Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why the older youth coaches refuse to mentor the younger youth coaches

Ahhhh...fresh out of college, can't find a job, don't feel like or tired of working in a restaurant, where do you go to make a supplemental income? Coaching youth soccer. But, who is there to help you to get a youth coaching job? Your parents who told you how much you didn't do well in some of your youth soccer games growing up? No. Your former club? "Oh, no we only hire coaches worse than the Director". A former high school teammate who is now working with one of the top clubs in your area? No. Well, what about your former youth club coach? Absolutely not.

So, who do you turn too?

Everyone wants the opportunity to work with a high budget soccer club in their area and to earn $7,000 a season coaching youth soccer. But, unless you know less about soccer than the coach who brought you in, you can forget a career in youth soccer.

There has been many coaches who have been involved with youth soccer in America for 30-40 years with no intentions in leaving the sport as parents continue to dump thousands and thousands of dollars into their pockets every year. Are these veterans the best coaches for youth soccer in America? Questionable, but one thing is for sure, these coaches have found a way to make money from parents who produce generation after generation of youth soccer players in their communities, without any intention in teaching the younger coaches how to reach their business/coaching heights.

Most youth soccer coaches tend to follow the money no matter where it is even if that means leaving the Washington, DC area and moving to Seattle, Washington where there now seems to be an abundance of soccer supporters (Seattle Sounders's attendance was the highest in Major League Soccer @ 38,000 people) and tons of Director of Coaching opportunities available at high budget clubs. Many of these coaches who move from one state to the other, aren't interested in developing players, a club, or a community. As a young coach, I would love to learn various styles of soccer, however, everytime I reach out to a coach in my area he refuses to help for fear of me being better than him, the kids and parents liking me more, and taking business away from him. I have always believed that no matter what business or circle you are in, you must not be the smartest person because how else are you going to get better especially if the competition no longer meets your level of performance?

As North Americans we are probably considered the most open citizens in the world to various cultures, ethnicity, and beliefs, but when it comes to the youth soccer coaching business, no one seems to be open enough to help not even the State's Technical Directors, because they too feel threatened by one's youthfulness, knowledge, and different point of view. Young coaches in clubs with Directors of Coaching aren't helped neither, because in most clubs that are portrayed as high level, the DOCs tend to hold USSF "E" and "D" licenses. Due to their low licensing "status" they too feel threatened. When you ask these coaches what they are doing to improve their teams speed, agility, or technical skills, most will tell you "I don't want to give away my secrets [because I don't trust you]". Growing up playing youth soccer I always thought that every coached helped one another, but now as a Director of a club that I founded, I totally see that isn't the case. So, then who do you turn too? Coaches from other countries, LIVING in their countries! Off to Costa Rica to LEARN. 

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