MOUNTAINEER UNITED SOCCER CLUB
CORE VALUES AND MISSION
Since its inception, Mountaineer United Soccer Club (MUSC) has been committed to providing the highest quality soccer experience for all its members. From toddlers and pre-adolescents to High School, College and Adult players, coaches, managers, and parents, this means presenting the best educational environment and sports training possible.
To fulfill this pledge, the club has adopted the player development guidelines and programs found in the best practices; player development initiatives; and player development curricula published by US Youth Soccer and the United Soccer Coaches (NSCAA - National Soccer Coaches Association of America). MUSC is employing the most comprehensive, holistic, leading edge, player centered, developmental methods used by leading American coaches, coaching education experts, childhood developmental specialists, and successful soccer playing countries across the globe.
PLAYER CENTERED CORE VALUES
All parents want their children to excel and succeed. What we all need to come to terms with is what that looks like and how it is measured.
MUSC strongly holds that the measure of achievement must change from goals scored and games or tournaments won; to how much an individual child has improved over the course of a season.
Goals scored and games or tournaments won focuses on the “All Star” player(s), the coach, the team and the club; and ignores the majority of the individual players. Each child on a team develops at different rates emotionally, physically, psychologically, tactically and technically. Coaches and parents should never compare one player to another. Club administrators should never favor a specific individual or a specific team within the club.
Youth players are not mini-adults: Coaches need to understand that they are teaching children and adolescents. Each age group has different abilities and characteristics, which dictates how to communicate with and teach them. At all age groups, competition, not winning, is what is most important. While learning how to compete and winning or losing all have their place, acquiring long-term skills and learning life lessons should be the top priority. Since all players develop at different rates, training is not just for those who are the most advanced for their age, the more athletic, or the ones most committed to soccer. It is essential that we set individual challenges before each player.
Soccer is meant to be fun and educational, and not just competitive: This is especially true at the younger levels, ages 5-12, and should remain the dominant perspective through adolescence, 13-18. The implications of this distinction between educational and competitive approaches are profound.
The educational club measures success in terms of the quality of its process (player development), while a competitive club measures success in terms of the quality of its outcomes (winning). Educational programs look at the outcomes for individuals, whereas competitive programs focus on outcomes in terms of teams and groups.
Soccer is a Long Term Player Development (LTPD) Sport: There are no shortcuts to soccer success. Participants need early exposure and a long period of training. Coaches, parents, and players need patience and perseverance to stay the course. Professional soccer players seldom reach their potential until their mid-twenties and for goalkeepers, their early thirties. Childhood development follows age stages and coaching curricula must be age appropriate for each stage.
Soccer must be kept in perspective: In the overall development of our youth, soccer must be kept in perspective. Children should play because they want to, not because they feel forced. If so desired, children should be allowed to take off-season breaks, try other sports, or go to summer camps of their choosing. Nothing should be assumed by anyone involved. Good communication between parents and their child as well as between parent, child, and coach to assess how the player feels about their participation and progress is always beneficial.
The MUSC Value System sometimes means taking unpopular stands: In keeping with its core values, the club sometimes must make unpopular decisions regarding team formation and player placement. It requires being honest with parents about the growth and development of their child. It requires MUSC to challenge each individual player without forgetting the needs of the player versus the perceived needs of the team, coach or parents.