Supporting Your Player’s Development with Zoom Reports

You may have noticed recently that all Surf coaches are now providing individualized feedback to players via the online tool Zoom Reports. The club chose to use this tool to enhance the communication between coaches, players and parents and to help improve the individual development of the players in the club. We encourage parents and players to use the feedback tools in Zoom Reports to engage with your coach to help ensure that your child’s development goals are clearly understood and being met. In this post, we’ll demonstrate additional ways that parents can help support the soccer development of their children.

What Exactly is Player Development?

There is a lot of talk at clubs about their focus on player development but we also know that it’s very hard for a parent to know if that’s really the case. While we support this focus on development wholeheartedly, we also believe that there are some misconceptions about what exactly constitutes player development. When we speak of player development we are seeking to develop players across 4 key areas:

Technical – The ability of a player to be proficient in the individual skills required to compete at the highest levels that their talent & work rate allow.

Tactical –  Tactically astute players are clever and capable of reading the game and executing effectively at the speed required for success.

Physical – The development of basic motor skills, coordination, flexibility, balance, perception & awareness to handle the changing physical requirements of the game.

Psychosocial – We use the game to develop social skills and values such as conflict resolution, self-control and the sharing of power, space and ideas with others.

How You Can Help Your Player

First, select the time to discuss your child’s performance with care. It is often the case that when athletes are asked what is their least favorite part of their youth athletic experience, by far the top response is “the car ride home” after games and practices. This is an area that we parents often struggle with as we try to support and encourage our child’s development. In general, we recommend using this time to confirm that your child (1) is having fun and (2) reaffirm how much you enjoy watching them perform. Save more in-depth discussions for a different time that’s not so closely connected to the game or practice that has just completed. This of course varies for each parent/child relationship but it’s a good rule of thumb to use.

Secondly, help your child learn to train with intention by encouraging them to set short-term development goals for themselves. Focusing on trying to improve specific elements of one’s game has been proven to help players develop faster than if they do not train with intention. Instead of just dropping your child off at training, ask them what they want to get better at that day. Use the feedback your coach has provided through Zoom Reports to help your child focus on specific aspects of his or her game recommended by their coach. Recognize and continue to encourage them when they meet these short-term development goals and you’ll see both their development and enjoyment increase.

Finally, keep in mind that the player development journey is a long process that takes place over 10+ years for most players. There are ups and downs, fits and starts, progression and regression all along the way. Each of these phases is completely normal and neither you, nor your child, should become too preoccupied with where they are at a single moment along the way. If we’re successful then not only will they have a wonderful soccer experience but the lessons, values and friendships they make along this journey will last a lifetime.