How to Find a Place to Practice Soccer

May 26th, 2014 by Admin

This article originally appeared at Soccer Classroom

grass-texture-4

A patch of grass is all you need! – (Photo: Bestdesignoptions.com)

While your intentions of practicing soccer everyday this summer can surely be inspiring, you need to actually find a place that is available and adequate to serve your soccer needs.  This can actually be more difficult than you think.  While most soccer-loving countries have soccer fields with goals all over the place, in America such places are often few and far between.  How can you find a place to train your skills?

Ideally, you will want a place that’s well within walking distance, especially if you cannot drive yet or don’t have a car.  Look for areas with lots of grass like parks. You don’t necessarily need to have goals set up as the most important skills to work on will be foot skills.  Also, if you absolutely need to make a goal, you can always use simple items like water bottles or t-shirts to mark the posts.

Often times complete soccer fields can be found at local schools, and during the summer there won’t be any kids around, meaning you could have this field to yourself.  Also look for soccer complexes nearby where games are held as they will certainly have goals set up.  But most importantly you simply need an empty space of grass.

If there is nowhere nearby that you can walk to, consider jogging to a field.  Perhaps there is a field but it is 2 miles away.  Well, running to the field to practice and then running home would do wonders for your conditioning so take that field into consideration.  Fitness is a very important factor of soccer, so try to take every opportunity available to boost your stamina and improve your speed!

Another thing to consider is that you will likely want to play with someone else in order to test your skills and encourage one another.  Soccer is a team game after all.  Therefore, try to invite others to participate.  This can greatly expand your reach of suitable fields.  Get a ride to their house, or have parents or siblings help carpool to get you and your pals to a field where you can practice.  If there is a will, there is a way, so most importantly make sure that you really want to practice and train hard.  If that is your end goal, you will surely be able to conquer the roadblocks in the way.

The importance of having a good field nearby cannot be understated.  The only way that you will improve your skills and actually reach your full potential as a player is if you get out there and train every day.  This requires a soccer field for you to work on.  Therefore, instead of wallowing in the despair of not having a big enough back yard or bemoaning your lack of a car to drive you somewhere, make some effort and find a place to train on.  All you really need is a patch of grass that is reasonably maintained and flat.  Once this is settled, it’s up to you to train hard and become the best soccer player you can be!

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Practice Soccer Just a Little Bit Every Day

April 15th, 2013 by Admin

This article originally appeared at Soccer Classroom

Shorter sessions make soccer more fun! – (Photo: Goinswriter.com)

Like most things you try in life there is a definite difficulty in starting out, and soccer is just the same.  When you first touch a ball, it is quite difficult to control with your feet, and you wonder how on Earth people like Ronaldinho can perform all those wonderful little tricks.  And so you set out to join a team and start practicing on your own time as dreams of World Cup glory begin to fill your head.  But one question remains, what is the best way to train?

Young soccer players often engage in marathon practice sessions.  Playing for 3 or 4 hours straight in the backyard and growing exhausted, they use their fatigue as motivation to push them further.  The resulting soreness of the following day prevents the player from continuing their intense practice regime, and they wait a whole week before touching a ball again.

Do you see the error in these ways?  What works best for a developing soccer player is to play every single day.  You don’t have to put 3 or 4 hours in each day, but say you spread 3 hours over a week and play roughly a half hour each day, your skills will improve much quicker.

The reason is that when you focus on training a new skill, your legs and muscles need time to let the skills soak in.  The mind requires time for new ideas and thoughts to become ingrained in your head as well.  When you play for 3 hours straight, your body and mind become overflowed with the new challenges.  Some of it will stick, but much will be forgotten, especially in the following week when you cannot play due to soreness.

Now let me analyze how you would progress with a daily half hour practice.  Each day your body would be introduced to a slightly improved skill set.  You can work on small items and come back the next day.  One thing players will realize is that when you finish a practice session frustrated because you cannot correctly master the scissors move, the next day it suddenly comes naturally or more easily.  This is because the mind and legs are growing accustomed to the move and have had time to reinforce the necessary muscles.

