Returning to the Season – Behind the Scenes

Hello everyone,

We now return to resume the 2022/23 season.

We have a player centric, proactive curriculum which ensures the players will cover all the necessary mechanics, skill work, and give players a chance to be decision makers and creative players. Through the long-term development from U8 to U19, the players will pass through different stages and priorities. Everything we do is supported by theory in youth sports development, and we apply those theories to a working model to make sure the players receive the most up to date coaching methods from research.

This is a difficult task. Not only do we need to be brave to embrace new methods, but also to step away from the youth sports culture which is not serving the best interests of the kids. That certainly opens us up, as it is certainly different, and the long-term approach requires significantly more patience, and a greater understanding from coaches. Our philosophy is that we are all learning, players and parents, and also the coaches, as all good coaches must be lifelong learners.

Some key points from the presentation attached:

  • Learning is a change in the persons behavior’s – that means by joy-sticking and telling the player what to do, they do not learn, but respond, this takes away a key part of the learning process, ‘why’.
  • Learning is age appropriate – players will learn chronologically, i.e., from simple to complex, however, the rate of learning is not dependent on age. Therefore, we should not be judging or comparing players against each other, we are all biologically different, some will be early developers, while others late, and there is no problem with this, we are all on the same path. Youth sports is an individual journey.
  • Learning is messy! – Mistakes will be made, and repeated, and it will not always look like we think it should. Coaches always want the perfect looking practice, but if it looks like this then it clearly isn’t challenging, it should be full of learning moments, i.e., mistakes and challenges. Parents want the games to look like professional athletes, if it looks like the adults there is something wrong, it should be messy and chaotic. If it looks like the adults, then either opposition isn’t appropriate, or the players are not learning but being told what to do, rather than given direction with the ‘why’, so they can make their own decisions, resulting in long term deeper learning.

There is a lot more to take from the presentation, please take the time to read through. As always, we would rather hear your thoughts, and ask us questions about anything you are unsure of, we are here to support the youth soccer parent, just like we are the players. If we don’t speak up or ask questions, we prevent ourselves from learning.

Enjoy the season and looking forward to seeing you all on the field.

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