Happiness is playing your favorite position.

On our spring team we have several players who play center midfielder for their high school teams. Obviously not all of them can play center midfield for Grand Lake United. There must be an acceptance of position change and of the role the team needs them to fill. In high school soccer, we find the process can be a bit in reverse. A club defender might be a target forward while a club target forward may find himself playing as a defender. This might even occur on the same high school team.

I have found a common truth in asking players to change positions; if it is something they do not completely buy into you are better off not going down that road. An unhappy player tends not to play anywhere near his potential. 

Some players don't care where they play. They are just happy to play. Others identify themselves only as a forward or a midfielder or a back.  I have documented such a case elsewhere on this site - a gifted athlete viewed himself as a forward. There was an opening as an outside back on the Varisty team. All-state caliber forwards in front of him.  The kid spent 3 years playing forward on the JV soccer team instead of being a 4 year Varsity letter winner. He was happy playing "his" position. His favorite position.

Sometimes a coach or captains have to perform a real sales job to convince a player the change of positions is in the best interests of the team. The idea of becoming a more versatile or well rounded player might be a selling point to some. Referencing the USMNT can sometimes help as well - DeMarcus Beasley is a prime example of a world class player who has changed positions. Many of the USMNT came up through the youth ranks as center midfielders only to move to a different role as they climbed the ladder to the professional ranks and the national team. 

And sometimes nothing you say or do will change their mind.

In the end though it's all about happiness.

If the player isn't happy with his assigned position, no matter how talented that player may be, it might be wise not to force him to play there. If his heart is not in it, he just isn't likely to play to his potential and the team will suffer for this.

Happiness is playing your favorite position.

And quality of performance is tied to happiness.

No comments:

Post a Comment