Playing as a Team

January 3rd 2017, by Adam H. Burns

This past fall I had the privilege to coach my 4th season for the junior high boys’ soccer team at Pequea Valley Intermediate School and my 2nd with my brother as my assistant coach. Pequea Valley is one of the smaller schools in the Lancaster-Lebanon league, so the pool of players I have to select from is not always very big, and I never know how many players I’ll have year to year.

This past season was a maddeningly challenging one for me as a coach. I expected my team to be about average based on the skill level of the boys I had. All of the boys had some sort of playing experience, so I thought we’d be able to put together a couple of wins. Nope!

We didn’t win a single game. We struggled mightily to score goals. We played bad team defense. The boys’ effort was good and we had players who were very skilled and had a great soccer IQ, but as a team we weren’t very good. After every game we would do drills to work on the areas that we had struggled in during the previous game, but that didn’t seem to work. My brother suggested that we scrimmage more often instead of just working on drills, and the results in games were vastly improved.

Just doing drills may have improved each player’s individual skill level, but it did nothing to help work together and develop as a team. Scrimmaging allowed the boys to understand their roles and the expectations I had for them.

I am so thankful to be able to work at Master’s where we have a true team practice. Everyone knows their role and understands the expectations of the other team members. Because we work so well as a team, we are able to serve our clients to the best of our ability, and hopefully, you, the client, are able to see the results of our hard work.