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View Full Version : So - which is more important


06-21-2007, 09:04 AM
My experience is that player loyalty to a coach and teammates far exceeds any loyalty to a club. Most of the kids that I have coached are not too concerned about which club they play for. It is pretty far down the list.

Which is a more important factor for developing a strong team, the Club or the Coach?

Should you choose a Club or a Coach?

Do the Clubs like the Stars and Bolts have better coaches or do those Clubs do somethng that other Clubd can not or will not do?

Are the coaches at the Bolt and Stars really that much better than at all of the rest?

06-21-2007, 09:11 AM
What age are you talking about? I think it depends to some degree on the age of the player.

Cujo
06-21-2007, 09:18 AM
My experience is that player loyalty to a coach and teammates far exceeds any loyalty to a club. Most of the kids that I have coached are not too concerned about which club they play for. It is pretty far down the list.

Which is a more important factor for developing a strong team, the Club or the Coach?

Should you choose a Club or a Coach?

Do the Clubs like the Stars and Bolts have better coaches or do those Clubs do somethng that other Clubd can not or will not do?

Are the coaches at the Bolt and Stars really that much better than at all of the rest?

I was formerly affiliated as a coach with a moderately large club (i.e 14 teams alias Boston Electrical Discharge). Aside from the additional $600 per player above what it really costs to field a team in MAPLE - the club did very little for the teams. We were allegedly supposed to have access to a large universities athletic fields for practice and games. We got one game and a practice here or there. We were supposed to have goalkeeper training. We did but it was sporadic at best. As a coach I still had significant administrative burdens that took focus away from training (collecting dues - ordering uniforms etc) That was about it. We took our team and founded our own club. We saved the players alot of money and we didn't have to sit through 3 hour board meetings listen to the DOC whine about money for 2 of 3 hours. Therefore I think the only time a club's benefits exceeds the benefit of the teams dedicated training staff is how much they offer in terms of training outside of the immediate team. As for facilities? A flat grassy surface is a flat grassy surface and the goals are still the same size. The only impact the club ever had was when the girls DOC approached us (the coaching staff) at halftime and told us he was taking over the team for the second half because he didn't like the way we were handling substitutions. He turned a 2-0 lead vs undefeated Central Mass. into a 4-3 deficit. It was after that game that we decided to leave - 12 of 16 players came with us. FYI - withouth the "help" of the DOC we beat CM later that year at Nashua 1-0. I know that the situation is different with other clubs and that many do offer value added training but even in those situations the primary and most valuable relationships are within the team itself.

06-21-2007, 09:20 AM
What age are you talking about? I think it depends to some degree on the age of the player.

The Bolts and the Stars do well at all ages.

Good question - Are these Clubs better or do they have better Coaches?

Cujo
06-21-2007, 09:37 AM
What age are you talking about? I think it depends to some degree on the age of the player.

The Bolts and the Stars do well at all ages.

Good question - Are these Clubs better or do they have better Coaches?

Good club Good coach is obviously the ideal
Bad club Good coach is fine as long as bad is more mediocre than dysfunctional
Good club bad coach is worth avoiding

Red99
06-21-2007, 10:20 AM
I agree with Cujo (yikes)!

Also I am curious as to opinions about the benefits of having same coach all the way up the ladder from U-12 through U-17, for example, vs. having the opportunity to have different coaches every 1-2 years or so. I know there are some benefits to the team/coach continuity (especially for winning games, probably) but I can't help feel that mixing it up is better for the player in the long run?

Does it make a difference if the club has a philosophy that it encourages across the board? I know this an issue that's been discussed before but I wouldn't mind a refresher course. :)

06-21-2007, 11:07 AM
If you say the Coach is the important most factor, then the most winning clubs must have the best coaches. If the most winning clubs, are so because they do something different, what is it?? And, why don't other clubs do the same?

06-21-2007, 11:11 AM
Esp at the younger ages, the teams/clubs that win have the strongest players but not necessarily the best coaches. There's a difference between winning and developing. FSM where are you?

06-21-2007, 12:43 PM
The elite clubs do have a couple of things going for them.

1. If your goal is to get your players exposure to college coaches outside the local area, then the top clubs have an easier time getting into the top tournaments.
Of course, this takes years of good performances and costs lots and lots of parents $$$ for fees, travel, etc.

2. The top teams attract players from a wider geographical area.
Practicing and playing with better players makes your child a better player.

3. As the clubs get bigger, they will have access to the better facilities.
Money talks.

Cujo, what you did for your particular group was the right thing at the time. However, in today's environment, for the top players in an age group, they are probably best off with one of the top three clubs.
The rich get richer.

