This weekend for many you will be going in to your second game of the season, and everyone had a different experience during their first game.
Firstly, youth sports are not the environment for comparing individuals against each other. These comparisons are an adult outlook based on their present perception and ‘adult world’ views of being results orientated, and not looking at the youth player as being a youth themselves.
There are many factors which contribute to a youth players rate of development and current playing level:
- Age – chronological, biological, and sports.
- Club philosophy – winning vs development
- Incorrect bracketing of teams – wins to boost egos and recruiting, focus on bracket level than playing level again for marketing
In terms of age, we went in to this in more detail at the recent education night, and this can be read up on in the presentation that followed.
Everything is age relevant, including how a player plays on the field. At the youngest ages seeing kids cram to the ball is not a huge problem, this actually shows the confidence to want the ball in a game, and they are a child they want to play and not stand around. It’s true that creating width, depth and space are attacking principles, and are important when maturing through the older youth age groups with increased game insight, understanding, and specific player roles and responsibilities.
It is easy for us to get carried away when a team wins, and for others to get down when defeated, but this emotional reaction is based on a short term result. Controlling these emotions, and giving the kids the space needed to play, think for themselves, and be the decision makers on the field, will benefit them for the long term, and not the short term result.
As covered in the welcome meeting, players will play in multiple positions whether they are strong in that position or not. Everyone will experience going in goal, for at least a half of a game. All players are given equal playing time as best possible no matter their level of play. This is only made possible by not focusing on winning, as it allows coaches the needed freedom to make decisions for the benefit of the player and not so a team wins a game.
Our teams will also not exceed a 6 goal difference, as some witnessed this past weekend the team will then play a game within itself to control the scoreline. This isnt because we don’t like winning, it’s because we are in the youth environment and while Fremont is out main focus we are also aware of our role to other kids at other clubs to be role models and encourage the game and sprit for everyone to enjoy.
You will experience many different results throughout the season, and Competitive soccer is an opportunity for players to be coached by qualified staff, and not a win at all cost program. Embrace the process of development, the long term model works for not just technical development, but all four pillars including social, physical, and psychological development.
With the past few weeks being incredibly busy the weekly reviews will be written up shortly and posted on our website for your viewing. If you have any questions about the program please feel free to reach out to me, I am always happy to help educate and discuss our philosophy.