GAME 1: WANT YOUR PLAYER TO DEVELOP? LET HIM FAIL!
Last weekend my Nomads U17 DA team had first game this season and we played against LA Galaxy - one of the top Academies in the country. We were up 1:0 till 79th minute, then they tied! Three minutes to the end we had great opportunity to make it 2:1 but missed, and we lost the game in extra time on penalty kick... Heartbreaking! Sucks!! Last minute of the game!!

Two days after the game, at video analysis of the game I told boys few things:

- last minute PK was fair and in general WE NEVER DISCUSS REFEREE (I already heard some talks about it so I needed to stop it immediately!). If we blame referee then we think that it is not our fault and therefore we do not need to improve!

- we lost, so this is NOT a good result (again, I heard some excitement about losing to Galaxy on last minute PK). Soccer is not figure skating so we don't get points for good performance - we got ZERO points, period! If we think it is a good result we will not progress.

- there were a lot of positive moments on which we need to build on but there were a lot of things we will need to fix, so let's learn from our good and bad!
Then we watched video. We all knew that Galaxy dominated possession and that we defended extremely well and except first 10min when we gave them several opportunities to score (we were nervous) they didn't really have many chances by our goals. Our biggest problem was that under high pressure we could not keep the ball for significant time so we relied on counter attacks. We decided that we will work more on how to possess the ball under high pressure.
What video has also shown is that the biggest mistake we committed was at the very end of the game. Instead of trying to keep the ball, calm down the tempo and make opponent to work hard to get the ball back, we decided to attack with insufficient numbers and gave out the ball too simple several times - and finally got punished!
This is definitely my (head coach) failure - I should have tell the boys to calm down and run the time. No reason to try to score from long distance when we just can keep the ball and let them and time run!!
Also Galaxy changed their game in second half by making one fullback playing as center mid and I reacted to it too late!

I think from that video we all learned a lot!! We are working now on how to keep the ball more efficiently under high and organized pressure(back to basics of possession soccer which I already forgot about!), talked about controlling last minutes of the game and I'm sure we are now better prepared for next game (which is another MLS club - Real Salt Lake - and we are again playing away!)

This is what experience is about - to learn from successes and ESPECIALLY FROM FAILURES!!
Thinking about it this week, it came to my mind that very often as a coach I see players and especially parents refuse to acknowledge any possibility of failure or fight!! As soon as their kid doesn't start or doesn't play significant amount of time all the talks start and go one direction:
- coach has favorite players,
- coach doesn't like my son,
- probably the other parent talked the coach into playing his son over my

AND NEXT ACTION IS... LOOKING FOR ANOTHER CLUB/TEAM!!

Nobody (including the player) even thinks about the first (and one would think most obvious) possibility - at this moment coach simply thinks that the other player is better at this position!! That's it!!
If this possibility comes to one's mind then outcome should be also very simple - if I work hard and show coach that I'm better then I will play more and start!! With such productive approach player works hard and talking to coach comes as "coach, what do you think I should improve at first of all?"

But if in one's brain it is unfair call by the coach then there is nothing one can do to fix this!! Except talking to coach with hope to "convince him to make the right choice" or just simply look for another club/team!!

THIS IS EXACTLY WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT: IF YOU WANT YOUR PLAYER TO DEVELOP - LET HIM/HER FAIL! LET HIM/HER TO REALIZE THAT, LEARN FROM THAT AND FIGHT BACK!!!
LOOKING FOR NEW PLACE TO ME IS A LACK OF WINNING MENTALITY, GIVING UP AND LOOKING FOR EASIER PATH! IT IS A LOSING MENTALITY AND IN A LONG TERM IT WILL TAKE YOU NOWHERE!

Of course there are exceptions, BUT THERE ARE VERY FEW REAL EXCEPTIONS AND ONE SHOULD EVALUATE HIS/HER CASE CAREFULLY TO COME TO THAT CONCLUSION!

P.S. Note, I'm not talking about the situation when player simply doesn't enjoy team/coach etc - this is completely different story!!


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