For most athletes, the goal to reach "complete development" in their sport. The point where your skill sets and education are fully developed and every aspect of your sport is at peak performance. But is it realistic to expect full development of YOUR athlete? And what goes into fully developing YOUR athlete during their soccer journey?
Our NEW QTSD© Training Ground Article Series (5 part) will cover what exactly is complete soccer development, is it obtainable, what it means for your athlete, and how you can continue to reach new points of improvement each season!
What is "Complete Development" and Is It Reachable? (November)
Technical Development: How to become technically proficient (December)
Tactical Development: How can my athlete become tactically intelligent? (January)
Physical Development: What are the physical demands of the game of soccer? (February)
Psychological Development: The other 80%? - (March)
SO WHAT IS "COMPLETE DEVELOPMENT"?
What exactly is "complete soccer development"? What goes into it, what is measured, and what does it really mean? In the athletic world, "complete development" is defined as:
"The process of improvement in all aspects of sport to peak measurement and performance."
Simply put, every aspect of your game is at its peak potential; resulting in top level performances on the soccer field.
WHAT ASPECTS DOES MY ATHLETE NEED TO CONSIDER?
Athletes must consider the building foundation for success on the soccer field. This foundation includes four fundamental development pillars:
Each aspect is essential and equally affects the other pillars of development.
CAN MY ATHLETE REACH "COMPLETE DEVELOPMENT"?
The answer is yes AND no. Multiple variables come into play, including age (complete development at age 8 vs. age 17), maturity rates (individual maturity as well as gender maturity differences), and environmental variables (level of competition, available resources, and education), among others. Many people assume a completely developed athlete will grow on a linear path, but the truth is development is more of a hybrid of both cyclical and linear growth patterns.
WAIT... WHAT IS CYCLICAL DEVELOPMENT?
Cyclical development is a regularly reoccurring process of improvement. For example, a 13-year-old athlete has great dribbling but needs to work on their passing. They start to focus more on passing technique, but as a result, limit their dribbling training. Usually the athlete's focus of training improves, BUT also has a slight regression in dribbling technique (due to less focus). Anytime focus on a specific training aspect increases, other less focused areas start to slightly decrease.
As players improve on one aspect, they then need to re-evaluate and shift focus to another area of training. This development cycle starts, finishes, and re-starts hundreds of times throughout an athlete's career.
From a linear development perspective, a player will grow older with new requirements at each competition level, BUT each level will require multiple cycles of improvement to reach their best.
SO IT DOESN'T SEEM LIKE MY ATHLETE CAN REACH "COMPLETE DEVELOPMENT"?
Just the opposite! It all depends on your perspective. If the thought is an athlete can reach the highest skill sets needed at the highest level and stay there without evolving (aka practice until perfect & finished), then the answer is NO. BUT if we start to view "complete development" as an evolving process of re-visiting our CURRENT weak points and adjusting our training, then the answer is YES!
It is crucial to implement all four components of soccer development to ensure our athletes are competing at their best. If one aspect is skipped or not taken seriously, then the results will suffer and regress.
HOW CAN I LEARN MORE ABOUT THE FOUR DEVELOPMENT PILLARS MY CHILD SHOULD WORK ON?
We will be diving into each pillar at depth in our next four articles and how YOUR athlete can further develop their soccer journey!
Next month's QTSD© Training Ground Article article will start to focus on the first pillar of soccer development - Technical Development: How to become technically proficient. Stay tuned!