Feature Friday: Letter From TD Matt Lacey

#WeAreVSA

VSA Players and Parents, 

 

As summer ends and the fall begins it is important that we always take time to reflect on the past few months as we continually work to move forward as a club. The beginning of the season is always such an exciting time of the calendar as we lace up our cleats and step on to the field in our new uniforms for the first time. We all are excited with a new sense of identity and optimism to tackle the challenges ahead. The standards are set and we all embrace the changes that have been put in place to increase and optimize the players (more specifically your child's) soccer experience. It is important that you always remember the feeling of excitement and pride throughout the season. A soccer season is such a roll coaster with Highs and Lows and we can easily lose what youth development is all about, the youth.

A large step that we as a club have made is to invest more time and resources into developing our coaches. Our belief is that by providing our players with the best and most educated coaches our players will be able to develop to new levels.  In our travel program we have been able to put together a staff that has spent countless hours this summer improving themselves during our in-house coaching education program and seeking additional licenses. The changes we have seen within the training environment has been phenomenal and if you just take a walk to long park during practice hours the change is evident. We continue to strive for improvement from our coaches and you will see throughout the season our Directors evaluating our coaches to provide them meaningful feedback to improve. In our Rec program we also are working towards the same set of standards and have provided our volunteer coaches with a number of new initiatives to educate themselves in coaching. We have provided USSF F and USSF E licenses along with a in-house coaching education session run by VYSA CED Director and US Soccer Staff Instructor Paul Shaw. We also now have a full database of sessions for our rec coaches to use to improve the level of coaching and experience for the player.

         Regardless of the efforts we put into coaching education, patience will always remain the key virtue in developing players. To see real change in our children we must always remember that this is a long term process and that there takes a high level of intrinsic motivation from the individual to see major improvements. As parents it is important we understand these two simple factors when supporting our children. We can not judge the work of the coach purely on results and must always take into account the dedication of our own child to strive to improve. We are always asking our players how much time have you put in this week to make yourself better at a certain skill because we what them to practice the game to improve so their overall experience will improve. We have made massive strives in the standards of how our parents behave on the sidelines and we are very proud of what we have seen as we have walked around our fields. Please do not forget that not only does your child represent VSA but so do our parents. We want VSA to be regarded as a well respected club from within and across the East coast. Remember these simple guidelines - 'No coaching' and 'Support the process'

        You may have also seen in our programming that we have made some significant changes to our parent education program or rules within your age group. The purpose of these changes are always to make the game about the players. We have also spent numerous hours researching other clubs to not only provide an optimal experience for the player but also to make sure we keep up to date with some very basic but important health and safety issues. In regards to any rule changes in the younger age groups in rec and ADP we have looked at ways to improve player development by increasing the ability for our players to touch the ball. We look forward to seeing the benefits of these changes and more skilled players in these programs. 

 

Overall we have had a great start to the season and we look forward to continuing to move forward as a club. 

 

Thank you all for your hard work and support of VSA!

 

Matt

 

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