The either/or syndrome. The progress of a team as a whole, as well as individual growth, can be measured in two ways: Results and Performance. It is not uncommon to have a great performance but not get a result, and likewise, a result can sometimes be achieved without a good performance. Ultimate, achieve both simultaneously are the goal however by prioritizing performance, more games will be won than lost vs. prioritizing results. When neither are present massive discontent will ensue as we've recently experienced with the US Men's National Team failing to qualify for the 2018 World Cup.
There seems to be a common belief that neither can be achieved simultaneously in the youth leagues, especially in North Texas Soccer. In other words, to play a skillful, intelligent, attractive, possession-oriented attacking style of football, one must sacrifice winning.
Often in the youth game, we see teams playing a direct style of football by leveraging athleticism and capitalizing on opponents mistake. It doesn't take much skill, talent or intelligence to loft the ball up the field, chase it down than forcing errors on the opposing players by applying high pressure and overpowering them physically. Generally, this tends to produce results in the short term especially at younger ages because players haven't developed their technical foundation and intellectual problem-solving skills to deal with this style of play. Results come quick but long-term it becomes increasingly evident that they were misled in this philosophy as more intelligent and skillful players now end up dominating the game. As players age, the harder it is to develop the proper foot-to-eye coordinated skill sets as it's not as natural as hand-to-eye coordination experienced with Grid Iron, Baseball and Basketball. Players can pick up these hand-to-eye coordinated sports much easier at an older age vs. soccer needing a lot more muscle memory to become proficient at playing the game at a higher level. In large part, this is the reason why so many players in the US drop out of soccer due to realizing they are not that skilled and lose the enjoyment that occurs that comes with development and improvement....not with winning soccer games. It's the journey of overcoming challenges through personal and team growth.
Sometimes we see coaches and teams overcompensate because they think they should be Development Focused rather than Performance focused. Winning is a skill. It requires tactical understanding, strategic thinking, mental fortitude, and technical ability. The desire to want to win should always be present in practice and games.
An example of this is when a team attempts to play out of the back, because this is supposed to encourage development right, despite every defender in their defensive half being man marketed by an opposing forward. If there is no attempt to punish high pressure with a threat of playing in behind, it's rewarded and actually discourages players to build up the game out of the back and maintain possession. The result...easy goals are given up, development and performance declines and belief in playing attractive football deteriorates. Spain experienced this when they dominated world football with their possessive, short passing style of play in 2010 but getting knocked out of the group stages of 2014 and round of 16 in 2018. The same team that became world champions became predictable just 4 years later with opponents overcommitted with high pressure because there was no concern of giving up space in behind with through balls.
At RDFC, we don't believe is sacrificing anything. We seek the "Trifecta." We want it all. Let's have fun while we develop and learn to play the game the right way so we can win as often as possible and lift more trophies.
With this clear and simple vision, join us in this one-of-a-kind experience as we lift the North Texas soccer culture to a whole-nother-level.