“Our team is for the elite player. By that I mean psychologically elite players. Technique and running is the easy part. Its the mental part thats difficult. Is the star youth player ready to come and be the weakest player on the field day after day?”
Justin Crew, U-20 coach
We talked with FC Indiana U-20s coach Justin Crew about player development, and about how he knows when a young player is ready to make the step up to FC Indiana’s first team and to play in college.
“How do we know which players will likely succeed?“ asked Crew. “By watching them in training on a daily basis,” he told FCIndiana.org yesterday.
“That is where you assess and you compare every day the player and her individual performances with the other players who play a regular part in the WPSL.
“Once you see that they can match that intensity, you question yourself. If a player manages to consistently get you to wonder if she is ready, then at some stage you find the moment to put her in.
“There are excellent youth leagues in the country; the ECNL, the Y-League, etc. and they do a very fine job of giving players a platform, and of course there are many fine players in those leagues; technically, tactically and physically, no question about it.
But they play against kids their own age, they play in their comfort zones.“
“Our team really is for the elite player. By that I mean psychologically elite players. Technique and running is the easy part.
Its the mental part thats difficult. Is the star youth player ready to come and be the weakest player on the field day after day?
What we do, is take good players out of their comfort zone and make them compete against college aged opponents who are bigger, faster, stronger and more experienced than they are.“
“To be successful in our environment players must be very strong mentally and very committed.
Too many players in the best national youth leagues are very comfortable at being better than most of their opponents and their teammates, its easy for them in training and in games. Then, as 18 year olds they go to college and have no idea how to compete against 22 and 23 year olds.
With us, in addition to the physical, technical and tactical component, players must be very resilient mentally, or they will not succeed. It is not easy for a 15 year old to step on the field and compete against a Penn State, All-Big 10 freshman.
If you have a 15 year old who can consistently do that, you have a special player.“
“We understand that it is too much for most players. Every year we have new players wanting to try our way, most quit because its too hard. They go back to playing against other 15 year olds where they can be stars. Its a lot easier than training 4 times per week against D1 college and international players.“
Updated 04:35 - 16 Apr 2016 by fc indiana webmaster