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Avoid Competence

By Chris Andrew of Chicago Fire Camps & Training, 08/01/12, 6:59AM EDT


I have recently downloaded "Stop Stealing Dreams," a manifesto by Seth Godin which talks about our education system and how it is not designed for the modern, ever-changing world.

I was drawn to reading it because a lot of educational research can also be used in Youth Soccer Development, where we are dealing with the same audience (children), trying to teach them a practical set of ideas (passing, dribbling, shooting) that they can then use by themselves at the most appropriate time (soccer games).

The biggest thing I got from the entire manifesto was his point about how schools produce competent people.

We recently completed our first Incoming Training Weekend, two days of training for the 10 selected Trainers who will form our Camps & Training Team for 2012. Our training includes both practical and theory-based training and a decent amount of scintillating Power Point presentations.

However, before the Power Point fun began I made an opening address. My first sentence went something like ‘We don’t need competent trainers in this team’. I got some confused looks and a lot of silence.

I believe that if you are competent, you are comfortable and operating within your safety zone. As soon as the parameters change, you will become incompetent.

So my point to the incoming coaches was this: don’t settle for mere competence. Consistently push yourself to change the environment within which you work, to do everything better, to "worry" about it every day.  

If you take the lead and change the parameters, you will never risk being competent.

Chris Andrew is our Coordinator for Chicago Fire Camps & Training, an official partner of YESsoccer. Contact Chris at Follow him:  @Chris_SoccerDev