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Single Player Issue

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The following article was written by Antonio Saviano and featured in the Scuola Calcio Magazine.

I have been giving some thought about the "single player" issue on a soccer team, which leads me to wonder how many coaches find themselves in the same situation, having one good player on the team?.

I often notice, while I conduct a coaching symposium and when speaking with coaches, that I hear about how most teams have only one good player, or the teams have only one player who tries very hard compared to the other players, or the team has only one player with a good attitude.

One time, just out of curiosity I took this problem and asked a question of the parents. "Are there any 'special' players on this team"? The following information was interesting to me and I am sure it will be interesting to all of you also. I could speak with five or six different parents from the same team and in each case there is always one "special" player. And not very surprisingly to me, that "special" player is always the son or daughter of the parent.

While I believe it is a parent's right to think that their child is special, the fact is that coaches sometimes never stop hearing about how good their child is. This is not all, it can also go on to the next step which now is to hear that there are some players do not play the way they should, but are the coach's favorites. So I tell my self: "It is just not enough to speak well about their own children but also speak ill of other players".

Parents have to come to the realization that the team can not be successful unless two golden rules are mandatory on the team:

1. Parents support each other
2. Players support each other

On a related note, players have to participate on a team in which the two rules above are part of the team's spirit. To be a top soccer player, a player must make all of the other players around him or her feel supported and always give positive feedbacks. And what is true for the players goes for the parents as well as for the coach.

Players can use different ways to help their teammates become better soccer players, and coaches can develop players through a variety of training methods. But one of the first things that must be done by the coach is to educate parents on how important it is to encourage youth players and give them positive feedbacks.

While I agree that it is important to allow parents to approach the coach and ask questions concerning issues such as playing time, I am not so much into an agreement when the conversation turns direction and concerns the quality of different players on the team. Then it becomes unacceptable for me.


This draft was featured in the Scuola Calcio Magazine. To get more information please click here!

Scuola Calcio Coaching Magazine is aimed and dedicated to providing first class soccer information for instructors at all levels throughout the North America and the World.

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