Stand up for what is right: Player Development
What a lovely day for a match, especially after a week of poor weather conditions ensured that training was cancelled again… This meant that the girls entered this match without training fitness or conditioning. However that was not how they played… With 1 player short of the 9 needed, they all rallied to produce a fine display, even though looking jaded at times. Every player gave their all from Goalkeeper through to the Forwards.
They deserved every ounce of praise they received. Although, whereas we praised our team, the opposite manager ranted…
It is not my place to tell another Manager what the do, however I did take him to task when he started pointing out the deficiencies of our team. Shouting out to his team to push forward when our Goalkeeper was taking the goal kick because as he shouted, “the Goalkeeper doesn’t have a good kick” and “it won’t go that far”. I held back on any expletives… But I’m sure I’d have been forgiven if I had of… I mean that’s not the spirit of football development in youngsters, picking out faults.
This Goalkeeper is still developing and like all developing Goalkeepers, still learning. Let’s face it kicking a dead ball is a fine art, as you need to master kicking a stationary ball with power, distance, height and accuracy (see my blog post on dead ball kicking: http://wp.me/p27nBU-cQ). So of these 4 requirements even if they got 1 out of 4 it’s a start. This Goalkeeper often get’s 2 or 3 out of the 4 (not all the same) which is great, and certainly something to be praised, with areas to look at to improve on…
The ironic thing in this match is that after he shouted this out, she produced 3 of her best kicks in a row, which soon shut him up! However the point I am getting at and the point I am pushing here is that we should all (Managers/Coaches, Parents, Opposing Managers/Coaches and Opposing Parents) get behind our young players and encourage development, not pick on them, picking fault even in the opposing team. It’s not nice and for me it is almost like bullying.
So I ask you all to praise, when it is due, as this is more likely to help inspire than deriding and bullying. Thank you.