The Soccer Coaching Podcast

Episode 4 – Why it’s not `Winning v’s Development`

todayFebruary 20, 2019

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    Episode 4 - Why it’s not `Winning v's Development` #HeliumRadio

So why is it not about `winning v’s development`….?

Football (soccer) is a sport.

And sport is by definition: “an activity involving physical exertion and skill in which an individual or team competes against another or others for entertainment.”

Compete: “strive to win something by defeating or establishing superiority over others.”

This means that `wining` (and losing) are intrinsically built into sport and therefore are built in to football (soccer)…you can’t remove it or chose whether or not to have it! It’s not and it can’t be NON-COMPETITIVE! It’s a sport! 

It can be child/player centred competition!

If we can accept that ‘wining` is part of the game, then we can stop the debate on if `wining` (especially at the foundation and developmental phase) is a good or bad thing. It’s neither, its simply part of the sport, just like the ball or the goals!


So if it’s not a question of winning v’s development, what is the real question…

All sports need a way to measure the success of the game, so in turn will conclude with a `Result`. 

Therefore the real question for us to ask ourselves is `how important is the `result` over player/team development`. This is because, often making choices that better enhance our chances of improving the result of the game will impact on developmental (and learning) opportunities of the players. This is because the two can often be mutually exclusive.


`Result v Development`

This means there are essentially two approaches we could choose to adopt when coaching players. One is `Results focused` or `Short-term’ and the other is `Development focused` or `Long-term’


What’s the difference between the two approaches;


RESULTS FOCUSED (short term)

·         The result of the match is the priority

·         Training is focused on how to achieve the best result

·         Players only/often play in their `strongest` position and are played to their strengths

·         The team plays rigid formations with limited decision making

·         The coach gives the players lots of instructions during the game – Don’t, Do, Must, Never, Always

·         Players are not encouraged to try things and mistakes are criticised

·         Coach leads all team talks and tells the players what they must and must not do

·         The Result is the measure of success

·         Players are selected first on their physical strengths

·         Players are told what they must do and how to do it




·         The players learning is the priority

·         Matches are there to support the training

·         Players rotate and play all positions (when the game allows)

·         The team plays formations that challenge the players to make more decisions

·         The coach provides guidance and asks the players questions at appropriate times during the game

·         Creativity and independent decision making is encouraged even if mistakes are made

·         Coach encourages the players to lead team talks and share ideas about how they are playing and possible changes

·         The players progress (individually and collectively) is the measure of success

·         Playe

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