Local media passes up chance to question LTPD
Funny thing happened yesterday at the Ontario Soccer Centre – a media conference was held and the Toronto area media decided that one of the most talked about things in Ontario’s most popular sport wasn’t worth talking or learning about.
Long Term Player Development and the plan to remove published standings from developmental play for players U12 in the province has been making headlines on radio, tv and in print for months now with the plan often being pilloried as everything from a communist plot to the worst idea since “new” coke.
Yesterday came the chance for all these media headline makers to ask their direct, probing questions of four people from three countries and two continents who are the biggest proponents for implementation of LTPD in their areas. The opportunity to really get the “dirt” on what this program is really all about and gain the insight to really put these “development first” people in their place once and for all…
I won’t embarrass them by telling you how many of them bothered to show up and try and gain the information they need to make balanced, fact based commentary and arguments in their next LTPD attack piece. Sadly, suffice it to say none of them are any better informed this week than they were last.
But opportunity lost for some is opportunity and fortune gained for others… and what I will say is that Alex Chiet, Technical Officer of the Ontario Soccer Association, Nick Levatt, National Development Manager (Youth and Mini Soccer) for England’s FA and Sam Snow, Coaching Director at US Youth Soccer and Bobby Lennox also of the OSA were knowledgeable, forthright, patient and sometimes passionate when answering questions and concerns about LTPD.
Chiet, for one acknowledges that these are still early days and there are and will be plenty of challenges to implementation and there may even need to be flexibility along the way.
Lennox, now tasked with getting the word out to the grassroots level for the OSA sees where even though the information has been readily available it has not flowed as well as leadership would have hoped and relishes his role in changing that.
Levatt told us how implementation within a well established soccer culture has taken a slightly different path in England but also how the English media, in general, has been very supportive.
For Snow’s part his American perspective on the the use and acceptance of a “national” curriculum was interesting as it provided insight on where and at what levels a LTPD curriculum might gain acceptance in Canada.
In general, there men in their various capacities within the game all expressed a strong belief in the core principles of long term player development and what it will mean long term for the game in not just Canada but their own countries.
For my part it reinforced the belief that LTPD is a way forward for the game here in Canada and although there sure to be bumps and challenges along the way the momentum is slowly growing to get it done.
Too bad others with bigger platforms for discussion couldn’t find the time to learn more.