Christian Lavers, the President of the ECNL, weighs in on player development in an interesting article,”The Courage to be Patient.”
He addresses the difficulties and the value of implementing a long-term player development strategy in each club and throughout our youth system.
None of his prescriptions are simple; many require smart, knowledgeable thoughtful coaches who have the time to devote to study and planning as well as implementation. They all require maturity and leadership.
Each of his ideas need to be unpacked, studied, and debated as we improve our developmental system in the U.S.
Here’s just one quote,
“It is very difficult to:
- Create a solid developmental plan based on study, research, and experience,
- Continually assess its impact and adjust it accordingly without abandoning fundamental principles, and
- All the while resisting continual pressure from the critics that inevitably arise when immediate (or even short-term) glory isn’t immediately captured.
The individuals that can do all these things over the long-term – that truly have “the courage to be patient” – are rare.
Those that are around now need to be identified and empowered, and those that have this potential for the future need to be mentored and supported. Each additional coach with this courage will slowly close the gap between American potential and reality – and will help elevate the quality of soccer eventually at every level.”
The entire article, published at Soccer Nation, is worth a read. You can find the article here.