The Philadelphia Union Academy was once again an active participant at the NSCAA Convention which was held in Philadelphia for the second year in a row. Finn Gundersen, Dr. Christina Fink and Tommy Wilson all gave presentations about specific aspects of the Union Academy. See below for a basic summary of each presentation along with session plans from Tommy Wilson and Peter Fuller.
Philadelphia Union – Player Development Methodology
Building for the Future
- Tactical Support
- Technical Support
- Technology Video Support
Methodology Based on Principals
- Possession Based
- Forward First
- High Tempo
- Fast Technique
- Lots of Mobility
- Balance of Long and Short Passes
- Operate as a team in Attack and Defense
- Tactical Flexibility
Path to Success
- Position Specific Activities
- Athletic Development
- Technical Skills Training
- Holistic Education
Investing in our Future: Strategic Discussion on Developing the American Player
- Philadelphia Union and YSC believe the USA is a future global powerhouse of the game of soccer, and are committed to making Philadelphia Union a key contributor to the evolution of the American game.
- Share, Learn, Grow: All of us share the vision of the USA winning the FIFA World Cup – to achieve this goal dialogue and communication are key.
- How: Building for the Future by Investing in the American Player – Free of Cost = Equal Opportunity for All
- Union Academy Objective: Become the preeminent player development academy in North America – The first MLS club to consistently produce homegrown world-class players.
- It will start with building a Culture: having a Dream, stating our Beliefs, creating a Spirit to face the greatest imaginable challenges.
Dr. Christina Fink
Creating the Environment for Excellence
- Outlined how to be a successful coach and create an environment of excellence, including staying in the present moment, giving effective feedback, having emotional composure, and giving players confidence
- Challenged coaches to reflect on their philosophies and what they stand for
- Discussed what it takes for coaches to be responsible and accountable
- Explained that successful coaches are competent, committed, caring, consistent, and confidence-builders
- Explained that successful coaches create a culture that encourages creativity and taking risks
- Provided specific examples of how coaches can create a culture of excellence with their teams
- Stated that coaches can choose to give their players confidence – or take it away – through their actions and communication
- Discussed how coaches can maximize their potential by being self-aware and knowing how to sustain themselves
- Focused on distinction between who coaches are and what they do, demonstrating the control coaches have over their choices of action
- Explained self-regulation through distinguishing the “cool”, contemplative system versus the “hot”, action-based emotional system and how they influence coach decision-making and action
- Advised about focusing on the “controllables” and shaping the athletic environment through communication, creative thinking, attitude, and emotional composure