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Results v Development as a Coach

26 Jan

The Total Soccer Show was interviewing the Boys’ U17 national team coach, John Hackworth, yesterday (as of this writing, the podcast is at the top of their home page), and the idea of results v development came up. And, while of course this is a not uncommon tension within coaching, it seemed a succinct and visual way (via the implied graph) to envision it. It also made me think about what that idea means to me, especially since I’m getting ready to take over a new team. I’ve roughed out a paragraph to be included in my team introduction / team information sheet here:

I imagine that few of you are playing solely to win, especially if winning comes at the expense of your playing time. That tension, results v development or winning v playing time, dictates many of my decisions as a coach. The easy answer is that results and developmentare weighed equally. The more complicated answer is that that weight will shift based on specific situations. For instance, if we are in a tight game (especially, say, after a few losses), the importance of results might out weigh the importance of development; we want that win because it’s important for the morale of the team. On the other hand, a player, say a non-starter, who is having a particularly good game might get more playing time than usual because that playing time is important for his development. In the end, know that I understand that you want to win and that you want to play. It is my job to determine which of these is more important and at any given time.

Let me know what you think. Too wordy? Are the examples necessary?

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