My most recent podcast can be heard here and will certainly add context to this review.
This was the second crowd-sourced podcast I have produced and I love doing it. We're all trying to be better and given the platform of data collection, we're all happy to give our opinion on what 'we', as individuals, are doing and that is where the motivation for this blog came from.
When we consider training and developing a player, because that is what we're all trying to do, we plan holistically. How can I push this player to be uncomfortable, yet cared for? Challenged, but have success and the podcast for factoring technical skill work along with tactical / set pieces / etc etc etc.
I asked so I expected individual answers and happily accept the role of compiling and presenting. There were definitely themes in terms or 'isolation' or the requirement for player to have a foundation to build on. I hope that many listened and took something or reconfirmed their own beliefs. Ultimately, nothing is really going to change overnight, but it might influence to adapt for one practice per week, or in your next cycle.
However, I feel one thing was missed and that was what comes for the next generation of players. I feel our current athletes will remain, for the most part, on the same track that our club or team or school provides for them. However, we can significantly impact the next generation by making systematic changes by which I mean the culture of Soccer and fostering a desire to play.
Look at a recent tweet by Jon Kokkoris (@jKokkoris8) with one of his players manipulating the ball in the hallway because he simply wants to be better and is in an environment where all of the players are seemingly subconsciously pushing each other to do so. Or Tom Byers (@tomsan106) and 'Soccer Starts at Home' - working with players and then working with parents who are about to get their kids going. All about creating a culture and a love to play. (follow these two right now if you do not already)
A simple takeaway, with a lot of work - put new effort into your community, local schools, and younger siblings of your current players. Then put the work into your environment (you can start here with Case Study : Self) to allow those incoming to flourish.
Full circle - Players then join your club/team with a passion for the game and an eagerness to be better. They are more likely to be surrounded by others who are playing and subconsciously pushing each other further, harder, faster, and better. They are then in an environment that is encouraging and supporting holistic and cultural developments. Then, I believe, the discussion on where to fit technical/skill development falls mute because there is a solid foundation from which to build any game model, with technical nuances added for further success and not simply working on 'receiving with the back foot'.
I'm heading to #Bmore20 right now and I know that almost every conversation will be about this very thing. I think this might be a part of, if not THE, answer.
See you there.