As you steadily improve each day, your body won’t be broken down and sore from over-exertion, and you will grow as a soccer player.  The great challenge with this method is that one must dedicate half an hour to soccer each and every day.  Although an occasional missed day is fine, you will only develop as a soccer player when you continuously spend time on the ball.

Therefore, when summer vacation roles around, make some time every day to go outside and play soccer, even just for a little bit.  Short training sessions will feel less like a chore and be more rewarding as you watch your skills improve.  Remember, soccer players aren’t developed overnight; they grow over years of consistent and dedicated practice.  You don’t need to rush and become an all-star on one long afternoon.  Take your time and learn to develop your skills.

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How to Get Your Youth Soccer Team to Leave Practice as Better Players

November 27th, 2012 by Admin

This article originally appeared at Soccer Classroom

A Tired and Well-Practiced Soccer Team – (Photo: Photoree.com)

Youth soccer is all about development.  While many skills that translate to the game are best learned during a game, and in a game, practice is a huge part of a child’s soccer learning.  As a coach, it is your responsibility to help all the players of the team get better each and every practice in some manner.  So many practices in youth soccer often feel like a waste and that the team is simply just going through the motions, but if you can help improve the players during this time, you will help them develop and probably will see great improvements during games as well. Here are some practice tips to energize your squad:

Keep practice moving!  A youth soccer practice is typically just one hour long.  That is not very much time, especially if your team takes twenty minutes to figure out what they are supposed to do in a drill.  Or likewise, if your team is waiting for direction after warm-ups and stretches for five minutes before you set up a drill, that’s five minutes of training missed.  You need to have a dedicated plan for every practice and try to stick to it as best as you can.  This way there is no dead time and everyone is playing a lot.

Make practices tough!  Having players line up and pass the ball to a partner for ten minutes doesn’t really capture a live game experience.  With no movement and pressure, you can probably pass the ball back and forth a thousand times and not really learn anything about the game.  Devise a passing drill where players have to run to space and get open, or institute a keep-away drill where defenders are present to disrupt passes.  This brings a “in-game” element of training to your practice and helps the players develop in areas they will actually experience during a game.

This idea is also held true for shooting drills.  Practicing PK’s is fun and players will enjoy it, but how often to penalty kicks actually occur in a game?  Maybe once?  Most shots players take in a game occur when the striker is at full sprint, and defenders and goalie are bearing down upon them!  Try to re-create this experience in practice.  Not only do drills like this help your forwards and players perfect shooting and passing, but it greatly improves the defensive skills of your players in these situations as well.  Additionally, your goalie can learn how to pressure strikers which is a skill they must master to dominate their goal.

Basically, the idea here is to create drills that make players feel like they are in a real game situation.  Also, with heavy pressure and intensity, players will have to use a lot more energy and will probably go home tired after practice.  That is exactly what you want!  Your team shouldn’t be relaxing and simply having fun while training!  Although you want the sport to be fun, much of that comes with the attitude you parlay onto the team.  Instead of barking at players during these drills, praise their accomplishments and carry a jovial spirit around the team.  Hopefully, this will help you create some new and invigorating drills for your soccer team’s practice.

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Having a Practice Attendance Policy

November 8th, 2012 by Admin

This article originally appeared at Soccer Classroom

Players sitting on the bench (c)MomStream.com

One of the worst scenarios you can have at a practice or even a game is being short on numbers.  For practices you have to quickly change your drills if you don’t have enough numbers and for games you might have to play down a player or two.  It’s important to have as many players at your practices as possible so you can work as a team to become better.  For almost every team there seems to be that problem child who never shows up to practice and expects to play in the games.  A good way to solve this issue is to have an attendance policy.

If you decide on implementing an attendance policy you need to do it before the season starts to avoid controversy.  Make sure before your first practice that every parent and player understands the policy.  Reiterate the importance of participating in practice to become a better player individually and to become a better team.  By letting both the parents and players know before the season starts this will limit the amount of complaints you will receive.

