The start of the Fall season brings an opportunity for Coaches and Parents to remind themselves about the importance of the game for their players/children. Some very useful, and interesting reads below:
For Coaches –
How Coaches Allocate Playing Time
Team Vs. Player Development In Youth Soccer
How To Teach Mental Strength In Youth Soccer
Don't "Joystick" Your Team
There Is No I In Team, But Maybe There Should Be
Tony DiCicco: Confidence From Coaches, Parents And Teammates
For Parents –
Kristine Lilly: Emotional Olympic Memory And Advice For Parents
Parents Should Be Teammates Of Each Other
Parents' Role In The Recruiting Process
Joy Fawcett: Parents, Let The Coaches Coach!
A Cautionary Tale: When Parental Sideline Behavior Causes Player Cuts
Julie Foudy On Playing Up
The #1 Priority For Youth Sports Parents
Dave Kaval: Failure Is An Opportunity
The term "rondo" means round and round...or at least that is what I have been told! My first understanding of it was that it was just 5v2, but now that I have been around a bit longer, I have become just a slight bit wiser (debatable!) Rondo is a term to be used on a broader scale, I think.
Here are some sample exercises that we do at Colorado Rush. There are no secrets here. An exercise does not make the coach, and there is no one magic exercise that will develop a player or a team or a club. The coach is the one that does that. You are the one that does that. An exercise can spur an idea, however. This is the purpose in sharing---to spur an idea or a conversation.
Success is a choice. Do you believe that? It may depend on how you define success. In this light, I challenge you to think of success as John Wooden did, found here. Becoming the best you can become.
Have you thought about what success looks like (or better, what it is) for you in coaching? In directing? In leading? In relationship? In parenting? Most of us read the other day that only law enforcement has a higher divorce rate than the coaching field. I'm not sure if this is completely accurate or not, but nonetheless coaching likely ranks up there. Why would that be? We do not put our lives on the line every day when we head out the door? I'd argue that it is because our definition of success may be skewed in the wrong direction. It is likely shifted towards some form of result:
- I need to win to keep my job.
- I need to win to keep my players.
- I need to get results to prove my worth.
- I hate losing.
- I love the high of winning and want my players to feel that too.
- The more wins I have, the better the coach I am (or as likely, the better the coach others will see me as.)
- The more players we produce that move on to college, national teams, pros, the better I am; the better our club is.
- The more we win, the more players that will want to come to our club.
I believe there is some truth in the above statements. Mostly because in my insecurities I have believed them and regularly still do! How can these statements not be with the societal pressures that are applied? How not with our own internal pressures? Certainly, taking in one statement on its own can be at one level be seen as true and another level a bit absurd.
I have long said to and trained players to focus on performance; performance leads to sustained results. In recent years, I have defined winning as performing and performing is preparing. This is to get players to change their mindset (and serve as a strong reminder for me to do so as well!) Focus on things that they can control. I'd argue that coaches and directors must do the same. Focus on things that we can control. I'd also argue that the lasting rewards will be greater for doing so!
What is success?
- Performing your very best within the circumstances and challenges that are presented.
- Becoming the very best that you can be...and everyday is a day to become.
Do not read these as clichés. Contemplate them. If we are to live them and teach them, we will find reward. I promise. We will have taught players that success is in their control. They have the power to effect change. We will also have impacted ourselves and those closest to us.
When my last day on earth comes, if my wife reads "Sean won 2,345 games in his coaching career and gave his life to the game" I just don't think that is going to be a successful life. Youth coaches: we are teaching life. Soccer is just a mechanism for doing so. The most successful coaches, directors, programs and clubs will be the ones that do so.
What kind of coach, what kind of director, what kind of _____ do you want to be remembered as? On your last day, what will they write? Today, and each day, will define it. Success is a choice.
Communicating. It is a skill. Any skill needs training if you want to become good at it. And, as Vince Lombardi said, "Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect." In other words, just because we train doesn't mean we are getting better. We have to train intentionally, a real purpose with what we are doing. As it relates to communicating, just because we speak to a lot of people in many different kinds of settings, does not mean we are now good communicators.
I write this message to me. This is not, nor are any of the messages meant for any one in particular. It is for us all, I hope. It is not that I write that "I sure hope so and so reads this". We all need this. Look at the video. It has 5 million views. Communicating is a challenge. Directing and coaching are challenges also. Striving to be better will get us where we need to go.
Well, it is snowing (here in Colorado) so perhaps you have time for reading at some point today! I'll let the message speak for itself, mostly; but of quick note:
- Point #1: Chuck Daly is a pretty good leader to learn from
- Point #2: When the blonde in the car next to you smiles at you, you now know why you feel good.
- Point #9: I attached a photo from 2010-11 of Barcelona. I titled it as "Always Hugs". It was inevitable if I saw a group shot of Barca, guys were hugging and such. We cannot go around hugging the girls that we coach but there is a way to appropriately connect--->real handshakes is one of them.