What made you see the error of your ways Andy?
Multiple confrontations with parents who informed me that they were unhappy with my actions. E.g. sitting their child on the bench and crushing self-concept in the process.
Was it a series of events or a particular event?
A series for sure!!
What is the biggest difference you have seen?
I've got more wrinkles and my eyesight is fading!
Seriously though, with the onset of ranking systems for those as young as 8 or 9 and the intense media exposure winners and losers in all strata of society are given, our culture is more cynical and soul destroying than ever before. The culture is moving more towards the short-term team win instead of towards the individual win that leads to long-term success. Funnily enough the long-term perspective inevitably leads to team wins because of the positive individual development enjoyed at every stage of the process.
With regard to my own players I can directly relate the relative life success of the individuals involved to the amount of time those kids spent with me. For example the players from the two teams I coached longest from 4, 5 and 6 years of age through to college recruitment have enjoyed inordinate levels of individual leadership and societal success at a very young age. The parents and players attribute much of this creative leadership capability to the way in which they were taught to think creatively and explore new ways to look at life through the Legends approach. I'm equally sure that if these same kids had been taught to play the restricted roles typical of most premier teams their unique creative capabilities wouldn't have been developed to the same degree. Anyone who understands the science of nurture and believes that role models have a positive influence should be able to see the logic in this.
What is the difference in a kid now vs then?
Kids are becoming less fit at an earlier age. Kids today (as opposed to when I started the club) have so many distractions. They spend less time on the physical and more time on the mentally stimulating, entertainment side of life. They relate less face to face and more in cyberspace. Consequently, the need for creative, athletic training in organized, (yet ambiguity promoting), situations has never been greater or more crucially important. The great problem is that ambiguity is rarely promoted in "organized" environments. Therefore, child creative conflict resolution skills and ambiguity embracement has to now be built into the "organized" experience (How about that for Ying and Yang!!).
How can you tell you are instilling some of these values that you talk about?
Objective and subjective feedback.
Objective feedback would be such things as the Legends alumni list, leadership positions achieved by Legends alumni.
Subjective feedback comes from ex-players and their parents who believe the philosophy as been a powerful positive factor in alumni success.
I hope this helps.
KC Legends Soccer Club Director of Coaching
Office 913-851-9898 x 40 Cell 913-636-4073
15225 Broadmoor, Stanley, KS 66223
To see dribbling moves we teach visit: http://www.greggriess.com/moves_fakes.htm
PS: Always ignore the bigots who seek to stamp on the curious mind or different perspective.