Monday, June 01, 2009

Memo from Next Season's Coach

Hi everyone,

I thought with the upcoming tryouts and coaching changes I would send out anote to the current White and Silver teams providing my thoughts on theupcoming tryout season and my background for those who do not know me.From 2007 to present, I have been the coach for the Silver team. I have been a coach in Loudoun Soccer for the last 7 years, including three years as an All-Star coach in the 95G age group. I have a US Soccer D license and will be pursuing additional licensing/training as my scheduleallows. With the focus of the Silver team being player development I have successfully moved a number of players to teams playing in higher/faster divisions of play; from past All-Star teams and the Silver team there is one player on the Red team, there are seven on the Black team and nine on the White team. I understand there has been an enormous amount of frustration regarding all of the player movement in the past season and how that may impact the upcoming tryouts. I can safely say that there is no one more frustrated than I as the coach of the team most affected by the movement. It takes more than an eight week season to get a team of players to come together,understand their roles, and start to show success on the field. The White team experienced a lot of player movement, as well, due to players moving up, attrition and injuries resulting in a need for more players from the Silver team. As a result, new players joined the club in both White and Silver teams. As a coach it is rewarding to see players getting an opportunity to play in a travel setting and we have been fortunate enough to have wonderful kids join the program. So the big question…..player selection and team formation. It should benoted that player evaluation is completed by the age group coaches, and other club coaches as available, and it is that collective evaluation that is used for placement. For the upcoming tryouts what we do not know is how many players will be attending and how many players may leave the club.These two factors, players coming and going, will determine the number of players available from which the age group can create teams. The skill level of the body of players as a whole will determine to which team players will be selected, i.e., Red, Black, White or Silver team. In my opinion, the current teams as structured, for the most part, have the proper players given the relative pace of play in the teams’ divisions. Each player will be evaluated on individual players’ skills and abilities relative to the other players suited for a given team. I ask that all players stay relaxed and focused on their game as we go through the tryout process and work to make each team the best it can be as they represent Loudoun Soccer in their respective division of play.

For those that do not know me my coaching philosophy revolves around individual player development in the context of their team. I focus ongetting the girls to play soccer as a unit with each players’ skills defining their role on the team and in the game. Too many times I’m stillasked “what do you want me to do” or “I don’t know how to play there." Having players understand team offense/team defense in a given situation is my role as a coach. To that end, you will see very little player movement from position to position in a given game or given week. I start theseason with players in their comfort zone and as they master that position they will be moved to the next logical position relative to where they were playing. Some players move quickly while some players do not. There are cases where physical limitations may make certain positions harder for aplayer to master. They will get a chance to experience those roles on the field but likely will not find a home there. Chapters can be written on this topic so if anyone would like to discuss further please reach out.I will be at the remaining White team games so please do not hesitate to ask me any questions, voice any concerns and pass any comments. I lookforward to next season and wish each current player on both White and Silver the best of luck in their tryouts.

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