The headlines today for women’s soccer in America were not empowering. If you wonder why I’m back to coaching, it’s because I’ve seen a handful of issues in the youth game that does not support the highest ideals of the game. If you don’t follow the NWSL, you can Google and find the story covered by The ATLANTIC detailing a cultural problem among several of the NWSLs coaches and an organization that did not clearly share information that would have protected their players health and well-being.
I know some of you have asked me why I take the guided approach to coaching? Let’s just say I was allowed to grow up by just playing the game on the field, in a gym, on a tennis court, racquetball court, on a playground, 7v7, 5v5, with dasher boards and eventually at the club, classic, high school and college level. Up until high school and college level I never really focused on repetitive drills and skills. I learned a lot about reading the game by playing different versions of the game.
Unfortunately there were not a whole lot of coaches who would be there to answer questions when I grew up because we didn’t have a lot of experienced coaches since the game in the United States was still in its infancy. Now we’ve run into this Americanized sports world of specialization at age 8 and year round training. One of best things about being a referee for so many years is I get to see a lot of coaches and lots of teams. I can tell pretty quickly when there is a toxic situation. I can also tell where there is a mutually respectful team.
I aim to present each training session and game plan with clear goals and plans so every player knows what to expect. I also want my players to ask for a challenge and test areas where they can extend their existing abilities.
basically just process the questions the players bring to me.