One of the amazing experiences related to youth soccer is concept of transformation. 

  1. Kids playing the game - the process of a child discovering the game and the concept of "play" 
  2. Kids learning the game -  "mastery" through quality instruction, repetition, and expanding their level of awareness
  3. Kids becoming soccer players - mastery of technique, decision making, creativity, intuition, competitive drive, desire, and ambition  .

This process is accomplished, at the highest levels, with professional instruction, detailed planning, and full consideration for the development of 1. The player, 2. The team.  It is with this in mind I want to share the "Chicas Coaching Insights": what, why, and how we make decisions about your child's development and team development.  Coaching decisions are NOT one dimensional, nor taken lightly.  A great deal of thought, planning, education, discussion, coordination, and facilitation goes into every decision we make as coaches.  Our players and teams are on a very specific path that has been laid out, tested, and proven with great success.  Each player and team has very specific needs, which also influence how programming is delivered, but the path remains the same, as do the following concepts that influence our coaching decisions.    

If you ever wanted to know the amount of time, energy, thought and consideration that goes into your child and your team...the following is for you. Welcome to the endless labor of love we call coaching.  The art and science of addressing the delicate balance of the "important" v. the "urgent". :)

Coaching Decisions are influenced by the following:

  • Develop Today - the "urgent""
    • For immediate success (but not at the expense of long term success)
    • Collectively
    • Using existing environments (training/games/events) for tests and challenges vital to continued growth and development of winning ways
  • Develop Tomorrow - the "important"
    • Exposure & Integration of future players
    • develop players that will have the skill sets to advance and play at the next level - opportunity on the college, national teams, or professional stage
  • Needs of individual players (playing up, crossover games, development needs, positional needs/development, adding layers to their personal development via games and training, how these decisions will impact our teams)
    • where is she in her development
    • what specifically does she need
    • are her needs best addressed in training, games, or both with her team, or additional environments (playing up, more games, more training, exposure with older players, etc.)
    • how is she developing the necessary skill sets to advance (technically, tactically, psychologically)
    • is she being challenged appropriately
    • is she learning and applying what she is learning
    • is she focused, fit, committed and ready to compete
    • does she need time and exposure in more or less challenging environments
    • does she need exposure to other positions
    • what environments are ideal for exposure to other positions that maximum her success 
    • Personality of player
    • Tendencies of player
    • Sophistication of player
    • Adaptation of player
    • Accountability of player
    • Performance of player
    • Mentality of player
  • Needs of the team (collective needs, player dynamics, game situation, tactics, individual performances)
    • player dynamics; which players have good synergy on the field based on position(s) and system of play
    • formation/system of play that best suits our skill sets, personality, and ability
    • player strengths, weaknesses and tendencies based on our system of play, style of play, etc.
    • **New rules and changes that will impact player placement next year
  • Develop the Team
    • System of Play
    • Style of Play
    • Positions
    • Dynamics
    • Mentality
    • Personality
    • Expectation
  • Needs of individual players in the club (playing up, crossover, development needs, etc)
    • younger players needing additional challenges with older and more experienced players
    • younger players needing additional challenges with older teams in more competitive environments
    • player movement consideration based on their level of play
    • **New rules and changes that will impact player placement next year 
  • Needs of each specific game - the plan, the intuition, the recognition/awareness of the situation, the improvisation, the decisions
    • what is the level of competition
    • what is the objective beyond winning/losing - development needs for our team (positional needs/development, tactical refinement/development, style of play, etc.
    • what do we need to develop or focus on at this point in the season
      • mentality
      • possession
      • attacking
      • defending
      • transition
      • tactics - the how, when, where, and why 
        • what is the meaning of the game, or situation (need to advance, league game with no implications, etc.)
        • what develops during the game that influences how the game is managed.
      • tactical adjustments based on opponent or situation of the game

Additional topics that are very important to facilitate this development model includes:

  • The concept of success - growth, discovery, and advancement. This does not always look like winning, but winning they are. 
  • Programs for specific age groups
  • Methodology for specific age groups
  • Calendar of programs for specific age groups
  • Competitive events (tournaments, leagues, exchanges, scrimmages)
  • Financial considerations

I hope this glimpse into Chicas Coaching provides you additional information about the lens we view the game and your child's short term and long term success.  Trust the process, trust your coaches, and know we have your child's best interest in mind at all times.  

Take it from me, if you focus on anything other than the pure joy of watching your child play, you lose the beauty of what it is, the transformation and ride of these amazing girls doing something magical and brave...they are putting themselves out there in pursuit of becoming their possibility as soccer players and people.     

Thank you for your support and trust.  We love your kids, we love this game and are 100% confident your child will realize her full potential if the path is followed. Enjoy the ride, soak up the limited time you have with your daughter, because in a blink of an eye we will be discussing her college placement, and then she is gone.    

Work. Love. Share.  We are the Chicas