This article was written by Pablo Toledo, Rush Soccer’s Sporting Project Director.
We have spoken about this before, clubs almost always declare that their goal is to develop players. Now, in my experience, that doesn’t normally make it far from beautiful words and sentences full of coaching education cliches. Maybe I’m pessimistic and/or overcritical. Moreover, I think most of the time clubs and coaches can’t even express in pragmatic terms and actions how a club would specifically behave and operate in certain areas if that is the true objective pursued (I must be pessimistic…).
We, the Rush, do know, and that’s a statement we can stand behind. Our Rush Way Player First, Team Second philosophy is one of those areas that specifically guides the way we operate towards prioritizing in player development. Read below:
PLAYER FIRST, TEAM SECOND
Similar to the European youth club structure, Rush encourages the player to be first before his or her individual team. For example, we encourage:
- The player to play with the adult team before his own team’s game.
- The player to train with older, experienced teams in place of his own teams.
- The player to guest play with an older team in place of their own game.
- The player to attend national team events, college showcases, international tours, select events.
This enables players to be comfortable playing on teams that are in line with their ability regardless of age but based on performance in training and game days. Players are encouraged to train with higher level teams to accelerate their development.
– “But Pablo, don’t take away my best player, we are fighting for the league”.
– I don’t care.
Have you ever self reflected on how you and your club would operate in the following areas if the objective and the priority is truly to develop players? I think you’ll find the following graph interesting. Enjoy.