It is not good enough and no amount of spin is going to change that fact.
Our national ranking is embarrassing and our player production is limited at best. When many of us know the very few youngsters by name and can use our hands to count the numbers we are likely not producing enough talent to make a difference.
Unfortunately when this topic makes an appearance the conversation typically begins to shift towards who might be to blame. I don’t care what was. Or who the problem people are. I’m interested in what could be.
We need to wake up and own our rankings. Own our player pool inadequacies. Own our paltry Canadian content at the top end. Own both men’s and women’s results. Own our non-existent Canadian top end coaches. Our non-existent pathways for success. Own the fact that our women’s program should be better and have more amazing players coming through. After all, we have been at the forefront of the women’s soccer movement for years, well ahead of most nations. We can’t be blind and we certainly must stop arguing that all is well.
It isn’t. And you are part of the problem.
We are positively giddy when a few young Canadians suit up for our local professional team for a couple of matches. It is obvious that the desire for success is there but the will to demand more isn’t. But this isn’t an indictment of any single entity.
It is on all of us.
You can make a difference. But first you have to own it. You aren’t just herding cats when you show up to your five year old’s soccer. You are possibly creating a future soccer player and sport enthusiast. You are setting them on the right path.
Do you know enough to make a difference? What are you watching for? What are you teaching? What is the pathway for all your players, both the talented and the sandcastle variety?
Oh, I know it’s tough. You have to do this all after working your real job and nobody is paying you. Yes, that is not great but it is still an excuse. If it isn’t going to be you then go out and find someone. Find an ex-player. Find another parent. Find someone fired up to develop players and not just win the youth cup. And if it is you, then go to the free coaching courses and take the time to learn from those that have been there before. Learn, educate yourself, and then teach. That’s all we have right now. You.
It’s up to you. We can make a better experience for all these kids and we can ultimately make a difference to our player pool. Be the catalyst at your club. Ask tough questions and expect better execution. Get people on side and do not accept mediocrity. Your club should be consistent in the delivery of grassroots programs. Make better players and help build better people. Just surviving a year of youth soccer is not acceptable.
We need to wake up and own this.
Change never happens from the top with a declaration. It happens from the bottom when we all execute and do things differently.
Canadian soccer can have a much better future if you own it.
Go. Play Better.
Coach! We can help you make that change. Easily and with fun. Get your team engaged. Call us. [Number is at the top! Or email…]