Albion’s Noah Gins on What is Working and What is Needs to Change in Youth Soccer Today
SoccerToday’s Diane Scavuzzo spoke with Albion Soccer Club‘s CEO/Executive Director Noah Gins on the future of youth soccer in America.
At Albion SC, Noah Gins is focused on developing world class players. Gins wants Albion SC to be known for accomplishing excellence in player development and creating an environment where players want to come and commit to learning.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is right and what is wrong in youth soccer?
Noah Gins: We have a lot right in this country and while some blame issues in youth soccer for not qualifying for the World Cup — in this situation, it is not the case in my opinion. This came down to the senior team not being managed throughout the event as effective as possible.
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Did the players perform, were the right players selected, was the right strategy implemented? These are questions for the senior team.
As to the youth, we have something special in this country.
“We are very organized, we have an incredible resources, we are all becoming even more organized with our ideas and methodology.”
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Especially with the new U.S. Soccer Coach Licensing being offered to youth coaches in this country. And more than anything U.S. Soccer has created an environment in the Development Academy (DA) that allows the programs to execute and focus on player development.
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As this player development model really sinks in and incentives become real for developing players at the professional level, we will see an even greater understanding and desire to fully develop players resulting in world class players being developed in the US.
Diane Scavuzzo: What do we need?
Noah Gins: We need the country to work towards incentives that will drive player development in this country.
“The rest of the world is set up this way and the rest of the world produces world class players.”
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Diane Scavuzzo: What do you recommend?
Noah Gins: I recommend that the country continue to get educated at the highest level. The coaching licensing right now is the best it has ever been, there are some inspiring instructors and leaders within.
There is no question we must rewire the way we are all teaching and developing soccer players.
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We have been wired to win games, tournaments and build teams that can win.
“We must now change the way the clubs and youth soccer are developing the game and truly position everyone and everything around player development.”
Diane Scavuzzo: Where have we fallen short and how can that be improved?
Noah Gins: We have fallen short by trying to be the best team, instead of trying to develop the best player.
Around the world, they are trying to produce the player, to sell or to move up to the first team. We have no structure that supports this so we prove to be the best by winning as a team.
As we know at the youth level winning can be a byproduct of great superior development or it can come with sacrificing development of individual players.
“Either way our system has not led us to focus on player development first.”
This must change, we must have incentives that drive each organization towards wanting to truly develop the player, not just because that is the right thing to do.