Archive for October, 2012

The 2012 season was supposed to be the crown jewel of all the work that has gone into the previous three years here at Wesleyan.  The first recruiting class are graduating this upcoming May and they had successfully turned a program that finished dead last in the conference into a title contender in 2011 with our second place finish.

But things don’t always turn out the way you imagine them too, and players don’t always care as much about the “crown jewel” as you do.  In all honesty this has to have been one of the toughest seasons in my young coaching career.  I’ve had worse seasons in the record books and on paper, but this one feels like we are the furthest from reaching our potential.

We returned nine starters from last years team, six All-Conference selections, and we brought in what I thought was one of the better recruiting classes we’ve ever had here.  For some reason the chemistry on the field has just not been there, and every game has been a struggle to stay competitive.  Off the field it feels like the team is closer than last year and the rookies have been accepted and brought into the family quickly.  But we don’t trust eachother on the field, we play very selfish and individualistic soccer on both sides of the ball.

So I’ve had to re-evaluate my coaching methods and our training schedule.  Are there things we need to go back and address or start from scratch.  We threw in a new defensive system after the first four matches.  We’ve changed our personnel over and over again looking for the 11 guys that play the best together.  Now that we have eight games left I’m looking at my notebooks from the previous three years and I’m wondering why I gave up so quickly on the things that got us here?

I threw out our team culture and system way too fast.  Now we’re having to play catch up by going back to it with a third of the season remaining.  But I’ve learned a valuable lesson this season; If I believe in the system and style that we are playing and I’ve recruited around these things then I need to be confident enough in them to give our team a chance to be successful with it.

There’s a time and a place to change things up, but maybe smaller changes can be made instead of wide spread changes.  It’s a simple lesson, and one that probably several of you already are aware of.  However it seems that I had to learn this the hard way.

All season the San Jose Earthquakes have been using the “Goonies never say die” tag line for their Supporters Shield run.  Need to take a little bit of that and apply it to DWU soccer.