Developing Through Culture

Our ability to develop comes directly from our environment. We are able to pick up things that we see throughout our lives and how others solve problems. This includes our sport as well.  In the American sport culture, the focus is on power and pace. A player is defined as talented based on those two aspects on top of their size. When you are developed in a different culture, the focus in on other qualities that also include your physical attributes. Our sport is about finesse and the ability to solve problems, yet we cause problems by focusing on the speed of the player involved.

Watching the professional academies in England or Europe develop their players has always been an eye opener for me. I have picked up multiple coaching techniques from watching other coaches perform. The way that they conduct themselves around their players and what they require of them. The level of professionalism from every single person is unbelievable. Their culture of creating young ladies and gentlemen allows them to truly succeed at development. It is the standard that their club sets and the focus is far from winning. The sport is ingrained into their every day life. While this has been a “young” sport for America, we have brought other sporting measurements into how this game should be played. Most players are judged off of this during their training as well as in matches. While intensity and pace of play are two qualities of the game, there needs to be an understanding of the timing of them.
Creating technically gifted hard working players should be the goal of each coach. This requires a lot of focus during training sessions, but we are coaches. So let’s coach. Put the cup of coffee down and give your players your energy. Freedom needs to be there as well during this process. A great balance will create players who can solve problems on their own. The ability to manage each and every player in a suitable format will get the best out of each individual. We want to give the best experience possible. Not every level is for each player, but while a player is in our program we must look after them.
The culture that is established in each team defines how players will react on the field. Players may be a part of several teams, adapting to several different environments, hearing several different tactics, and playing several different positions. Because of this, solving problems in high pressured moments can be confusing. As coaches, we must do the best that we can to continue to help players fully understand their roles in our squads.
While we are still quite far from being a soccer country, there is hope. With coaches who have adapted their coaching style to the modern game it will allow the players that develop with them to truly grasp the game. This will take some time. There are so many hidden gems that would challenge at the top level of this game immediately, but will never be found. Investment into coaching education needs to increase to coaches who are unable to afford it. Until then, we must continue to do our best for each and every player.
“Enjoy the Journey
Ignore the Noise
Always Forward”
MTYS has no affiliation with Kemp Soccer (I just really enjoy his blog)