The Importance of Perserverance

Here at  Washington Youth Soccer, we work every day to create the most qualified coaches in the nation. In 2011, we certified 1,000 plus coaches through our Coaching Education program.

In Coaching Education there are various levels of licensing that coaches can achieve. Beginning with an E Certificate, coaches can proceed up the Coaching Education Pyramid through the National A License. Coaching Education courses provide a crucial foundation of knowledge to ensure that youth players across the nation have qualified coaches and the pursuit of a higher coaching license (C-A) demands long hours of classroom lectures and field sessions, mental focus and preparation, and additionally physical commitment.

Over the past 18 months, Washington has hosted 3 National C Licenses courses, a notable task for a state organization. Given our involvement in the Coaching Education program, US Soccer approached our state to host a National C License Re-Test Course.

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Are Great Soccer Players Born? Part 3

In this three-part series started on Thursday, Oct. 27th in the post “Are Great Soccer Players Born,” we have been discussing the idea that great players are not, in fact, “born that way,” but come from a combination of elements that allow proper development.

We have been exploring the five key ingredients that assist in developing great soccer players, which include:
1) A developed and intense love of the game
2) A burning desire and obsession to improve
3) Appropriate practice
4) Appropriate coaching / mentorship
5) Imagination, self belief / confidence

In my last two posts, I covered the details of the first four elements.  Today we will discuss Imagination, self belief / confidence.

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Are Great Soccer Players Born? Part 2

In my last post, we examined the question “are great soccer players just born that way?”

As established in that post, I believe that greatness comes from a combination of 5 key elements within each individual player.   As Daniel Coyle (author of “The Talent Code”) states “Greatness isn’t born it’s grown.”

The Key Ingredients that assist in developing great soccer players are:
1) A developed and intense love of the game
2) A burning desire and obsession to improve
3) Appropriate practice
4) Appropriate coaching / mentorship
5) Imagination, self belief / confidence

On Thursday, I discussed the details (and ways to foster) a developed and intense love of the game  and a burning desire and obsession to improve.  Today we will tackle appropriate practice and appropriate coaching/mentorship.

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Are Great Soccer Players Born?

Are great soccer players just born that way?

People commonly ask me the secret behind becoming a great soccer player. Many even ask if players are “just born that way”.

After reading Daniel Coyle’s “The Talent Code”, I found many great insights that are applicable to that very question.  Since this is a commonly debated topic, I wanted to  examine the discussion here.

In the book Coyle highlights many great points. One of my personal favorites being: “Greatness isn’t born it’s grown.”

So, I ask you:

Are great soccer players born with “natural talent”?

In my opinion, the answer to this question is No. While the right genetics do have an impact, there is much scientific evidence that confirms brilliance or talent is the result of some key ingredients and training environments. I believe, there are 5 major elements necessary to develop talent.  Over the course of this week, I will do a series of posts that addresses each of these elements in detail and explains what we can do as coaches and parents to foster these characteristics.
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Welcome to Growing the Game

Welcome to Growing the Game, our new Technical Department blog at Washington Youth Soccer.

Through WA Youth Soccer, we have a unique opportunity – our mission is to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of the State of Washington’s youth through the sport of soccer.  We are focused on player development, and therefore, we get to look beyond the short term goal of winning one game, and focus on the long term goal of using soccer as the mechanism to develop well-rounded children in our state.  To provide players with soccer opportunities that will enrich their lives physically, emotionally and mentally, for years after they step off the field.  This is the essence of our Long Term Player Development plan, which we refer to daily to guide our programs and education.

But, to grow this player centric philosophy of soccer, we all need to work in concert, ensuring all of our leaders (you!) stay well-informed and are implementing the most modern initiatives and developments of the game in every corner of our state.
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