Euro Trip 2019 – Winning vs Development

The recent trip taken by the Fremont YSC Directors, gave an opportunity for great insight in to how other countries, successful countries, are developing their players. This post will be exploring the differences in how Europe confronts the challenge in prioritizing winning vs development.

It’s important to remember that these are huge clubs, with multi-million dollar budgets, and are the elite of soccer, with some of the worlds best coming through their academies. Notably was how these academies worked together, to find the best pathway and environment for the player. The following are differences between the US model and that used in the Netherlands.

Netherlands US
1 On a game day multiple playing systems are used. i.e. 7v7, 9v9, and 11v11 if age appropriate. A game is seen as one system to be used, strict to the playing code of the age.
2 Fields are outlined using cones, with no need for additional sized fields, as it fits within a regular playing field. A game is played on a specifically lined field for the age group.
3 There are no determined penalty areas, it is left to the perception of the player. Regulation field detail.
4 Corners can be dribbled in. Regular rules for all ages.
5 There are no referees, the home coach facilitates the game. Up to 3 referees for a 7v7 game.
6 No scores are kept or league tables published until U13, scorelines are not of importance. Scores are kept, published, and league tables made public. Championship banners awarded.
7 Teams socialize following the game at the club house, parents and players mingle. Parents shout on the sidelines, need to be restrained, and often there are reports of abuse.
8 Players have a given topic for the game, not a strategy to beat an opponent, but a topic to be optimized. Priority is given to winning the game.

All players are used, very few players need to sit out, and the game system develops throughout the playing event. With the focus shifted to the development of the player, there is less time and resources placed on the demands of lining multiple fields, specific outlines, and players within the game are given the freedom to regulate and decide on appropriate parameters of the game, and this even goes as far as not needing referees. This keeps the money within the game and not out to referees, this could save clubs a fortune, and get clubs to work closer together, but this made possible by no focus on results. When the importance of the scoreline is taken away there are less confrontations and any need for referees.

With the focus and importance placed on the scoreline, there is less investment in the process. It also means coaches cannot make decisions based on the benefit of the individual player, but what will get them the win, but that is the adult world. Coaches need to be rotating players through different positions, and setting out the players to achieve a solution to a given problem through the practice topic.

This is where winning and development cannot co-exist, as their priorities are different, and the process is different, therefore not pulling in the same direction to reach a common goal.

How Can You Help

By investing in and supporting the process, this gives both the coach and players freedom to make mistakes, learn, and grow. From the players perspective, the chance to play without stress gives them an opportunity to try new skills and be a decision maker on the field. Reading up on the clubs vision and philosophy will help with understanding the direction and purpose of the club. The focus on a game day from a parent should be age appropriate and specific to their own child, and not based a comparison with a different player. The importance should also be placed on the player being out and playing, and that you enjoy watching them play.

Some things we cannot change, and this needs to come from the higher organizations that govern soccer in the US, but at a local level we can all help with making change.

An Elite Coaches Insight –

Club Education, European Trip December 2019

This past December the directors from Fremont YSC went on a tour of Germany and Holland to visit some of Europe’s most successful academies.

Click here for a more in depth look at the information and details from the trip –

The trip included visits to the clubs, and game analysis of Eredivise and Bundesliga games.

The tour was an insight in to areas of benefit for us in reference to soccer in the USA vs Europe, the structure of grassroots programs and academies, and the challenges we face in the US to make soccer better for the youth player.

Over the coming weeks we will be releasing posts on where we are right now in the US in reference to youth soccer, the challenges we face as a club, and how we can all work together to make Fremont YSC a leading educational soccer program.

We already have the methodology and structures in place, but the experience gained from these trips and the visit of the elite like Frans Hoek, will continue to drive us in the right direction and do what is best for the youth player.

Coach Education with Frans Hoek, the Coaching Elite

This Tuesday 14th January, we had the incredible opportunity at Fremont YSC, to have the personal education experience of Frans Hoek.

Frans have been the senior staff coach at Europe’s biggest clubs, including Ajax, Barcelona, Bayern Munich, and Manchester United, while also coaching the Netherlands to 3rd at the 2014 World Cup. During this time Frans has coached the best in the world, including Pep Guardiola, Wayne Rooney, and Lionel Messi.

The directors had the opportunity to discuss and present the operations of the club, from its vision of developing every individual no matter their soccer history through modern methodology and a clear playing identity. The importance we place on the individual as a human and not just an athlete, and our philosophy of an holistic approach to the player development and growth.

Frans with all the knowledge and experience of the elite on soccer coaching gave us incredible insight and direction with areas in which we can continue to grow as an organization.

The staff coaches were also put through their paces and guided on a discovery of the mastery of soccer language, structure, and the reference in the analysis of performance. Reality based practice is the modern and very European approach to coaching, and the staff performed on field this discipline in coaching with the help of the Senior Boys team as the demonstrating players.

A great event, and opportunity for the club, and an experience I am sure the players will reflect on for many years, and an educational opportunity for the coaches to continue to grow from.

We Are Back

Competitive practice resumes today, check your TeamSnap schedules for practice times.

Be mindful that we are still under Covid restrictions, and to make sure you are aware of the restrictions and actions we are taking to try and keep everyone safe. Please note, with recent updated recommendations, all players will need to wear a mask/snood throughout the duration of the session.

Looking forward to seeing everyone back on the field.


Long Term Development, It’s a Journey of Growth

Long term development is a journey where the individual will face many challenges, rewards, and set backs, but the development comes from the experiences along the way and how they use these experiences to evaluate, analyse, and adjust the challenge they face.

Development is not a perfect trajectory of constant improvements, it’s a continuous pathway of peaks and troughs with many obstacles and challenges to get you out of your comfort zone. It takes time, dedication, commitment, and a strong personality to face challenges and conquer them. Today we are too quick to move away from challenges, to find the easiest pathway, or just completely stop when it becomes difficult.

Long term player development isn’t just about an individual athlete becoming a good soccer player, it is about the life lessons learned along the way, and positive personal traits gained from the journey.