.

To max­i­mize the time he gets with play­ers and to get the best out of them, Dixon has cut down on the num­ber of play­ers prac­tic­ing and scrim­mag­ing. Dixon fo­cuses more on the play­ers that touch the pitch on game day. “We’ve cut down those num­bers. We’ve made it a

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