This is a quick response to a player, jo_mclain, who commented on the article: Excuses.
Do you think … these many unprepared coaches in all levels, compared to brazil, argentina, spain can get us to world class consistency and possibly to a world cup final in the near future? Why do many top coaches in america think they have it down becuase they win some trophys in america or impact a little and get complacent and never produce a real madrid, man u superstar or just a national team that works? i know theres potential in the u.s. but these excuse infested coachs and all around soccer cummunity still have ways to go. What can i do as an american player today?
What can i do as an american player today …
One of the reasons we started this blog (and many other projects to come), is because we are deeply saddened and frustrated for the players in this country. Over the years, we’ve seen many ballers with world class potential left behind because of the flawed system. But as hard as it may be, you should never let that discourage you! Here are some things I suggest:
1) Play because you absolutely love it!
2) Have the ball on your feet every single day. Going to training 2 times a week + a game on the weekend is not enough – NOT EVEN CLOSE.
3) Keep looking around for a better coach. This is a tough one, but we’ll soon write articles on what to look for.
4) Try to find “pick-up” games in your neighborhood if possible. Here is where you can experiment as much as you’d like with your play. Your technical skills develop “on the street”, not with your team.
… and a great way to develop your “Soccer IQ” (especially if you have a donkey coach) is
5) Watch tons and tons of professional games from the best leagues (Spanish, Italian, English, and of course Champions League)! The best team to learn from is without a doubt Barcelona. DO NOT JUST BALL WATCH! Spotlight the movements of all other players without the ball. Record the games, go over things in slow motion and study what’s going on.
As far as your other questions are concerned …
US consistency & world cup final …
The US is a long ways away from achieving “world class consistency or a world cup final”. There are loads of reasons why. The issues range from $$$ to just plain old ignorance on the part of management, coaches, players, parents, fans, and journalists/pundits.
Top coaches who win trophies …
Your observation on “top coaches who never produce a superstar or a great national team” is an interesting one and deserves 100 pages of dedication to answer … stay tuned. For now, I’ll give you a quick-fire response.
So first off, who are these “top coaches”. Like so called “elite players” in this country, they usually get that title by their resume. This can be very misleading as it usually does not mean they have a clue about the game. Here are a couple things to consider:
Director of coaches at many of the powerful clubs are considered “top coaches”. Getting that job typically has more to do with political maneuvering and personal network than real soccer merit. The same goes for Division I college coaches. The MLS & National Team I will reserve my judgement – for now – as I am not as well connected there, but I suspect the same.
It’s not as difficult to win trophies when you are at a powerful club where the best players migrate to and more resources are at your disposal. The same applies to those college coaches at a school known to have a winning program. They usually are able to recruit “the best”.
Forgive me, but the bottom line is we have morons being labeled as “top coaches”. Nobody knows any better because we’re still learning about the sport and are not capable of identifying what’s what.
What do you guys think?