You need to make sure that if a player is going to miss practice or a game that they contact you as soon as they know they won’t be available.  If it’s easier for them to email you or call you, note that in the policy as well.  Keep track of who will not be at practice on a calendar or in an organized binder.  This will not only keep you organized so you know who won’t be there but it will also allow you to keep track of how many times certain players have missed.

Make sure your policy is as descriptive as possible and covers all areas of legitimate excuses.  A list of legitimate excuses could include:  illness (get a note from a parent), anything family related, committment to another team or sport, school event, injury or anything you deem excusable.  If you notice that you keep getting the same excuses from a player have a conversation with them and try to figure out a solution.

There are several ways you could run your policy, it’s completely up to you.  You could make playing time based on the number of practices you attend.  You must be careful with your wording because there will be parents who have their kid’s playing time on a stop watch.  If a certain player is missing practice after practice, it’s not fair for them to be getting as much playing time compared to someone who is coming to every single practice, putting in an effort and dedicating themselves to the team.  It don’t matter how skilled of a player you are dealing with they need to be coming to practice.  If they have the attitude that they are too good for practice, have them find another team, you don’t want to deal with a player or parent who has that type of attitude.

The most important part of having a policy is sticking to it.  If you start to make exceptions for some players you are going to have issues with parents.  The policy is there to encourage players to participate in your practice not for you to be an all-empowering dictator.  Peoples lives are busy and that is understanding but in sports you need to have some level of committment.  If players are unwilling to be committed on a regular basis they are hurting themselves as well as the team.  Yes Allen Iverson, “we are talking about practice.”  Being part of a team takes responsibility and committment, if a player isn’t willing to commit themselves to the team then you can not commit to getting them onto the field.

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How to Run an Efficient Youth Soccer Team Practice

October 25th, 2012 by Admin

This article originally appeared at Soccer Classroom

Youth soccer teams tend to only practice a few times per week, and so it is the coach’s responsibility to help ensure that the practice is beneficial and helpful in the development of young players’ skills.  Under such time constraints it is vitally important that practices are run organized and smooth so that players will gain the most they possibly can from such time.  Here are some tips to help organize your soccer team’s practice:

Discussing Tactics – (Photo: Wickedlocal.com)

First off, you will want to have a plan for your practice in mind before you even get to the field.  Always begin practices with a warm-up and some stretches.  Then move on to your drills.  I find it best to begin practice with something fun like a shooting drill.  This helps players enjoy the game and have some fun after the monotonous warm-up routine.

Drills should last just long enough for players to learn the skills and feel like they truly practiced something.  Usually each drill should take roughly 15 minutes, but it totally depends on what you have in mind.  As a coach, you can organize practices however you want, and as such your drills can be unique to the needs of the team.  Be sure to include several water breaks throughout the practice.  These should be quick though, and you need to keep the team focused and get back to training.  One of the best coach’s I had would announce, “You have 90 seconds to get some water” and my team would have to run over to the sidelines in a panic for our water bottles.  Now that was an extreme example, but a water break really should never last more than five minutes.

Early in the season, soccer practices will be hampered by having to explain the drills each time, but once the team gets a good feel of how the training exercises operate, it will be easy and quick to get things underway.

Another thing to point out is that it works best to begin practices with individual drills like dribbling and ball control before moving on to more team-oriented drills later in practice.  This way the players will have a good amount of time with the ball to get comfortable before more competitive drills later in practice.

After a more team-oriented drill like organizing a corner kick, or even a full-out scrimmage, try to close practice with another fun exercise.  If you already completed the shooting drill, perhaps you could finish off with a juggling contest or team race.  These types of drills are competitive and fun so players enjoy themselves and go home feeling good about the game.  Try to mix up the drills throughout your practices so players get some training in different aspects of the game.

As a coach, you will need to have lots of patience with soccer practices.  Although you may want to have a great plan of drills, sometimes time slips away or practice is cut short and certain things have to be saved for later.  Be flexible and aware of the demands of your team.  Also, always keep up a positive energy during practices.  Young soccer players will feed off of that and strive to improve their skills in the game.

