Posted by BOB TWIDLE on Jul 25 2006 at 05:00PM PDT
When I hear about lots of parent chatter behind my back I can only imagine that there is a lacking of trust in your coach. Everyone has to trust me to do the right thing for the benefit of the team entity. If anyone has trouble with this it’s time to arrange a personal meeting with me at a mutually agreeable time. Some issues that need to be understood……. 90% of what we do is training. Players deliver their commitment, their passion, their confidence, their learning, and skill development during training. We take our training into competitive games (10% of our program) – essentially a stage play for which we have rehearsed long and hard. The best performers go on stage. The best performers are those who have given me and our coaching staff the confidence that they are ready and confident in their roles. More challenging games will involve a different balance of playing time for some than games that are easier. I am challenged to help our team win games and our league with the resources available to us. Playing to lose is not an option. I am challenged to help our players continuously improve in their skills and in their game play . Players who don’t improve fall behind quickly as others speed by. Under the direction of Vince, we have changed our game style – much to the better – providing a more entertaining game for spectators and a more satisfying game for players. Sometimes decisions made by the coaching staff may seem inconsistent with your “preferences”. You have to trust our decisions that are often made with factual knowledge that you are not privy to. Your coach does not play favourites. Your coach cannot be “bought”. Players NEVER suffer from the earnest opinions of parents or themselves. Passion for the game, hard work and confident performance in training and games (especially training) will find players earning the most time on the field, not because they just show up, but because they have confidently developed the required skills. Players who hide performance affecting injuries from me cause a number of problems: Under-performance will get a player yanked from the game field, especially in the hot spots when we are pressured, before we get stung. A hidden injury could be incorrectly viewed as lazy, or just plain unable to do the job – generally a negative impression. A hidden injury can be aggravated from short term recovery to long term complications. A hidden injury can cost your team a positive result. I have a long standing rule that I want to know about every hangnail…….I am getting annoyed with the number of hidden damaged players risking their team’s result. Finding out later why a player should not have been chastised (because of injury) is too late. Running is a basic component of the game and an essential component of our training. I know of few serious soccer teams that don’t focus heavily on distance aerobic training and short distance anaerobic training. Serious athletes don’t need to be driven to add additional running on your own. The theme of our program this year is “Intelligent Soccer”. Everyone is seeing a growing improvement in our overall game intelligence, but we have a long way to go still. Player performance also involves that intelligent component beyond root ball skills. When to make a run, where to make a run, when it’s OK to leave your position, two way play, vocal leadership on the field, proper positioning, reading the other team’s shape and so on. Soccer intelligence is much like chess where the player has to think several moves ahead to be most effective. Our players are developing this skill at different rates. Other expectations…. Does a player “make a difference” on the field – making things happen or just reacting to what happens. Does a player contribute to scoring opportunities if in a striker/mid position? Does a midfielder control her space? - games are won and lost here. Does a defender prevent dangerous crosses most of the time and clear the ball effectively. Does a defender follow the play forward and contribute to attack shape? Does a keeper provide confident leadership from the rear and make good decisions in position and ball distribution. The list goes on. As a team we have played 7 exhibition/tournament games so far with all players getting decent playing time. We are now in our “real” season. As in any competitive team, we will use the roster and other resources we have to what we feel is in the best interests of the team. Some will play more than others – the flow of the game will determine how we use our bench. The two things that irritate me the most – I repeat this year after year – lateness and lack of effort. I can live with a lot of other shortcomings including losing as long as we did our very best with determined preparation. Lastly, Your coaching staff will adopt a calmer demeanour on the bench effective immediately. Bob T


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