We are very fortunate as a Club to have some fantastic volunteers involved with the day to day running. We try to meet as often as we can as a Group to plan. Planning is important because it gives us a chance to share ideas, discuss what’s going well and what isn’t and also to set some realistic targets. We then review and monitor against these targets to make sure we are giving members the best experiences we possibly can.
We had our most recent progress meeting this week which was inadvertently scheduled at the same time as the England Football World Cup Qualifier versus Slovenia. In the end it turns out this was ideal timing. As we discussed Futsal matters generally, the England game which was on in the background and it looked as exciting ever! The dreadful football on display actually started some useful discussion amongst the group about how the Futsal we provide for the young footballers in our academy programme offers something totally different to what the majority of them experience in grassroots football.
This is largely down to the fact we don’t take part in regular grassroots competition. Our players only every experience competitive Futsal in one off games or tournaments and it is scheduled by us deliberately as part of their development. We are travelling to Manchester next month and Middlesbrough in December but we also play friendlies against local grassroots teams too. So this allows us to be solely focused on individual player development and as they progress into their teens we link this into team play. We don’t care about winning or losing, its only ever about long term player development and this gives us the freedom to allow our players to make their own mistakes and learn from them over time. From what I understand this is the same ethos the FA try to push for youth football in not publishing results. Great in theory but in practice it doesn’t work, particularly in small communities like ours. Everyone knows each other and the results are discussed. I’ve seen this with my own eyes at u7 and u8 level. Discussion drives a competitive desire amongst coaches, its natural. In a lot of cases this is fine and the players don’t suffer but I’ve seen far too many examples in the last year where the players have suffered. Coaches passing on the pressure to win to their players via constant instruction from the sidelines (instruction which is not always right i should add) and players not allowed to make decisions for themselves, being forced to kick the ball clear from the back with the classic ‘get rid’ command, these are all things that have a big impact on a players long term development. Im glad we can offer something different.
So we decided at our meeting that we needed a new motto to reflect our philosophy and to make sure we always remember what we are about. We’ve come up with ‘Positivity. Confidence. Courage.’ We think this reflects the type of player, teams and Club we want to develop both now and going forward.
We’ve already seen lots of our younger players get snapped up by pro football academies but this is just a by product of our philosophy and Futsal, its not the measure of the quality of our club but a good indication we are developing players who can have an impact in match play. Our primary interest is in developing fantastic technical ability, creative play and good decision making skills amongst all of our players.
So our coaching philosophy and Futsal is clearly working in terms of player development. More pleasing for us though is that we have a big pool of youth players now who clearly understand Futsal and its differences to Football. When these players come through in the next 10 years we will be ready to launch a senior team once again back into National League competition. This will be a team that represents this Club and the City of Carlisle with positivity, confidence and courage.