I stumbled across the article on social media last week. Having been privileged enough go on several of his course and attend a experts workshop on “football braining” I can tell you that you have to experience the environment Raymond creates to fully understand the level and value of his coaching education, which is quite different to a lot of the other styles I have experienced. To me it is more real, more practical and despite the volume of work we go through less theoretical.
Here I have taken some of the interview he has done with SOCCER TODAY, mainly the points that leapt out at me. I strongly suggest you read the full interview, you can click on the picture for a direct link, and if you can go on one of his courses.
Headquartered in the Netherlands, with world-renowned coach Raymond Verheijen serving as CEO, the WFA services over 2,000 football specialists in more than 20 countries per year. This year, Verheijen is coming to do six sessions in the USA.
Youth Soccer News: The World Football Academy USA (WFA) is Raymond Verheijen organization dedicated to educating coaching and improving the quality of player development.
Headquartered in the Netherlands, with world-renowned coach Raymond Verheijen serving as CEO, the WFA services over 2,000 football specialists in more than 20 countries per year.
Diane Scavuzzo: What are the biggest mistakes youth coaches in America make?
Raymond Verheijen: There are a few areas of concern.
First of all, many people in the US — in general and in US youth football in particular —are vulnerable to the ‘big names’ … Americans tend to think that famous and successful people in football know what they are doing and are also able to transfer their abilities to others.
THIS IS AN ILLUSION. MANY SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE ARE UNCONSCIOUSLY COMPETENT.
They intuitively do the right things most of the time. This means they are really good at what they do but they do not know why.
DESPITE THIS LACK OF SELF-AWARENESS, THESE SUCCESSFUL PEOPLE STILL TRY TO EDUCATE OTHERS.
As a result, they often come up with elements which in reality are not the key factors of their success. Scientific research has proven this problem time and time again. Therefore, youth coaches should never copy the champion.
Another mistake youth coaches often make is applying something from another sport in the football context without reflecting on it’s relevance in advance. People often think that if something works in one sport it should automatically also work in another sport. However, this is often not the case. You cannot simply ignore the context.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the best way to teach youth soccer players? To ask questions?
Raymond Verheijen: It has been scientifically proven that human beings learn most when experiencing something first before talking about that something.
This is also how our brain has evolved over a period of thousands of years.
IN HUMAN EVOLUTION, COMPETENCE CAME BEFORE COMPREHENSION.
So, coaches should allow players to play first before talking with them to develop comprehension.
And, when the coach does talk to his players, asking questions is indeed the best way.
But this questioning should take place within a clear reference. If children do not understand the context in which you ask them questions, you confuse them rather than making them understand as there is no direction during the questioning.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the difference between CONSCIOUSLY INCOMPETENT and UNCONSCIOUSLY INCOMPETENT?
Raymond Verheijen: Incompetent means that a coach is lacking ability in a certain area. This coach is either aware of this room for improvement — consciously incompetent — or he is unaware of his inability —unconsciously incompetent.
IN THAT CASE, THE COACH DOES NOT KNOW WHAT THE COACH DOES NOT KNOW.
As a result, these coaches often keep doing what they are doing for the rest of their career. This is what we call denial.
On the other hand, coaches who are consciously incompetent are often looking for solutions and improvements as nobody wants to be incompetent in a certain area.
THEREFORE, THE STEP FROM UNCONSCIOUSLY INCOMPETENT TO CONSCIOUSLY INCOMPETENT IS A CRUCIAL ONE IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF ANY COACH.
You can help coaches by first overloading them to expose the specific incompetence followed by showing them the mirror so they can become aware of their inability. This is exactly what I do during my courses.
I often create overload situations in the classroom to expose things and to allow coaches to develop self-awareness.