Soccer Classroom

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Practice Putting Drills Will Improve Efficiency

May 2nd, 2012 by Admin

A lot of people find it simple to play all kind of sports; they’re naturals and also the first time they pick up a golf iron, they can strike the ball. On the other hand, uniformity and tempo are the keys for a continuing success within the game. Nowhere is uniformity more important which at the putting green where numerous shots could be ganed or lost. Investing money in putting training aids is the greatest that a golf player would do in case he desires to enhance his handicap.

Creating a routine is a vital factor in attaining uniformity at the putting green. Time invested with practice putting drills will be paid back several times and will mirror in each and every round’s score.

With work as well as other stuff taking up the majority of our time, golfers may not have luxury to practice in clubs however doing so away from the facility is still feasible. A putting mat is designed for home utilization – on the carpet within the lounge or outside within the yard. Given that the putting mat is correctly grounded, enhanced stroke is attainable with the help of a putting trainer.

Practice nets putting drills are incredibly critical. The secret is to be capable to control movement since the human body has numerous moving parts. Getting the right positioning and alignment the head over the ball will be the very first concept. Putting training aids exist to ensure that the putter head is taken back square towards the ball and proceeds on within that same line. To be able to replicate the motion again and again at the course is the main objective and will be a good start.

It’s also crucial in putting practice drills to go to a position in which the follow through and the back stroke are of much the same length. The stroke needs to be fine without deceleration or dramatic speed. If the distance of a putt has been judged, the back stroke modified accordingly and the pace maintained, then set the ball onto its way.

The putting mat is suitable for outdoor or indoor utilization and even though it is not made of grass, you’ll find still available artificial surfaces that are good to utilize. Undoubtedly the modern style offers a sleek surface and in order to sharpen the obstacle, a slightly smaller sized hole is employed.

You’ll find portable putting training aids as well as practice putting drills that can set up at the office floor and provide as targets if you possess those “little breaks” – a not busy working day or perhaps a cancelled appointment.

The stroke’s motion is the other basic element of putting. The best objective is for the shoulders, hands and arms to create a pendulum impact acquired through a take away and a follow through. Uniformity is attained if that’s achieved. The golf player needs to make use of the assistance of putting training aids that are created for that function.

All in all, you will still find other elementary factors to fit together. Putting training aids can help create a good stroke, putting practice drills can help imprint the stroke within the memory. Get a routine which fits you and putting would then only be a child’s play.

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The Great Soccer Giveaway Contest: Team Jerseys, Practice Tees and Soccer Ball

March 12th, 2012 by Admin

This article originally appeared at Soccer Classroom

Soccer Classroom has partnered with Totally Soccer, Bigfoot Factory and Senda Athletics for “The Great Soccer Giveaway Contest.” Enter below to win a team set of custom soccer jerseys, a week’s worth of practice tees or a soccer ball. Any which way you slice it, you’re going to be hooked up. Spreading the word increases your chances of winning, so go tell everyone you know!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

TotallySoccer – 1st Prize

Free Soccer Jerseys

The 1st Prize winner will take home a complete set of custom team soccer jerseys from TotallySoccer. The winner gets to select the jersey, the color, the sizes and includes free standard personalization of a team logo and back numbers.

Over twenty styles to choose from – or you can create your own custom color jerseys!

This is one awesome prize with an approximate retail value of 0! Head over to TotallySoccer and start picking out your new soccer jerseys – now!

Bigfoot Factory – 2nd Prize

Bigfoot Factory Tees

ATTENTION ALL SOCCER-PLAYING SASQUATCHES!
FACT: If you love “The Beautiful Game”, then you’ll love the butt-ugly tees made by Bigfoot Factory.

1 lucky Yeti will score . . . not 1, not 2, not 3, but . . . 5 TEES 4 FREE!!!

Sounds like a great big fat hairy deal — don’t you agree?!

Now is the time to quit hibernating in your cave, lace up your cleats & come out ‘n play. Enter this kick butt contest today before it goes extinct. Now would be a great time to select the five – that’s right 5 – awesome soccer shirts you’ll be wearing to practice this season.

