Questions About the Soccer Club Environment

Occasionally, I am asked questions about the club environment.  Most of those questions are about problems such as dealing with belligerent coaches or the blind eye that club administrators turn when a team is winning, but deeper life lessons are not being taught.

Sometimes though the question is about how can our club improve what we are doing?  Here’s one such question that came across my desk.

How would you help build and create a culture of excellence? E.g. training, uniforms, standards, expectations?

I think the culture begins with the leaders in the club.  That will be the top administrators and coaches.  Certainly having the full board of directors on board is a major plus.  They most importantly must walk the talk when it comes to the club’s mission statement and philosophy.  The next most important group to get on track to create a culture of excellence is the parents.  This is no doubt challenging and a never-ending aspect of the culture, but in the end, it is the most important.  The parents influence all others in the club; players, coaches, and administrators – in that order.

Working with the parents regarding the sporting experience of children though is an area still largely ignored by clubs.  Most still believe the priority for their efforts in player development.  That once was the case, but not today.  The reality is that the number one priority is the education of the soccer parent.  That education is not necessarily about the tactics of the game or the rules for the age group.  It certainly isn’t about how to raise children.  No, it’s about the environment at matches, either positive or infamous ride home, the understanding of the long-term goals of youth soccer participation and it’s about the management of adult expectations of the return on investment.  It is about being a support group for the youth soccer experience.  Clearly the majority of parents fall into exactly that category as evidenced by the large numbers of young people playing the game all across our nation.  The Parents section of the US Youth Soccer website has quality resources for clubs and parents.  I encourage you to take advantage of the free materials and guidance there.

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Think Tank 2019

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Firstly, our team wants to extend a sincere Thank you to all who attended and participated in Think Tank 2019. It was successful beyond our expectations and we cannot wait to bring you Think Tank 2020!

Due to a technical glitch, the Think Tank closed down a day early. We felt the best way to remedy this was to grant you access again and keep it open through Mother's Day as a way of saying we were sorry. You now have access until May 12! Be on the lookout for an email from Kajabi granting you access to Think Tank.

We will also be distilling the sessions into their tracks and creating courses on the tracks in partnership with CoachTube, We are finalizing details and migrating the talks now. Stay tuned!

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Food for Thought for Soccer Leaders

OK after I watched this video the educator in me took over and it strikes me that our decision makers, of every capacity, would benefit from viewing the clip; be those leaders at the national, state or local level.  I am sure that in one fashion or another we all will be involved in the development of the American game.  So here’s the food for thought…

I want to show you a TED talk by Sir Ken Robinson.

 

I am enjoying this one – it helps that Sir Robinson is such an engaging speaker.  I think it is one that we should share not only with our coaches, but our administrators too.  Is not youth soccer in America at a point of needing revolution thus allowing us to evolve?

From what is taught in the National Youth License coaching course he touches on the Flow State Model and on the deleterious effect of drills.  In paraphrasing one of his comments I see how player development is an organic process.  We cannot fully predict the outcome.  You can only create the conditions under which players can flourish.

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The Secrets of Successful Clubs

Contributed by Ruth Nicholson

You have worked hard to build your club – but what are the three simple secrets to making it even better? Learn the three critical elements that make or break an organization’s success on and off the field.

The three secrets to a successful club live within the balance and partnership between

  • High-quality coaching and coaching support,
  • Effective governance and leadership that provides direction and not micro-management of club programs, and
  • Efficient operations that make the best use of staff and volunteers to support players and coaches on the field.

The people who serve in these roles make up the Off-Field Team.

More...

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335 Hits

Dan's Message

For the past six years, it has been a pleasure to serve the Iran National A Team as Assistant Coach, Team Coordinator and Goalkeeper Coach. I am excited to explore new opportunities and share the valuable knowledge and experiences I gained working on this amazing and challenging project.

I am proud that I was a part of the team that qualified for the 2014 Brazil World Cup, 2015 Asian Cup and 2018 Russia World Cup – triumphs for the Iranian people. Our many successes were the result of a hardworking and talented technical staff and administrators. I am honored to have worked alongside them all.

I have admiration for the Team Melli players. Despite the many obstacles, they played with courage, determination and love for their country.

I have enormous gratitude for the fans that offered incredible support during the entire journey. They are amazing passionate soccer fans.

I wish the Iran National Team success as they prepare for the 2018 Russia World Cup. I have no doubt they will represent their country with dignity.

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