So much goes into making a really good soccer player. Beyond the players involvement are many other agents in the formula from coaches to parents to peers. Which ones matter and which ones matter most? Hard to say and undoubtedly varies from individual to individual but if you could narrow the sample down and create some common parameters you could maybe start to identify what those ingredients are and how important each of them is to the final product.
For the sake of argument, let’s locate the player in Vancouver to give this some context. Let’s also say the player is now 14 years old. What does that player need to end up as an elite player by the age of 18?
Here’s my pie chart breakdown of what the right mix is.
|Plays unstructured games with friends:||16|
|Watches games regularly on TV:||13|
|Watches games live regularly:||7|
|Trains at least three times with week with quality coach:||22|
|Highly competitive by nature:||14|
|Have already developed an excellent technical base||18|
I’ve done this up quite quickly as an exercise in what I instinctively think. I may re-visit this when I’ve given it more thought and see if my elements or the values ascribed to them change.Are there elements missing there? Does it change depending on whether we’re talking about boys or girls? Would it change substantially if we were talking about a different location? Say the USA or somewhere in Europe?
To save going back in and editing the chart in Excel I’ll just add that by “plays unstructured games with friends”, I mean that the player spends a lot of hours per week playing with friends in a non-threatening environment where they can get lots of touches on the ball.
I’d be interested in people’s thoughts or even better your own pie charts in the comments.