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Post by baller07 on 4/12/2018, 10:48 pm

ARTICLE #1 of many
OBJECTIVE: Help the kids get better.

The DA is expanding…. Is the quality of coaches expanding too?

Phenomenal idea by the US federation. The DA is essentially a league for the best players in each age group. Great concept; get all of the best players(athletes) and have them playing against each other in a more competitive (athletic) league. Truly a phenomenal idea.

The players join the DA hoping to play against better competition. And more importantly, hoping to become much better players. While the competition is certainly more intense, the quality is still average at best. Especially if you know what a great level looks like. The most important purpose of the league is hardly ever accomplished. The Development is almost non existent, as no player has reached the level of play the league is expected to deliver.

After more or less 10 years of existence, the DA has not been able to produce a single great player and much less a world class player. US youth Soccer in general has not been able to produce such players. Pulisic is perhaps America’s best player ever! He is not yet a world class player, and he is not a product of the DA. Why is this great approach not working? When hypothetically only good players make the DA rosters, since they are handpicked. Those good players go from training 2 days per week with an “average team”, to 4 days per week on a “good team”, with soccer becoming their main “life focus”. With all that handy, why is it not truly working?

The answer is simple. In order for a player to develop from a average to a great player, the player does not need to be playing in the most competitive league or with the good players. Those things certainly help, yes they do, but not nearly as much as having a well prepared and knowledgeable Coach. And the lack of such coaches is exactly the reason why the US continues to fail to produce high level players. What good is it to have all the tools handy, if you don’t know what to do with it? Coaches make or break players. A well prepared and knowledgeable Coach can turn bricks into diamonds.

At the professional/business level, Coaches are considered great primarily because of their winning record. While the same criteria applies to the US youth soccer, given the great business it is. The W/L record should not be used to classify coaches. It’s the development level, and if were to use using simply the development criteria to classify the Coaches. We would quickly realize the US Youth soccer at all levels is full of average Coaches. It’s a fact. The minimum individual growth and quality of play says it all. No disrespect intended. The reality is obvious. If it wasn’t for private skills sessions a vast majority of the “good players/teams” would not be good.

The Coaches figured the winning formula, and winning became the ultimate and really only goal. As a result there’s a strong emphasis on winning and status, to the point that we don’t realize just how bad the level of play and quality of players/coaches is. Making the parents the number 1 problem in this issue. The lack of soccer knowledge leaves the parents ignorant to winning/losing versus development. Thinking that Winning = Development, and thus giving more credit to winning than the actual player development.

Rather than focusing on the status, or brand, focus on who’s coaching your son. And ask yourself the most important questions; How much has he/she really improved? Is he on track to becoming a complete and well developed player? Is that even something his/her Coach is working towards?

Here is some information to help you better understand things:

There are more people playing soccer in Texas, than there are people living in Iceland…. Iceland is going to the World Cup..

The US has more and better fields, more youth associations, leagues, clubs, teams, players, gear, and more people playing soccer than there are people living in; Uruguay, Portugal, Croatia, Belgium…. And yet all of those countries have better teams, and much better players than the US. Why is that???? YOUTH COACHES!!!!!!! The foundation…..
We have over 24,000,000 registered soccer players from academies to the adults. And around 4,000,000 registered players at the U17 level. Meanwhile the living population in Uruguay is around 3.5 million. Portugal 10.3 millions. Belgium 11.3 millions.

Right now a vast majority of the kids have a weak foundation. They lack the tools and proper understanding of the game. All because their COACH lacks the tools and proper understanding of player development. Great business minds, poor coaching knowledge for the youth and most important stage of a player’s development.

What’s the point of having a super league if a vast majority of the COACHES don’t know how, or refuse to focus on developing the players? Why create so many opportunities, when the players are not being trained well enough to make the most of those opportunities.

Great concept, but until the coaches or their philosophies changes. It’s a waste of time, unless average is something you’re comfortable with.

With the current number of registered soccer players the US. I am sure that we have a Messi out there. But if our coaches keep stealing the player’s creativity and continue to assess players based on size. Continue to try to win at all cost without identifying the right talent. We’ll keep being a mediocre country in the soccer world. It is the Coach and training that will make the kids fall in love with the game, and want to be playing everyday.

For those that keep saying paying to play is the problem, I guarantee you that if it becomes free, it will be the same exact thing. We will still be a mediocre country when it comes to soccer. Simply because the same guys will be in charge. The problem are the coaches….

Think about this…
After spending 6+ years playing DA, which is supposed to be the best of the best. Why do those players still end up at Junior colleges, NCAA D3, D2 and NAIA…. With the same players they were playing with or against at their regular club. If the training and level of play is that good, all of those players should be playing NCAA D1. And don’t even bother mentioning grades. You and I both know just how far a College coach will go to get a player.

I was watching the U17 Adidas cup…. I felt like I was watching bumper cars. All US Academies have the same type of players, and play the same way. Absolutely nothing exciting. They are building a bunch of robots. The international Staff couldn’t have been more disappointed.

We have a lot of players…. We just don’t have Coaches…. Find your son a good coach and enjoy the ride. Everything else will fall in place.

I’ll leave you with this.

Giovinco 5’4 -
Insigne 5’4 -
Verratti 5’5 -
Valbuena 5’5
Xavi 5’6
Santi Cazorla 5’6 -
Alexis Sanchez 5’6 -
N’golo Kante 5’6 -
Jordi Alba 5’7 -
Iniesta 5’7 -

If those players were born and raised in the US, do you think the coaches would have given them a chance??? Or Would Peter Crouch be the Coach favorite? Our Coaches continue to value physicality over talent.


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