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Character Matters in Athlete Selection

Character Matters in Athlete Selection

Update: 2019-07-01
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A youth athlete without character is like a sports car without a steering wheel. Coaches know that character matters when selecting youth athletes. Last week, we ran an ID camp in Maryland where character made the difference. If you have a youth athlete who's trying to get noticed, be sure that it's not just their physical skills that get seen. Often when two athletes are similar in size, skill, and physicality, it's the one with the best character that bubbles to the top. In this episode, I'll share several examples of character that matters that we saw in camp and how it impacted the selection process.  Please: support the show and join our community as a Patron through my Patreon pageThe Backdrop: ID CampID Camps happen all over the country - multiple countries, in fact. I don't want to leave out my international readers! ID camps are basically a recruiting activity where kids come from all over, coaches train them and/or run them through a series of activities designed to showcase the talent that came to camp, and end in a selection process - often to give kids a chance to move on to other camps or possibly to be considered for play at a college or university. The camp that we just hosted through the Damascus Soccer Club in Maryland, is coached by Stoke City Potters Academy coaches in England and facilitated by Global Image Sports from Atlanta, Georgia. About 23 kids from Alexandria, VA to Frederick Maryland took advantage of this camp, trained for three days, and competed for the 20% of invitations available to attend the National Camp in Georgia later this year. These young players brought with them a lot of talent and was fun to explore and we knew very early that several of them would do well at National Camp if given the chance. These three days were dedicated to which of these players would be given the invitation. A decision like this is not easy. Factors That Lead To a DecisionGenerally, players are evaluated for their physicality and physical abilities, their technical ability, their mental ability to understand and process the game, and their psycho-social ability. When players all weigh in around the same level for these four qualities, we need a tie breaker. This is what inspired today's episode. Character matters. Let's talk about how character becomes the tie breaker.Character Tie BreakersTake two players of equal size and abilities. One hands another a water jug when it's hot. The other shields his water from team mates when someone runs out. Who are you going to choose? The answer is pretty obvious when seen from that perspective, right? The one who shares might just be a better team mate. It bears watching. Next, take two players of equal size and abilities. One slows down and start walking half-way through the practice session. The other pushes hard all the way until the end. Who are you going to choose? In this case, the player who wants it more is likely to have a stronger work ethic. As a coach, you know this is going to be needed later in training when things get considerably harder. Consider two players of unequal size and ability. Player A has a better touch on the ball than player B. Both need improvement (as we all do). Player A sees you offering constructive feedback and ignores it. Player B not only absorbs the feedback in the practice session, but you learn that this player went home later that evening and worked some more on the things you suggested they work on. Player A still has a better touch on that ball for the session the next day,
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Character Matters in Athlete Selection

Character Matters in Athlete Selection

David Dejewski