Weekly email 5/20/15
With Memorial Day around, many teams are close to the end of the Spring soccer season. The majority of the teams, especially teams U11 and older, most likely only have a few games left to play. Time flies by, the season is over before you know it and I of course hope that all our players were given the opportunity to enjoy the experience and given enough time on the field to play the beautiful game of soccer.
By means of this email I would like to remind you all that our association is a participation club. This means that all our players need to play at least 50% of every game. Players join our program knowing that they will play when they join a team. At the younger ages especially, there is no reason to work out a subbing pattern to ensure that all players get an opportunity to play. Coaches will not be judged on the record of a team and players will only get better when they are given the opportunity to play. This is the reason that players join a soccer program. They want to play the game. They practice during the week to prepare for the game on Sunday. We as coaches have to make sure that our players are given the opportunity to play.
I know, from talking too many of the coaches involved with the club, that our coaches understand the importance of focusing on the process, rather than focusing on the outcome. When teams are playing well, the support for the Westfield development philosophy is clear. We have to remember to stick with this philosophy even when our teams are struggling at times. There will be moments every season that our teams play bad, that players underperform in the eyes of their coach and the team might lose a game against a team the coach is convinced they can beat.
At moments like this, we as coaches still need to stick with the philosophy as hard as it can be at times. The outcome of games doesn’t dictate the philosophy and for that reason we need to continue to play all players. We are proud to be a participation club and want to continue to provide all our members the opportunity to play on Sunday. Let all players know they are important to the team and support them verbally and nonverbally, especially when our players and teams struggle.
I know from my personal experience that as a head coach you sometimes lose track of time and therefore not realize that players are supposed to go in. This is where the head coach can work with the assistant coach. Let the assistant coach work out a subbing pattern and take care of the substitutions during the game so that the players are guaranteed enough playing time each game. The head coach can focus on the coaching and players still get to play!
Everybody enjoy your Memorial Day weekend and good luck to those teams competing in a tournament this weekend!
Director of Coaching - Westfield Soccer Association