Change is a scary thing, or is it?

I have always been told there are only two certainties in life, death and taxes, but I would like to add another: change.  Like it or not change is happening all the time.

Over the past few months, Trebol has experienced many changes both on and off the field and I am sure people have asked why is Trebol making these changes.

Some of the changes were made to ensure the needs of the club, as highlighted by the board in last year’s strategic plan, such as improved player and coaching development, were met. New staff have been hired and tasked with seeking to expand and further develop upon the club’s first twenty years of existence, to help ensure Trebol has a bright, successful, and competitive future both on and off the field.

The result of change can already be seen in some areas, with the development and implementation of a club soccer philosophy, an age appropriate curriculum, expansion of coaching education opportunities, as well as additional player opportunities at the recent Boot Camps. At the end of the spring season members will be able to see the implementation of an improved and transparent tryout process for all Trebol players entering the 2016-17 seasons.

Some changes, however, are forced upon you. In the last five months Trebol has had three different office locations as the club had to find a location that met all the necessary criteria to best serve its members. During this time staff, coaches, and members have had to deal with a lot of uncertainty and disruption but in the last month we have solidified a permanent office in a great central location in Louisville.  The new office not only provides the staff a professional environment in which to work, but also offers coaches, team managers, and members alike a place to call home, a new identity, where we can host meetings and hang out to talk Trebol soccer.

There are more changes ahead which will not only affect all Trebol players, but all youth soccer players throughout the entire country.

The new US Soccer Federation mandates are founded on sound player development initiatives. The introduction of small-sided games for the 9 through 12 ages will lead to these players having more touches on the ball, leading to increase technical skills and better player development, critical at the younger ages.

The change of team formation to birth year at first sight might not appear to be beneficial to players. However the change is intended to have players train and play according to their age and developmental stage supporting the objectives of small-sided games, focusing on the physiological and developmental needs of the player.

Team formation by birth year will lead to the breaking up of teams and some players being unable to play with existing friends, for some this is seen as a barrier that can’t be overcome. Perhaps it may be better to look at this as an opportunity to explore something different that may lead to greater development and growth, and who knows even making new friends.

Even under the existing team formation process, players would still leave and join the team causing change regardless. Perhaps we should consider embracing the changes and look at the development opportunities that could arise for the individual player.

When dealing with change it helps to keep an open mind and seek to see the positive opportunities that may arise. Throughout the spring the club will keep members updated on the process of changing to team formation by birth year and provide details of any new information when received.

I encourage all members to take the opportunity to discover more about the upcoming changes by reviewing the US Soccer Federation Player Development Initiatives outlined on the club website. Talk to other parents, coaches and club staff to help figure out how these changes will impact your player.

Knowing that change is coming doesn’t guarantee the transition will be easier, or that you will agree with it, but it does allow you to be better prepared to deal with it.

Come the fall, players will be on teams, teams will be playing games. Some games will be won and some will be lost and despite the “changes” it likely will not look a whole lot different to this season or last.  Who knows, this time next year we could all be looking back and wondering why we were so concerned about change.

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