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Q&A with Director of Coaching, Asaf

Q) What should I look for in a competitive program?

A) The are many elements that come into play. Generally speaking, children should play for their local clubs. If they excel then they should look to make the Development Academy program.


Here are some items to look at when selecting a club:

Environment: Positive culture and environment are key to developing the children as good people and players.

Technical side: It’s important that the club has a clear coaching methodology, playing style, principle of play and training curriculum that is age appropriate and has a long term development plan for the individual players.

Coaches: They need to be educated, knowledgeable, positive, motivators and dedicated to the players and program.

Administration: organized administration, friendly and responsive.

Facility: Quality of the fields

Our program is “player first” philosophy. The children and players are the priority and the programs are set in place for them and not the other way around.

We have almost 20 players who attended our programs (Competitive, DA and Summer camps) who made Inter Miami’s MLS DA. For us that is success and takes priority over winning a couple more games at a youth level by holding players back. The same concept applies for developing players to play college soccer.


Q) What are your thoughts on clubs working together?

A) I believe that the clubs should all work together for the benefit of the players. The players should have a healthy competition on the field but the DOC’s should look to work together and create a healthy environment for youth soccer. Programs can benefit and learn from each other and that in return would benefit the children.


Q) What is a player development pathway?

A) Similar to school, players should aspire to challenge themselves and try to make it to the next level. Coaches need to put the players first and not holding them back if they are ready to take the next step in their player development pathway.

 

If you are not going up the pyramid, then there is no real need to move parallel from club to club unless your environment is not healthy for player development.


Q) What is key in player development?

A) Soccer is a player’s game and they need to make decisions in split seconds. It’s very important to teach the players the “why” so they understand the game and make good decisions with and without the ball.


Q ) How important is positive coaching and giving guidance?

A) It’s extremely important and could be broken down in many ways. It’s important for players to visualize success. Coaches should help the players with this. Instead of telling the players, don’t do this and don’t do that, they need to help them visualize and see the better options they had in that moment and why that would be more efficient. A guide and discovery approach is a great way to have the players reach the decision and understand the “why”.

Q) How important is character development in our soccer program.

A) Soccer is what the players do and not who they are. It’s very important that the program emphasizes good character and teaches life lessons through the sport. I would recommend players and parents to read the book: “What Drives Winning” by Brett Ledbetter. It provides excellent information and well worth the read.

Q) Is there more important information to know?

A) Yes, a lot more but hopefully this helps youth soccer parents understand the landscape a little better and what’s important when selecting a pathway for their children.  

Asaf

Director of Coaching and Player Development

Recreation league: www.aysoregion1370.com

Competitive program: www.boyntonknightsfc.com

Development Academy www.sffada.com

Summer Camp www.asafsacademy.net



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