James

James has been coaching for over 10 years. He started his career with the Liverpool FC Youth Academy and coached them to a FA Youth Cup Final. James has now joined DMS 11 in Southern California and is a freelance writer for AVID Soccer.

The Recruitment Game

Posted by James Comments Off
Jul 172011

Should I try and nurture my own players, or get a head start by recruiting better from elsewhere? An issue that many of us will have encountered at some stage.  A long term coaching plan is perhaps the purest form of development. However, I’d suggest that soccer at the highest and most successful level isn’t about ideals. Improvement and balance is the key. That is why the best coaches can teach from within and identify a special talent from outside.

Signing new players for a team always creates a certain buzz, whatever the age or competition.  My own recruitment rational is quite simple – to raise the quality of training sessions and provide a platform for a team to play good, winning soccer.  As a youth coach the ‘dream’ is then to see one or two individuals really prosper and reach exciting new heights.

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Player Evaluation

Continuity is also vital. Too much recruitment can create a negative effect on Team spirit and Club structure. An over reliance on scouting for new players can be harming for longer term Development.  Especially when you consider that recruitment is often fueled by quick fix finance. It could be argued that a good field coach will work productively for years, a wealthy sponsor may of course not.

I certainly feel that I can help improve players by training them. The reality is that I don’t get enough time with my team. I have a clear desire to work with players who will bring dedication and enthusiasm to each practice session. Strong Focus and Attitude are hugely important for potential squad additions.  I also mark pace as a high priority, therefore highlighting my belief that mental and physical attributes are both essential in successful recruitment.

Ultimately the soccer field remains my office. I do however find myself spending more time writing emails and making phone calls – I guess the modern day coach cannot work in isolation. The game is big business, Clubs budgets are tighter than ever, many teams are going into administration. I’ve also witnessed coaches losing their jobs as a result of failed transfer signings. Others have made millions, won trophies and become heroes. That’s the harsh reality of the best sport in the World.

I know I’ll keep working hard and setting my standards high. I’m a firm believer in improvement, not enlargement when it comes to recruitment.  Especially when it ignites healthy competition for starting places. I won’t forget my real passion though… Being out on the pitch coaching aspiring soccer players.

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