Cujo
06-21-2007, 12:52 PM
The elite clubs do have a couple of things going for them.

1. If your goal is to get your players exposure to college coaches outside the local area, then the top clubs have an easier time getting into the top tournaments.
Of course, this takes years of good performances and costs lots and lots of parents $$$ for fees, travel, etc.

2. The top teams attract players from a wider geographical area.
Practicing and playing with better players makes your child a better player.

3. As the clubs get bigger, they will have access to the better facilities.
Money talks.

Cujo, what you did for your particular group was the right thing at the time. However, in today's environment, for the top players in an age group, they are probably best off with one of the top three clubs.
The rich get richer.

Several Points -

1) at age U16 and above absolutely you are right. At u11 to u14 not yet too important. Also depends what your players goals are. D1? absolutely!, d2 or d3 not as important.
2) usually but not always true. I have seen several highly technically skilled players who lack the ability to involve lesser skilled players around them meaningfully.
3) again usually true, but this is important only if other conditions are met

06-21-2007, 01:32 PM
I think the point of the post was more basic. We have a couple of clubs that are clearly doing "better" than the rest, at least at the State Cup level. What makes this true, is it something the club does or is it the coaches.

For example -- in fewer words -- do the Stars have better coaches than 95% of all other clubs in MAPLE or does the club do something different?

Cujo
06-21-2007, 01:37 PM
I think the point of the post was more basic. We have a couple of clubs that are clearly doing "better" than the rest, at least at the State Cup level. What makes this true, is it something the club does or is it the coaches.

For example -- in fewer words -- do the Stars have better coaches than 95% of all other clubs in MAPLE or does the club do something different?

I think the club's reputation and level of competition draws the best players. The club scene right now is 75% recruitment 25% development. I am not saying that is good or bad - it is just the way it is.

FSM
06-21-2007, 01:43 PM
If you say the Coach is the important most factor, then the most winning clubs must have the best coaches. If the most winning clubs, are so because they do something different, what is it?? And, why don't other clubs do the same?

Esp at the younger ages, the teams/clubs that win have the strongest players but not necessarily the best coaches. There's a difference between winning and developing. FSM where are you?

Here I am. And I agree with you A#2. You can not judge coaching by wins and losses particularly in the younger age groups.

2. The top teams attract players from a wider geographical area. Practicing and playing with better players makes your child a better player.

From my own personal experience I can say that is not necessarily true for the younger age groups. At the younger ages it's all about learning individual technique, so who their teammates are isn't as important as how they are being coached. Often times "top teams" consist of top athletes, but not yet top soccer players as they are just beginning that process. A lot of people get confused by this and think because a team is winning it must be because the club knows what they are doing in terms of training. They may know how to identify the top athletes, but that doesn't mean they know what to do with them once they join their program. Unless those teams are getting the proper technical training, and many are not, then when all is said and done, you still have a team of top athletes, but not top soccer players. Athleticism is only going to take a player so far. Once puberty sets in, a player better have the tools to play soccer or they will be left behind. The big problem is that a lot of parents don't figure this out until its too late to make up for lost time. I learned by sacrificing my first born.

06-21-2007, 02:16 PM
[quote="FSM"] At the younger ages it's all about learning individual technique, so who their teammates are isn't as important as how they are being coached. Often times "top teams" consist of top athletes, but not yet top soccer players as they are just beginning that process. A lot of people get confused by this and think because a team is winning it must be because the club knows what they are doing in terms of training. They may know how to identify the top athletes, but that doesn't mean they know what to do with them once they join their program. quote]

If you were on any sideline in Lancaster on Sunday, you would know how rare this is. I was walking by a field after a game had just ended, and the parents were jumoing up & down and chanting "State Cup Champions" shortly before forming a conga line for the players to run through. This was not an older age group, and it was actually pretty embarrasing.

MASC
06-22-2007, 09:50 AM
Joe Paterno about celebration after touchdowns:

Act like you've done it before.

Do we have too many parents living out their dreams through their children's play?

A youth championship is just that. It has no real worth for the players despite all the ranting here and elsewhere.

Youth sport is a business and national championships are the most visible way to market the busness. These championships translate into significant money for the adults (organizations) involved.

Soccer Fan
06-22-2007, 12:27 PM
If you say the Coach is the important most factor, then the most winning clubs must have the best coaches. If the most winning clubs, are so because they do something different, what is it?? And, why don't other clubs do the same?

That would be true if you agree that the "best" coach's win the most. I don't believe that they do. A coach doing the right thing for player developement may very well not have the best winning record. Some coach's have winning records but are not doing the best thing for their players

As a Penn State Graduate I'd like to thank MASC for the Joe Pa reference :)