Westfield Soccer Association

Developing a winning mentality

Weekly Email 5/28/15


Through one of our trainers I came across a very interesting article which I will attach to the email. The attached article sums up a lot of the things that we as a club have shared with you over the last several years. We have mentioned on many occasions that child development is a marathon and not a sprint. We should focus on the process and not on the outcome. You all have heard this before and I know that all our coaches and trainers support this philosophy.

We will not make sacrifices to this philosophy for short term gains.  Trainers and coaches will not be judged given the results of the teams they train and coach. The below quote from Johan Cruyff sums this up really well. Johan Cruyff is a great former player and coach, who also played for several teams in the NASL back in the seventies and eighties. This actual quote can also be found up on the website of our FC Premier program.

“Success should be measured by demonstrated and documented improvement of each individual (not results). The role of a youth trainer is to improve the skills and habits of each and every footballer in his or her charge. Ironically, if they improve each player, team results improve.”

Johan Cruyff

(former player and coach of AFC Ajax and FC Barcelona)

The attached article once again brings up the main reasons why young children participate in sports and what we as coaches, trainers, administrators and parents can do to help our young athletes to be successful. A win at all cost mentality might win you some trophies at a young age, but most likely will turn away many players from the sport as they get older.

When focusing on the process we do have to understand that winning has a part in the development of young soccer players. It is important to instill a winning mentality within our young players.They need to be hungry and driven to better themselves. This is not a winning at all cost mentality, but it is definitely ok to compete and to be competitive. That is 1 of the most important lessons we can teach our children through sports. Children should know that giving 100% each and every time you play and practice is important to become a better player. If we are able to instill that mentality within the players in our association we will be able to elevate the overall standard of play. These players will not only go to practice, but will also continue to practice by themselves, with their friends or with their siblings outside the club environment. It is also an important life lesson to be learned. You need to work hard to be successful in many other parts of life, whether it be to get into a good school or get the job you like when you get older.

Please check the attached article and I would encourage you to share it with the parents on your team as well.


Thank you,


Ruben Vloedgraven

Director of Coaching - Westfield Soccer Association