Youth soccer and how the reward system is whacked
There are plenty of examples to choose from but I will write about one that is near and dear to me. Not really.
I wrote about this team in another post. This is a team whose last year’s success was defined by one player. I don’t want to name names but for the sake of this post let’s call this player ‘Magalie’. They won their league, the cup and fell just short of winning nationals. Without ‘Magalie’ they definitely would not have achieved what they did. I did not watch one season game but u don’t need to be a math whiz to see that if u removed all of her stats the team record would have been drastically different. I did watch all their matches at nationals. Some a couple times. Watching those matches only confirmed what I already knew which is that the team isn’t really that good. During the matches ‘Magalie’ was off or shut down, the rest of the team had no solutions and were rendered ineffective. In the final, BC exposed them for what they are which is not very good (more later in this post). It was a one sided match and had BC had good finishers the score would have been a rout. In the end the team was awarded ‘team of the year’ and the coach got ‘coach of the year’. Deserving? Maybe on the team level, maybe, but coach? Why? Because he acquired a star player? Certainly not.
Anyway, flashback a few years when a certain coach was asked to take the reigns of a team that also had a ‘star’ player and that over the years was winning because of this star player. The only difference here was that once he accepted the coaching gig he was told that the star player, along with a 2nd star-ish player would be moved to the older team and that he’d have no access to them for the entire season. 👀… oh, I see what you did there Mr Technical Director! Ok, challenge accepted. Could this coach convince this team that they would be just fine without the star players? He sure did. He made them believe and they achieved greatness. Undefeated. First place. Championship. Was this achievement recognized? Hell no. At the very least, at the club level both team and/or coach should have been recognized. Instead the team’s achievement was actually played down by the club technical director. Played down!!! Why? He obviously expected the season to play out differently without the star player. And there lies the problem. The reward system is misplaced. What shouldn’t be rewarded is and what should, isn’t.
This season ‘Magalie’ was moved up to the older squad that over the last few seasons has been nothing better than a middle of the pack team. This year they are in first and have already qualified for nationals with games to spare. Coincidence? I think not. In all likelihood this means a team of the year and possibly a coach of the year. Again it begs the question… Deserving? No. Atleast not on the coach side.
Btw the team ‘Magalie’ played for last season now sits at middle of the pack with a .500 record this season. Remember this is the team that had one loss last season, won the division, cup and got to the finals at nationals. Coincidence? I think not. Just saying.
Sunday morning coffee with a little musing: ‘professional child men’, football edition.
Before I get into my rant I will mention that there are always two sides to every story. All of my posts are opinion pieces. This one is no different.
This season the steelers had some drama to contend with. They started the season with one distraction and ended with another. Le’veon Bell held out at the beginning of the season and in the end failed to report on time and therefore was no longer eligible to play. Antonio Brown was benched for the final game of the season for some altercation during a practice. It’s not the first time he’s created drama as well.
As it the case with everyone on this planet, we must take care of our own well being. Both Bell and Brown are doing that. They feel they’ve been wronged and they chose not to accept that. Fine. Here’s my beef though, do you have to be babies about it? Literally man children and quite honestly I blame social media especially twitter for giving these pros a platform to be man children. Bell on many occasions used twitter to imply (whether through emojis, cryptic tweets or stupid one liners) that he was coming back while going completely dark on his teammates. In the end he did not. He messed with people’s emotions and that’s not cool. And please let’s not argue that it wasn’t premeditated. It was. On a side note yet somewhat related, I was unfortunate enough to draft Bell in my fantasy football league this year but thanks to my shrewd managerial skills I won the championship in spite of that so screw youuuu Le’veon Bell!!! No resentment here at all 😋. Brown also decided to take a page out of Bell’s PlayBook and hopped onto twitter to put out these cryptic tweets that just do nothing but show the level of immaturity of some of these professional players. Steelers TE Jesse James said it best, the steelers were worse than the Kardashians this year. On the news for all the wrong reasons.
The sad thing is that both these players have been problematic in the past and you would think no team would want to touch them. That assumption would be wrong. There are teams willing to take that chance.
PS: I am not a steelers fan.