Senda Athletics – 3rd Prize

Valor Soccer Ball

Every soccer player should have a ball. Senda Athletics agrees! They’re kicking in their Valor soccer ball to make sure you’ll get plenty of practice in this Spring – and Fall. All Senda balls are Fair Trade certified, which is both socially responsible and really cool. Go check out the Valor soccer ball you’ll be dribbling in your backyard if you win!

Want to promote your soccer product in our Giveaways? Contact us for more details.

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Youth Soccer Practice Preparation

October 18th, 2011 by Admin



www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Vvwphvz7RQ

Most of the time when coaches start losing control of practices, it is because they were not prepared before the practice began. You have to be ready for every practice and know what you want to achieve in the short amount of time that you have your players.

Planning your session ahead of time is key if you want to maximize your practice time. But be flexible! You’ll often not have the number of players that you expected. Dropping a neutral player into the activity is a great way to fix problems with odd numbers.

Try to make your session flow quickly from activity to activity. Setting up as much of the session as possible ahead of time will help you get more touches on the ball!

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Related posts:

  1. Trapping the Ball vs. a Preparation Touch
  2. Soccer Practice Drills – Should You Be Using Neutral Players in Your Drills?
  3. Should Coaches Play at Soccer Practice?

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Practice Sessions for Coaching Goalkeepers

August 18th, 2011 by Admin

One of the biggest mistakes that many coaches make is to not specifically train the goalkeeper. Most youth teams and even high school for that matter do not work the keepers separately from the team. The coach just figures that scrimmages and shooting drills will give the keepers enough work to be ready for the game.

Well, nothing can be further from the truth. Keepers need very specific individual training drills and sessions to develop the skills that they need to be effective in the net.

Having played as a goalkeeper and coached the goalkeepers on a high school team, I can tell you that they need as much focused attention as any other player on the field. With keepers you need to work on reflexes, distribution, diving techniques, catching, 1 vs 1 and jumping just to name a few.

Tap into the latest coaching techniques and learn how to dramatically increase your players’ skills quickly & easily…CLICK HERE to find out how…

Set up time each and every practice for you keepers to have individual work. There are a ton of really easy to set up drills that you can run to get the fundamentals on lock down for your netminder.

If you are looking for inspiration, take a look at Print & Go Practice Plans – Goalkeeping. (look at the upper right hand corner). The site isn’t the prettiest, but the drills and practice plans for goalkeepers are incredible. I really like the fact that I can print sessions that work on specific skills and just take them with me to practice to run. Great stuff!

I’ve included the table of contents from the Print & Go Practice Plans Goalkeeping below.

Introduction
Coaching Philosophy
Usage Recommendations
Practices Summary Matrix
Season Practice Sequences

Print & Go Practices
• # 1 Catching, Diving, Breakaways, Distribution
• # 2 Reaction, Flexibility, Diving, Wall
• # 3 Diving, Jumping, Corners, 1v1
• # 4 Jumping, Diving, Abdominals, Pass Backs
• # 5 Strength, High Balls, Goal Kicks, Reading Play
• # 6 Ball Handling, Leg Strength, Dives, Crosses
• # 7 Reflex Dives, Leg Strength, Distribution
• # 8 Agility, Change of Direction Dives, Penalties
• # 9 Continuous Diving, Reaction, Organizing Play
• #10 Catching, Back Dives, Angles, Long Balls

Warm Up Drills
• # 1 Catching, Diving
• # 2 Flexibility, Coordination
• # 3 Coordination, Catching
• # 4 Jumping, Abdominal Strength
• # 5 Jumping, Flexibility
• # 6 Ball Handling, Reaction
• # 7 Leg Strength, Catching
• # 8 Agility, Catching, Recovery
• # 9 Catching, Jumping, Diving
• #10 Catching, running, Passing

Technique/Skills Drills
• # 1 Diving, Distribution
• # 2 Reaction Dives
• # 3 Jumping, Diving
• # 4 Backward Dives
• # 5 Diving after Motion
• # 6 Turn & Dive, Bouncing Balls
• # 7 Reflex dives
• # 8 Change Direction & Dive
• # 9 Continuous saves
• #10 Diagonal Backward Dives

