Safe or developmental environment?
The season has ended and clubs, coaches, players and parents are looking forward to next season. It's that time of the year where clubs announce to parents where their kid will play next year. Will they play in the first team? Will they stay with the same coach? What to do if the club decides something else than expected? Especially for parents this can be a tough time. I have noticed that parents find changes difficult. They rather have their kid stay with exactly the same coach for 8 years for example. I can understand them. This is safe, someone who they got to know and (probably) trust. Parents assume their kid thinks/feels exactly the same. But I look at this phenomenon from another perspective, the perspective of development. From a point of view based on the development of players I strongly believe it is good when they experience the guidance, the knowledge, the inspiration of different coaches during their academy years. Everyone is different, both players and coaches. Meaning that every connection between player and coach is different. Each coach has unique qualities, an own way of motivating players and an own way of educating/teaching. Assuming player A had a fantastic year with coach X, because he learned a lot on the field. But maybe, there is a maximum to what coach X can teach player A within their relation. So if player A gets coach Y next year, there are suddenly new opportunities for player A to learn and develop even more! Coach Y looks with a brand new view at player A and will notice different things than coach X did last year. On the other hand we have player B, who was coached by coach Z. Player B enjoyed every single training session, but didn't improve that much as a player. Coach Z connected very well with him on a personal level, but couldn't challenge player B in the right way for him to make steps. Next year, player B will have coach X. Coach X maybe doesn't make sessions as fun as coach Z did, but might be able find a connection with player B to improve him more as a player. Of course, it is possible that a player and a coach have a bad connection. But when we change coaches every season, this 'problem' will only last 1 season. Having coach and team together during multiple years creates an environment where everybody knows what's going on and what will happen next. This is safe. But by changing, we stimulate both coaches and players to be alert, to be inventive, to be open to new things, to learn how to deal with changes. This is development.