At South West United FC one of the major differences is our concept of club not just team. Players are all members of our club firstly and part of a teams second. Players are not assigned to a single coach and team for the entire season.
At most other clubs players are on a coaches team for example Ben Grahams U12 Boys, they only practice and train with coach Ben and the other players on that team. Coach Ben stays with the team as long as his son is on the team. So the the longer the team is together the more success they may have and the team becomes about the coaches own success not so much about developing the players and the team and moving them along.
So in essence the team is just Coach Ben’s team operating under the name of the club. Usually
there is little direction from the board of the club and very little in terms of a standardized approach to coaching, practices or strategies on how the teams play.
At South West United FC our players train together in squads not just with the players they play on game day with. We put players into squads based on their skill level so we can deliver a curriculum which is challenging to their skill level. The club determines the content of training for all coaches and players and standardizes the formations and styles of teaching and play across all players, coaches and teams.
We also do not assign a single coach to one group of players. Players will be coached by several if not all of our clubs coaches so that they stay engaged and get to learn from all of the coaching staff. When it comes to playing matches players of the same age group are selected to create a team and we generally have one coach that is assigned to a specific age group to coach the team on game day. That coach will generally stay as the coach for that age group for several year so they can become proficient at coaching that age. So every couple of years the coach gets a new set of players to coach on game day but will already know then from coaching them at the squad level.
We do not believe that it is beneficial for the players to have a coach start with them at U8 and stay with them for 5 or 6 years. Our structure ensures new players get an opportunity to join the squad and be selected to play for the team rather than just trying to keep one set of players and parents together with a certain coach, this system breeds more competition amongst the players.
This way players get coached by a variety of our coaches over a longer period of time and are always part of the club, should a coach leave our club the players remain and still have continuity with the other club coaches and time to adapt as we bring another coach into the club.
So our club is set up to provide the long term structure for the players to succeed not for an individual coach to provide a place for their child to play or for their own personal success.