United Soccer Coaches Board of Directors’ David Carr on Why We Need Better Training for Coaches, especially in Rec Soccer
Dr. David Carr was elected to the United Soccer Coaches Board of Directors at the 2019 Convention in Chicago. United Soccer Coaches is the largest community for soccer coaches in the world.
Soccer News: Dr. David Carr has been coaching for 45 years and is a nationally recognized coaching educator. As Associate Professor and Coordinator of Coaching Education at Ohio University, Carr has pioneered coaching education for decades.
Carr’s coaching career has covered all levels of the game, including recreation, club, high school, college and professional over the span of more than four decades in the game.
As the newest board member of United Soccer Coaches, Carr has already begun his 6-year journey as Vice-President, when he won the election earlier this month.
SoccerToday Interview with David Carr
Diane Scavuzzo: Why do you think so many coaches yell instructions to players? Does that really help?
Dr. David Carr: First of all, yelling doesn’t work.
Most kids try to turn it off. Some kids can’t. It already difficult for kids to process what they need to do in the game … what they have to do to get the ball or where they need to be offensively, defensively, based on how the game is being played. That is a difficult task, on its own, for young kids.
To have somebody trying to tell them what to do while they’re trying to figure out what to do is impossible.
And yelling just makes it worse. It just doesn’t work.
It confuses kids and kids get really frustrated. The same goes true, if you’ve got parents yelling at their kids where to go, what to do, to kick it hard — kids can’t process all of the noise and sort out what it is they’re supposed to do.
Yelling makes the problem worse. It turns kids off.
If kids are subjected to that season after season, they’re just not going to stay in the game very long. They’re just not.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do you believe kids should play multiple sports?
Dr. David Carr: When I grew up, each youth sports had its season. Now we say, “Well if you’re going to join certain clubs or academies, you have to commit 10 months.”
I think we are often asking young kids to make decisions on being a soccer player too early and we often seem to discourage playing other sports.
And, we’re basically telling teenagers that you can’t be a high school player and be a Development Academy player — I think that’s doing a disservice for a lot of kids. I think that creates issues.
Diane Scavuzzo: So you’re against the Development Academy (DA)?
Dr. David Carr: I’m not enamored by it. I think it can work for some players but I don’t think it should be mandated that if you’re going to participate, you can’t play high school soccer.
There’s an awful lot of really good high school programs. There’s a lot of really good high school coaches.
I get concerned both at the club level and at the high school level with the number of games we’re trying to pack into a short season. I agree these are real issues and that we don’t allow kids a very good opportunity to recover. Secondly, we don’t have a good training environment focused on helping the players improve.
If you’re playing every other day, that’s a problem. If you’re still playing multiple games on a weekend. That’s a problem.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is your thought on college soccer then?
Dr. David Carr: College coaches have a wonderful plan to create a nine-month commitment to the game. It seems to be stuck with getting athletic directors and college presidents to endorse it. Actually, from a health standpoint, it’s a better system if you spread the schedule out and create an infrastructure that makes more sense.
Trying to cram a 20 game college schedule from late August to late October because the playoffs start requires too many games in too short a period of time.