Hardware & Software
Many of my parents who take the extra time to analyze the local soccer landscape or even study the game themselves often make some very interesting and intriguing comments and observations from time to time. One comment being over 18 months ago (early 2018) when one of my athlete Fathers said, “other environments in this Province Shawn are just an empty shell!” I knew what he meant immediately because my first thought was computers. They have the hardware but no internal software running the ship! This lead me my next thought of how Parents don’t peek into the details of whats really going on within the Clubs or Academies. What are the details, how is it ran, how does that team, club or system they plug players into develop players over a long period of time or are they guessing in the wind. When you look from afar, you might see an organized warm up, nice training gear, a perfect turf pitch and a respectful coach, potentially even with a worthy coaching badge! But, here is the clue. Look deep within - what is the software, the long term programming they are entering into the athlete’s brain. What are they “downloading” from a cognition perspective. Is it drills, lines and waiting around. Or is it situation based, global training, where the players are consistently touching the ball, making decisions in realistic soccer situations. From there, the coach is engaged, coaching the team but perhaps more importantly coaching each player in 1:1 references (coaching the player face to face, separate from the team)
Does the team get the opportunity to learn in various ways. In a classroom? Seeing game video and video editorials? Do they get to work with other specialists in the sports fields like: conditioning and weights, futsal, guest coaches, nutritionists, specialists in athletic rehab?
If the answer to many of these questions is no no no, and no…. ladies and gentlemen. You have yourself a…. Empty Shell. Nothing is inside!