Developing your own Player

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This topic contains 2 replies, has 1 voice, and was last updated by  Lee Dunne 2 years, 1 month ago.

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  • #55149

    Lee Dunne

    We just posted an article based on a gentleman named Tom Byer. He has created his own way and philosophy, which unlike most coaches, is not about himself. It is all about what he wants for the player. It is all about empowering every child and identifying that a lot of children miss key years of development because the US Soccer norm states that U6 or U7 is the right place to start. Tom Byer proves that the early years are key.

    Take a look at the article. Do some quick online searching (especially YouTube) and let us know what you think. Will you take on the effort by Tom Byer and put Soccer balls in every room of your home to simply provide the environment which empowers your child to learn and love the game of Soccer?

    Please share!

  • #55183

    Lee Dunne

    We have a post coming shortly regarding the questions that you could be asking during this tryout window. Finding out about the club / team you are deciding on not only helps you feel confident in your decision, but it also provides transparency on what is expected of you and your player.

    Do you have any suggestions for parents going through this right now? Questions that you have asked that proved priceless in discovering information that otherwise is not available?

    Please share. Or, email and we can share for you.

  • #55203

    Lee Dunne

    I think there are 2 main reasons why kids quit sports. I think they are deeply connected and tied together, unfortunately. It would be easier if they were 2 separate issues that could be conquered.

    1 – The adult expectation. The pressure, the demand, the hopes. Sadly, the focus on winning.
    2 – A lack of focus on individual development.

    Are they deeply connected? – I think so. The focus on winning forgoes individual development, especially with young players because there are ways to win the game without technical focus. Think of the big punt and chase version of Soccer you have probably experienced with only 2 key players – the big kicker and the chaser.

    So, how can you help to develop your own player and not see the aforementioned issues claim another player at such a young age?
    Have a watch of this TED talk, which is all about point 1

    The absolute take away is that – I love to watch you play.
    With the phrase, I feel that it removes any questioning or pressure. It reminds your player that you are there to support them and not ask them to try harder, impress, or repay you in some way for the cost/commitment of their Soccer participation.

    I think the video says it all in creating an environment in which it is safe and OK to make a mistake. This is where the issues, outlined above, are entwined because it isn’t ok to make a mistake and because I don’t really like to watch you lose, but I love to watch you win.

    So, I believe you can change an entire team / sidelines culture in a 40-60 minute game, no problem. You can cheer all of the players, you can take responsibility for the group of parents (from both teams ideally) and before kick off, ask everyone to love to watch their kid(s) play. It is a simple idea, one that may take an element of bravery to stand up in front of the team / the other team. However, we have 500+ teams, so in 250 games (all of which would happen within 1 or 2 weeks) we could have everybody watching and loving the game.

    You can separate the issues by selecting a team or club that has player development at heart. Do they have a play pathway and a development plan for each age / team / player? What are their goals for your player? What are the goals of the coach for your player, the team, and themselves (it isn’t always about your player and you need to ask the questions).

    So, you are developing your player in regards to the club / team / coach selection you make as this tryout window closes, but you are also making their environment a safe place to play and learn in.
    And actually, your relaxed approach to loving and watching the game could place less stress and expectations on the coach who could then put extra emphasis on a player centered approach.

    Personal experience. I was ridiculed by parents because my youth teams would play quickly and to feet all of the time. Free kicks, corners, and goal kicks were all quick tap and play moments. Parents hated it because when they played they kicked long, or they see other teams doing it, or they see ‘opportunities to score’ that were missed. The developing players took more touches, had opportunity to make decisions and ultimately made more mistakes. In practice the environment was created in which mistakes were expected and learned from, due in part to no parents giving their expert opinion in how to score. However, it was not the same in games and players had special instructions from parents for certain situations. Even the preseason meeting and club presentation with regards to the ‘player first’ approach to development were irrelevant in terms of watching their player win.
    So, from the sidelines, you can make a big difference in the experience that your child gets and the success they can experience from making mistakes.

    Comments? Please leave a reply below, or drop an email to

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