The title of this piece sums itself up in its entirety. As clubs, managers, coaches and so forth we need to focus on making sure that the environment we create, from the philosophies we work within, to how we feedback to the player are developing the person to develop the player. Therefore, making sure the learning environment we create is a player centered and we are aware of the both benefits and the consequences of our actions. For example, the feedback we provide a player can encourage two very different mindsets, one of which wishes to work hard and feels like they need to work hard to develop and the other which can lead to complacency and a false impression of there own development.
Success comes from knowing that you did your best
to become the best that you are capable of becoming
In order to manage this it is essential there is understanding and consistency from bottom through to top. Coaches, parents and players are educated in the philosophy and objective of the club. This is reinforced on and off the pitch, developing more independent rather dependent players.
If this is carried out correctly, the result, players become more self aware of what is required of them, where they are in their development, what and how they are going to improve. We will inevitably create independent people who take responsibility for their development. Instead of having to be told, they ask, they request. An example I use, after training we should be telling the players to go in after wanting to stay out and practice, and not to have to be telling them to stay out to practice on their areas that require development. It is a player centred environment, driven by players, educated by coaches.
There are many people who fail to achieve their potential, not because of a lack of ability, but because of a lack of good character and personality. Ability can only flourish if an athlete is willing to apply themselves and work hard. Therefore, as coaches it is imperative that we create the right environment to encourage development of the person to help develop the player.