We have just launched our Club Philosophy and Curriculum. It is a first draft following workshops we have held at the club. I really do believe it will take the club forward as it has a stated vision of where the club is going and a mission of the actions and behaviours which will be required to make the vision real. All underpinned with values that are clearly defined by behaviours. The big message is that we will concentrate on individual player development. No matter the starting ability, can we make that player better? This is not just as a footballer but as a person first. Without doubt this will be challenging across a club with 280 players but we have set the bar high. I believe we have great people at the club and they will drive this forward.We really do want to create ‘a grassroots club like no other’ where the development of the individual player is at the heart of what we do.
In producing this philosophy, it really got me thinking about individual player development. This part is not in the document but just some thoughts how individual players may go about developing themselves.It is also a result of a few conversations I have had with some players recently. Firstly, has the player set a goal for himself? If you have set a goal then you need to take action to realise it. If not, you are just dreaming. Nice to do but won’t get you far. So that is the starting point. Set your goal and then maybe ask some of the following questions:
- What am I wiling to do extra that moves me towards my goal?
- Am I willing to do the work when others are relaxing/enjoying themselves?
- Am I willing to change my diet to give me more energy on the field?
- Am I investing in physical conditioning to make me stronger/faster?
- Will I do it on my own if others aren’t interested?
- Can I find a coach/mentor who will help me reach my goal?
- Am I pushing myself beyond my comfort zone?
- Am I working on the weaker parts of my game?
- How many hours/week am I putting in with deliberate practice to improve?
- Am I tracking my progress?
- Am I actively seeking feedback?
We prove what we desire by our actions not by our words. Maybe if every player looked to answer these questions in the positive then just think how much development would be achieved! I really want to challenge the players who want challenged. Some will not accept this challenge and that is absolutely fine. The ones who do, really need to ask themselves – What am I willing to do? Am I taking the steps above to accomplish my goal? How much do I want it?
Finally remember, a goal without a plan is just wishful thinking?
Footnote: Many Thanks to Mira Novak, SFA Club Coach Officer, for all the hard work in producing our Club document. In a short time, he has made a massive difference to our thinking.