In My Opinion
There is a disconnect in the coaching process to develop a player in our country. In youth soccer circles today, an over emphasis is being placed on winning. It stems from social pressure in America where we are expected to be the best in ‘Process.’ As long as we win, we are happy. A great player love the game, being a son/daughter of a parents understand the developmental process, matched with a great coach has the same vision is being left to a very small chance. Hope some of us lucky.
Player Development: When you tie in the competition context to the culture of winning at very young age, it does not allow enough time for the Coach to focus on the development of player. Think of the schedule in most youth soccer team. The Coach has to prepare the team to perform on a weekly basis therefore having little time to spend on raising the performance capacity (Development) of the players.
Facilitators; Don’t forget the new millennium soccer Moms and Dads. While most parents have generously given their time to become coaches, administrators, referees and supportive fans for the benefit of the children, many of them effect their own and other children's soccer life by making a decision about coaching, training, and teams without any soccer knowledge and education to the detriment of player development and the game. Damages done by these parents and the coaches earlier phase cannot be fully corrected and at most can develop mediocre players.
Evaluate coaches: We evaluate coaches and teams only on their win-loss record. This social pressure make many coaches be come a great recruiter rather than a great teacher of the game. What about evaluating coaches on the improvement, growth and development of their players? After all, they can’t control the outcome, but they can control the process.
Coaching Education: Research has concluded that it takes a minimum of 10 years and 10,000 hours of training for a talented athlete to reach elite levels. (Anders Ericsson et al). For players, this translates into close to 3 hours of training / playing or learning daily for 10 years. How about the coaches? Are the same standards apply to coaches?