Weekly email 3/18/2015
Last weekend the season started for many of our teams, so this is great moment to send out my first weekly note for the Spring season. Although a lot of our time and focus has been on the changes ahead of us, we can’t forget that we still have an exciting season to go through. Some of our programs might be run slightly different from what many have gotten used to, but we want to make sure that all our players are provided with quality training and coaching in the coming months.
From the fall to the spring season flight assignments might have changed. With that the competition your team will face this upcoming season most likely has changed as well. The chances are though that you will still come across teams/clubs this upcoming Spring who have a completely different idea of how a youth soccer game should be played. There is a big chance your team will face 1 or 2 opponents that have a different idea of what player development means as well.
What does this mean for your team when you play your games?
- · Some of your opponents might play a lot more direct than your team
- · Some of your opponents could play with a set goalkeeper, even at U9 or U10.
- Some of your opponents this upcoming season might play players in set positions from a very young age on.
- · Some teams might believe that playing the ball out of the back means punting a ball up the field every time the goalkeeper has the ball.
- · Some teams might play their top players for most of the game, while sitting several of the less talented players for longer periods of the game.
It is very likely that your team will face opponents who really want to win the game and make short term sacrifices that could hurt players in the long run (per the examples above).
This most certainly doesn’t apply to all teams our WSA teams come up against, but it will most likely occur a few times. This doesn’t mean that we have to forego our principles. It is important to continue to focus on the process. The results will come as our players grow and develop. We do not need to play players in set positions at U9 and U10 for example, because our opponents do so. There is no need to suddenly punt and/or kick every ball up the field because your opponents might do this.
Continue to promote and emphasize our Westfield style of play. Be patient and understand that this will take time to develop. Share with your parents that patience is important. Some games your team might be on and other games your team might have a complete off day. This doesn’t mean that suddenly everything needs to change. Stick to the plan and promote a positive, possession based style of soccer and make sure that all players are provided with plenty of playing time each and every game. It is important that we continue to provide our players with an opportunity to grow and develop, at their pace, while they enjoy playing the beautiful game of soccer.
Good luck this upcoming Spring!