The most asked question by a parent, friend or family member after a game of any kind is “did you win?” The most common answer from a coach when asked how your team did is, “we won/lost”.
The emphasis on winning from such a young age creates a culture in an athlete that winning is everything, which in turn cultivates a mindset of, if you’re not winning, you’re not developing.
This message has been tagged as the biggest reason players drop out of sport at the age of 12 to 13 years old. Players feel so pressured to win that they leave sport altogether and typically play/do an activity that isn’t results based or judged.
How do we change this? How do we separate the attachment of winning means development, winning means success or winning makes my parents feel proud of me?
Change the way we think, our focus. Have the same message we apply in life, to sports.
Focus on development, work hard at it and the successes will follow shortly thereafter.
We work hard on our education for 16 years before going into the big wide world. Over those 16 years we have wins and losses but highlights and accomplishments too. We focus on small parts of subjects each year, so we can then face tougher challenges the following year and then by the time we have the most important challenges of our academic life, exams, we are ready to face them and succeed.
The same model can and should be applied to youth sports and that’s what makes us different at Fusion. Success is a byproduct of development. Like in school, we all have our natural strengths or abilities in sport, they get us so far, but hard work and focusing on progression in small steps, is what will provide success at older ages. Continuing to focus on developing, educating and building character is what will provide us long term, consistent success. Furthermore, ensuring players understand a skill, concept or tactic, will provide repetitive success and consist performance.
At Fusion we have so many tremendous players with an abundance of talent, therefore we focus on nurturing that talent over time, giving players a different focus and asking parents to support that message.
The game of soccer is changing. Elite programs such as US Club Soccer, Player Development Program and many colleges across the nation, first look for the technical ability of a player and the decisions they make on the ball, a big difference from the past when athletic ability and strength, trumped such skill. The game is changing and the mindset of the players and parents has to change with it. We at Fusion have already made that change and the success it is bringing the club is enough justification for us to accept change is right.
What makes Fusion SC different; development and the outcome of that…. Success!