The weather was beautiful and the crowds were plentiful for the 2017 National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention. It was held in Los Angeles.
Representing the LeagueApps FC team, VP of Sales Cam Goldberg made the trek cross country to sunny LA. He came back with more than just a tan. Here are some takeaways and observations about the future of youth soccer based on the NSCAA Convention.
Player and Parent Relationship Starts With The Coach
So much starts with the coach and their relationship to the players and parents. It’s important for soccer club directors or camp presidents to remember when making choices for their next sessions.
“It was wild to see how much focus culture and people development received at this year’s convention,” Cam said. “Creating a culture of accountability amongst peers was also a big component of the culture discussions.”
One big challenge to tackle as a coach is tracking skill development. You want to provide real feedback to players and parents based off of data and metrics. This also helps create transparency and a path to success.
Technology and Sports Science Will Be Everywhere On and Off The Field
The ever increasing acknowledgement of sports science and how it can improve and impact the game was clear everywhere.
“By what you heard in the sessions and what you saw on the exhibitor floor, technology is going to play a huge role in the evolution of the game here. This spans from training, development, video, operations, essentially across the whole sector,” Cam said.
Some of those technologies are designed to help coaches provide feedback and embrace the transparency. StatUp helps players by testing their techniques and then tracks for improvement. With virtual reality technology, Beyond Sports allows players relive games and situations. And SKLZ has a whole catalog of wearable and other technology designed to train, test, and track players’ skills.
Conventions Like The NSCAA Offer Invaluable Lessons To Help You Run Your Soccer Program
This year’s event swelled the convention center, and nearly everyone learned a thing or two during their time there.
“Now more than ever there is a demand for quality coaching in 2017 and youth clubs are starting to find that,” Cam said. “I also see an increase in the event side of the business with more tournaments springing up to offer competitive showcases for youth athletes.”
An interesting session was led by Rick Maltbie on creating a championship culture. He used an amazing parallel with the winning culture of the NZ All-Blacks rugby team.
Anyone can learn from this and implement it into a sports organization, a business, or simply your personal relationships. Just days later, LeagueApps investor Shane Battier made a similar parallel with his four key themes to creating a championship culture.
There are plenty of articles and post-event content available to consume regarding the event. However, it doesn’t compare to the value received in the atmosphere at the time.
Rich Caldwell writes for The Coaching Blueprint and agrees that attending these conventions can really boost your soccer program to a new level.
According to Rich, “opportunities like the convention should be taken to their fullest extent. Watch training sessions, go to lectures, talk soccer and come away and reflect on what you have learnt and how that will change the way you coach and deliver your sessions.”
“It was energizing to be around people who have such a passion for the game!” Cam exclaimed.