Taking a soccer player from someone with only a passion for the game to an amateur player to a star is no easy task. It involves various developmental facets, all of which must be present for the end result to be desirable.
Some of these aspects include a proper environment, having a role model and adequate top notch soccer training. The player must not only love the game but also learn how to live it through actions, diet, character and even emotions. This is where aspects such as discipline, teamwork, dieting and exercise must be enforced constantly until they turn into habit.
For effective player development to take place, the following conditions must be met;
•Consistency in training, guidance and environment.
•A proper framework which coaches and trainers can follow in developing the players and the team in general. This framework can be in form of training programs or guidelines.
•A coach who understands each player individually. Once each player’s strengths are enhanced and flaws reduced, the whole team improves.
•Flexibility in the development framework.
As soccer players become better in the game, new guidelines have to be used in developing them even further. This is usually done through programs designed for different ages of players.
The following aspects are very important when it comes to full soccer player development.
1. The coach
The coach has a responsibility of being the teacher, the role model, the leader and the guide. Throughout a player’s growth, the coach changes from encouraging and kind to disciplinarian and authoritative. Of course attributes such as experience and skill are also important.
2. Playing techniques and tactics
Starting out with basic playing techniques such as dribbling, passing, heading and receiving among others puts the player on the path to growth. More advanced techniques should be taught as the player improves. As for tactics, the players should continuously improve at performing excellently under pressure.
This is where aspects such as flexibility, speed, strength, agility and endurance come in. Things like speed and agility should be taught with and without the ball.
4. Psychological aspects
Young players should be taught to enjoy the game and create goals. For more experienced players things like mental discipline, creativity, respect, accountability and self confidence are a must.
At the end of a soccer player development program, the player should be someone who has a high respect for the game, is disciplined, thoroughly enjoys playing, is confident, has set future goals and most importantly, has the will to not just play but also win.