The SCYS Coaching Education Staff have just wrapped up another round of coaching education courses across the state. Beside the blistering heat, 115 degree heat index and the lightning delays it's been a wonderful summer of courses. A total of 126 coaches have taken and passed the E and D courses this summer and we still have a wave of coaches to go through various Youth Module courses across the state in the next month. Great numbers for a state our size!
The focus of the E and the D courses are to introduce coaches to the methodoly of coaching, teach them the basic techniques players need to be successful. A brief flirtation with basic tactics and the importance of Long Term Player Development. Notice that we didn't mention winning in the above discription. This may upset some and many that take these courses come in with an attitude of "I just want to see a bunch of drills that is going to help me win with my U10 boys team." Well last time we checked SCYS, USYS and FIFA were not sponsoring any type of U10 championship. So we put winning on the back burner during these courses and teach coaches the importance of developing players for the future. Talk about a topic for discussion. Development over winning!
We are going to focus on competition and coaching and teaching players how to compete. Coaches this is for you and for those parents that read this take note and pass the word on.
There are two ways to coach competition to our players. Coaching Competition as a Threat and or Coaching Competition as a Challenge. For fun let's see which one you identify with or you identify your players coach with.
Coaching Competition as a Threat Coaching Competition as a Challenge
Emphasize Winning Emphasize Effort & Fun
Think Short Term Think Long Term
Lack Emotional Control Deal Well with Setbacks
Link Self-Esteem to winning Link Self-Esteem to committment & Development
Young Players Respond Young Players Respond
Lose Motivation Become more Motivated
Lose Confidence and Self-Belief Gain new levels of Confidence and Self-Belief
Collapse under Pressure Cope with Pressure
Blame others for Setbacks Take and Accept Responsibility
Which coach are you? Which coach do you want to be? Who do you want your players to play for? Do we want to win now and be rewarded now only to see our players drop out because the proper foundation hasn't been laid when they get older?
The importance of Technical Development and more importantly FUN can not be stressed enough at the youngest ages and even at the older age groups. Fun is pivotal. If a sport or activity is not fun young people will not participate. Technical and skill development is a major part in a player having fun. Ask most players and they will tell you that getting better is more important than winning. As a players skill level and comfort level increases they will seak out greater challenges. It's the coaches job and yes even you parents can help to facilitate this by encouraging development over winning. Encourage your players and your children to spend at least 2 minutes a day, 2 MINUTES, 120 SECONDS a day with a soccer ball at their feet when they are away from practice. Don't coach them, encourage them and if you're feeling up to it actually play and have fun with them. You just might learn something!