Claudio Reyna: Balancing winning with developing players

Claudio Reyna: Balancing winning with developing players

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Development Zone of Positive Coaching Alliance. US Club Soccer is proud to welcome Positive Coaching Alliance to its members, specifically related to Players First. Positive Coaching Alliance is helping to advance the Players First pillars of Coaching Education, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.

Claudio Reyna, a Positive Coaching Alliance National Advisory Board Member and former U.S. Soccer men’s national team captain, spoke at the NSCAA Convention about how to balance the desires to win with the need for developing players.

The current Director of Football Operations for New York City FC (MLS) shares his experience playing on a talented team that won a lot of games but didn’t necessarily play well. His coaches taught him that playing your best and learning the game is more important than winning. Likewise, youth soccer coaches should focus on development and teaching the proper fundamentals, not just on the end result.

Reyna also emphasizes the importance of winning and losing the right way. Coaches can teach kids that losing is okay, and even rewarding, if they are playing their best, whereas winning after playing badly shouldn’t be satisfying. Reyna says that if coaches could manage the message that the goal is to play well and win, then the sport of soccer would benefit.

Read the entire article here.