Dr. Jozsef Fabian comments on the ‘Open Letter’ Roby Stahl sent to US Soccer.
I cannot go into every detail of (Roby Stahls’ article – ‘US Soccer Needs to Reset) and everything that US Soccer does poorly. There is insufficient time to deal with all that in one article.
However, the answers can be found in countless sport science publications, but we need leaders who can/will read these articles.
First and foremost, we must accept that the primary source of knowledge, gathered by humankind through history, comes from scientific research.
Secondary sources of information may be helpful, but one will never be a leader by being a follower. A plethora of scientific research publications agrees that members of performing organizations, companies, and teams must have a common goal that they work toward achieving.
I see no evidence whatsoever that the leadership of US Soccer has the common goal of winning the World Cup. They seem to be interested only in maintaining a steady cash flow but do not wish to take any risk for any higher achievement, not even for a more increased cash flow.
I say that because I see no evidence that US Soccer has ever embraced any part of the existing knowledge related to anything related to soccer. I have been studying soccer for twenty years and found that US Soccer’s decisions have been contrary to the available wisdom. Whether it is the player (human) development, developing fitness, coaching (teaching) principles, leadership, team dynamics, injury prevention, skill development, sport psychology, nutrition, hydration, and countless other disciplines in soccer, they seem to make the wrong decision, the opposite conclusion of what science teaches us.
The only achievement by US Soccer so far is that they can claim the number of registered players, and the game’s popularity has increased significantly in the United States. However, one can argue that this achievement belongs to the Game.
Indeed, fundamental change is needed, and the knowledge is out there.
The Question Is.
The question remains, with so many people in this industry calling for a change in the soccer culture in the US, why is no one listening?
I ask the question, but I think I know the answer people will give.
I’d love to hear their responses.
One possible reason could be resistance to change. Many people may be comfortable with the current youth soccer culture in the US and may not see a need for change. Some may even believe that the current culture is already successful, and any changes could negatively impact that success.
Another reason could be a lack of understanding or awareness of the issues raised at the youth level. Some people may not fully understand the problems within the current culture, or they may not have experienced them firsthand, leading to a lack of motivation to make changes.
Institutional barriers may make it difficult for change to occur. The youth soccer industry in the US is complex, with many different organizations and stakeholders involved. Making cultural changes may require significant effort and collaboration from all parties involved.
Overall, it is likely a combination of these and other factors contributing to the resistance to change in the US youth soccer culture.
However, I believe it is important to continue raising awareness and advocating for change, especially at the youth level, as progress can only be made through consistent effort and perseverance.
I’ll keep this simple. Our national federation set-up is loaded with a cadre of dinosaurs who have no personal interest in accepting fresh ideas and input. I noted the author’s use of the word “industry.” Youth soccer is a cash cow. Rich Jablonski