I wish coaches took into consideration when working with young players, that they may hear this one day. Maybe it will stop the win at all costs mentality. Maybe it will prompt the unconscious incompetent coaches to pursue some coaching education.
I coach the Men’s club team at the University of Florida. Every year we have between 100 and 150 new players tryout for the team. The come from all over the country and they have all played at various levels. Some have represented their states with the Olympic Development Program, some have played in region leagues with premier teams, and some have transferred from collegiate programs. It is a time of the year that brings great joy to a few and disappointment to many. The slate is clean and some returning players are let go every season.
Some players recognize the level and accept that they are not ready, others ask to be considered for joining the squad in training, some tryout again in the spring. I appreciate the passion these players have. Some have a genuine love of the game, but they have not been taught anything. I wish the coaches of these players could see the looks on the faces when I have to let them go.
The most difficult thing is having to tell a kid that he is not good enough. These kids are usually so respectful and hungry, but they lack game intelligence and technical proficiency. There are two very important ingredients I look for in players. The players are all very athletic. It is obvious that they have relied very heavily on this and not the ability to play.
I know that I cannot blame all the coaches. I know better, because I deal with parents for a living as a Director of Coaching. They can be their kids biggest hindrance, as they are always seeking the winning teams, a place where their child can play the position they think is acceptable, or an acceptable amount of playing time. Some very good coaches never have a chance to work with players long enough to have an impact….to produce the final product.