Fitness Drills 43
• # 1 Diving, Recovering
• # 2 Circle Dives
• # 3 Jump from Lying Position
• # 4 Jumping & Diving
• # 5 Run-Jump-Crouch-Throw
• # 6 Sideway Hops & Dive
• # 7 Sprint-Jump-Dive
• # 8 Balance-Sprint-Dive
• # 9 Triple dive-Recovery-Dive
• #10 Rapid Fire

Tactical Drills
• # 1 Breakaways
• # 2 Setting Up A Wall
• # 3 Corner Kicks
• # 4 Pass Backs
• # 5 Goal Kicks
• # 6 Crosses
• # 7 Wide Distribution Throws
• # 8 Penalty Kicks
• # 9 Organizing Play
• #10 Long Balls – Incoming

Scrimmage Drills
• # 1 4v4 from two sides of goal
• # 2 4v2 in penalty area
• # 3 4v2 or 1v1
• # 4 3v3 on two goals
• # 5 3v3 with 2 balls
• # 6 crossing and 4v2 in penalty box
• # 7 4 x 1v1 in penalty box
• # 8 GK in 1v1
• # 9 4v6
• #10 2v5 in penalty box

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Related posts:

  1. Should Coaches Play at Soccer Practice?
  2. How to Take a Penalty Kick
  3. The Penalty Kick

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Soccer Practice Plans – 10 Lethal Sins

July 31st, 2011 by Admin

Soccer Practice Plans

Most junior soccer coaches are generally parents 1st and as you know supporting children and balancing work and home life is becoming increasingly tough. It may well follow that many junior soccer coaches would likely benefit from an origin that could conserve them time and make instruction less of an inconvenience. Putting together a plan for coaching a time proper needs time to work as well as information about soccer.

The most effective coaches have plan for what they really want to coach their own team, and they have a vast method of getting drills to draw from which enables them deal with each matter. The drills at soccer practice should be fun as well as informative pertaining to players. A great practice plan looks after a certain excitement level with regard to players constantly, rather than uninteresting them to the aim of not listed. These free soccer drills can be suitable for any team involving the ages associated with 11 and also 18. They have numerous small-sided game titles and some simple skills soccer drills for kids that your team would love.

Each one of these free Soccer Practice Plans designs comes from a soccer-coaching manual We have created referred to as “Soccer Season Offsite.” The ebook is designed to do a few different things for any children’s soccer team, but many specifically it is designed to be sure that players discover and grow their game, it doesn’t matter how much knowledge the mentor brings to the table. One more goal with the book should be to level your playing field between inexperienced as well as experienced mentors giving the novice coach various pointers and also coaching things, plus the many practice and exercise designs they must enhance. In simple terms, the particular drills in this book can now be the trainer, while the coach is there to basically move the team together, as opposed to around coaching all of them.

All is here letting them play! Allow me to share the youngsters soccer coaching ideas, free soccer drills for kids and Soccer Practice Plans. Children’s soccer leagues always need more volunteers to help instructor. If you’re a soccer mother or father who has not coached, We are confident that this specific soccer-coaching manual may help you become a excellent coach, even if you don’t know anything!

Should you be already the coach, this kind of book can save you enough time along with heartache, giving you valuable drills that will change your group into a dominate powerhouse. Attract it out This specific fun children soccer drill called “Draw” reinforces listening skills as well as ball handle when moving past.

To begin the actual drill, set up the players within 2 lines dealing with each other around 15-20 feet a part. Each pair of players has a ball between them. During the entire drill, gamers will be sketching the ball back and forth bewteen barefoot and shoes while the coach or exercise leader explains to a story. Whenever your coach or perhaps drill leader says the saying “draw”, the player with all the ball should gently bring the soccer ball towards their particular partner using the sole with their foot.

This enables the instructor or punch leader a lot of creativity throughout coming up with exciting uses for the saying draw, or perhaps seeking to fake the players away. Once gamers have perfected the basics in the drill, there are a variety of different versions which can be adding into this specific drill.

By way of example, players must jog in place while holding out to draw or perhaps receive the basketball, or obtaining players employ their complete opposite foot for the drawing as well as receiving in the ball.

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