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    The Method, Vol. 4: How To Get The Best Out of Young Players (ft. Rob Gale & Jimmy Brennan)

    The following story is from the files of OneSoccer in an ongoing series “The Method” by Oliver Platt from November 7, 2020.

    It’s something that we as coaches in all of our programs have all faced especially at the post-secondary level: How do we get the most out of young players, to bring the most out of their talents and abilities.

    Challenges on the field:

    A higher level with a greater speed of thought and play; Not playing as much as they are used to when in the past they were the “go to” player or one of them in their team; Being forced to play different positions, or forced to take up different roles; A lack of understanding in the transition from youth soccer to Senior soccer at a post-secondary level.

    Challenges off the field:

    Pressures to succeed at school; A different school culture; A new reality of being a number and not being the center of attention the way that they were in high school; Being away from home a great deal of time for the first time ever; New city, new school, new province, new country, new life, having to manage everyday life that in a lot of cases their parents or guardians managed; The social pressures of trying to figure out who they are all while playing for someone that is asking them to do things on the field that a coach has not rarely asked them for before.

    How do you deal with it as a coach, as a program, as a person?

    How do you manage it?

    How do you help your athletes begin to understand the rigors of being a student athlete, much less an elite student athlete?

    This is a subject that we will tackle at a future date with coaches across the country at various institutions at both the USport and CCAA levels.

    But for now, let’s take a look with Oliver Platt from OneSoccer at how two of CANPL’s coaches attempt to tackle the challenge of the young player. The full story can be found at:

    It is now 12 games without a goal for Jonathan David.

    The young Canadian’s difficult to start to life at Lille has been a reminder of just how hazardous the path can be for young players fighting their way to the top of the global game.

    Development is rarely linear. There are usually plenty of ups and downs, as David has experienced to an extreme degree over the past 18 months.

    The challenge for coaches like Lille’s Christophe Galtier is managing the long-term progress and wellbeing of prospects like David while also dealing with the short-term pressure of winning matches.

    To understand more about that dynamic and the skills required to handle up-and-coming talent, we turned to two of the best in the Canadian Premier League.

    Valour coach Rob Gale worked with Canadian youth national teams for nearly a decade, helping many of the players now in the senior setup through their teenage years.

    York9 boss Jimmy Brennan made it in England himself before returning to Canada to coach and uncovering rough diamonds such as Emilio Estevez and Diyaeddine Abzi.

    In Volume 4 of The Method, Gale and Brennan walked us through their approach to getting the best out of young players.

    Step 1: Set out a clear development plan

    Image courtesy of OneSoccer:

    Step 2: Know the person, not just the player

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    Image courtesy of OneSoccer:

    Step 3: Draw out their personality

    Image courtesy of OneSoccer:

    Step 4: Communicate your decisions

    OS_THE METHOD_VOL4_Jimmy Brennan_1920x1080
    Image courtesy of OneSoccer:

    Step 5: Remind them they’re at work

    Image courtesy of OneSoccer:

    For the full story, please go to the OneSoccer website at the following link:

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