Purpose

This page includes articles, thoughts, and essays on various topics related to athletic and personal development.  Topics range from expositions on talent and talent development, to coaching methodology, to leadership theory, to soccer concepts, and more. 

Arsene Wenger of Arsenal FC is quoted as stating "the day you stop learning is the day you stop teaching."  FC Wisconsin Eclipse embraces this philosophy whole-heartedly.  We expect our coaches to constantly expand their knowledge and improve their effectiveness in order to constantly improve their ability to teach and develop the next generation of players.  Many of the philosophies of FC Wisconsin Eclipse are included within the articles on this page.  

Beyond educating coaches, it is critical for youth soccer clubs to also provide information and education to parents of aspiring athletes.  Being a parent of an aspiring athlete is very different and requires a unique mindset and focus.  It is our hope that these articles provide thoughts that will help player development through improved parent education and understanding.

Aim Higher, Always

When most see an athlete successfully perform an amazing feat of skill, under pressure in a meaningful game, their first thought is usually “I can’t believe he/she did that.”  This rightfully...

Watching and Identifying a Developmental Saboteur

(This article originally appeared in Goal Nation on June 1, 2014.)

“Truth is dangerous. It topples palaces and kills kings. It stirs gentle men to rage … wakes old grievances and opens forgotten...

Developing Individual Mentality and Creating Club Culture

One of the most important influences on player development (and eventually performance) is the culture within the player’s club.  Culture is incredibly powerful at encouraging or stifling a variety of...

Be Your Own Driving Force

(A modified version of this article originally appeared in Soccer Nation on October 2, 2013).

How can two players with similar overall athleticism and skill levels, who are in the same training...

The Journey of a Young Athlete

Over the years, we have spoken to countless young players about their athletic and personal “journey” in soccer.  The metaphor of the “journey” represents the road that each athlete travels as they...

The Importance of Adversity in Growth and Development

(This article originally appeared in Goal Nation on February 7, 2013 and was reprinted in January 2015).

The development path to excellence in anything is filled with moments of great reward; but...

Being Coachable ... How Do You Take Feedback?

Ultimately, how well you hear and apply feedback determines whether or not you are “coachable.”  And there are arguably no bigger determinants to your long-term success than your coachability.

In his...

Athletic Development as discussed by Gary Neville

Last week, the Football Association in England (the FA) opened an incredible new facility (St. George’s Park) as the new home for all English youth national teams and the base for coaching education...

Common Values Create Long-Term Success

The most successful organizations in the world have a set of values that define what is most important to the organization, what drives the decisions in the organization, and what it takes to be...

"I Don't Have Any Confidence" .... Now What?

Every soccer player, at every level in the world, has had a crisis of confidence in their career.  More realistically, most players have periods of low confidence at multiple moments throughout their...

Creating an Elite Development Environment and Being an Athlete Within It

The word “coach” derives from the Hungarian word kocsi … meaning “carriage.”  The original word referenced the fact that a coach can help “carry” a student to new performance levels or through tests...

The Question Every Athlete Answers Every Day

Every athlete faces ONE BIG QUESTION every day they train: “How determined am I today to maximize my performance and train at the edge of my ability?

The list of “things” that can cause an athlete on...

The Art of Practicing to Become Exceptional

Over the past several years, much has been written about the specific type of practice that is required to develop a world-class performer.  In this research, the term for the training habits of elite...

Creating a Culture of Great Soccer

The best developmental soccer clubs in the world have a culture that clearly prioritizes player development above all else.  The heart of this culture can be seen on the training field in the ideas...

Maximizing Growth - Adversity, Timely Coaching, and Athlete Mentality

In 2005, Andrew McCutcheon was drafted in the first round of the MLB draft by the Pittsburgh Pirates and in early 2007 he was rated the 13th best prospect in baseball.  Only months later, he was...

The Impact of Visualization and Concentration on Performance

Visualization is a technique practiced by almost every elite athlete to help improve performance or manage competitive stress.  Recent studies have even shown that visualization (or mental imagery)...

Managing Praise to Maximize Performance

No one disputes the importance of positive feedback in the learning process.  However, balancing the amount of praise vs. criticism, or informational comments vs. encouragement, is very difficult.  It...

What a True Player Development Program Looks Like - On The Field

Individual technical ability is the most important pre-requisite to play high-level soccer.  Unfortunately, most youth soccer clubs fall into one of two categories:

  1. Teams with a majority of...

A Gold Medal Team's Mission Statement

Below is the mission statement of the 1996 Australian Women’s Field Hockey Team (Gold Medalists In Atlanta).  It is a great outline of some of the qualities and principles it takes to be an elite...

The Courage to Be Patient

(This article was the most read article of the year in Goal Nation in 2013, and was reprinted in January 2015.)  

On March 30, in San Diego, CA, US Soccer Director of Coaching Dave Chesler gave a...

Becoming Comfortable Being Uncomfortable

A key philosophy of the FC Wisconsin Eclipse training and developmental philosophy is to push players to train on the edge of their abilities.  We expect players to “become comfortable being...

Long-Term, Player-Centric Development Philosophy

The best youth soccer clubs are focused on one priority above all others: individual player development.  While almost everyone talks about this focus, few act on it to the degree they espouse, and...

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