WSA SOCCER PLAYER PLACEMENT
WHAT IS PLAYER PLACEMENT: WSA Player Placement is the nomenclature used to describe the process of players being placed within teams during team formation. This is specifically the part of team formation related to the commitment of the player to the team, and the team to the player.
WHAT IS TEAM FORMATION: WSA Team Formation umbrellas all of the processes related to team formation. In addition to Player Placement, Team Formation also includes: roster generation, player registration, team budgeting, league platform assignment, periodization scheduling, coach and staff assignment, practice scheduling and training facility allocations.
PLAYER PLACEMENT HISTORY/CONTEXT/BACKGROUND: Approximately 2007 WSA changed the traditional name “tryouts” to “Player Placement” to more accurately and transparently describe the process. While there is still a “tryout” as part of the Player Placement Process, the club recognized a better process was needed than the traditional and former single hour-long session to determine an evaluation of the best fit.
PLAYER PLACEMENT WHY: The purpose of WSA’s Player Placement process is to help players find the “best fit”. This best fit includes team socialization, coach to player relationship and interaction, league platform, level of player, evaluation of capacity of player, logistics of training location, finances, roster spots, team need, and player preference. While WSA Soccer is able to offer a myriad of league platforms, multiple teams per age division, multiple locations, and varying degrees of time and financial commitment, it is possible that the "best fit" may not be found at WSA Soccer for EVERY player. WSA Soccer contends that it is doing it’s best when the priority is in finding the player’s “best fit”. The WSA Player Placement process is designed to facilitate this effort, and achieve this why as the central purpose.
WHAT DETERMINES BEST FIT: As stated above the “best fit” for a player is often driven by several external logistics, such as geography, socialization, familiarity, finances, time commitment, car pooling, team roster spots, etc…. Ultimately, and ideally, the “best fit” would provide the player the best experience from a developmental standpoint. This means equal measure of challenge, success, and failure which we’ve found best helps meet the player’s need towards achieving the player’s maximal capacity. In the end, we also are reminded that the reason players play, at all levels, is to have FUN and to SOCIALIZE into a COMMUNITY. This compass still needs to be turned on when “best fit” dialogue and thoughtfulness ensues.
PLAYER PLACEMENT PROCESS: The process includes a player evaluation by coaching staff in five different settings (see below “Transparent Evaluative Process), a conversation and discussion between parent/player and WSA Staff, either before, during, or following a tryout, and final decision by the player and the team coach.
A TRANSPARENT EVALUATION PROCESS: The player evaluation process is open, transparent, and strives to be objective, non-biased, and fair to all players. It is important to acknowledge that WSA recognizes that player-coach relationships can impact evaluations and ultimately decisions, either positively or negatively. WSA desires to be an organization that retains relational qualities in every process, as a community organization. At the same time WSA desires to create a Player Placement process that creates pathways to mitigate the player-coach relationship to help assist in objectivity and fairness.
CLICK HERE TO LEARN ABOUT WSA SOCCER'S 5 EVALUATIVE SETTINGS
EVALUATION CRITERIA: The evaluation of a player is complex, dynamic, and fluid. It is important that the WSA Coach is trained to view the player through the lens of a long-range development model. Thus, it is not simply “where is the player at currently” but “what is the player’s capacity”. The skill in which this evaluation is performed and executed requires precise study and intense thoughtfulness by the coach/scout/evaluator.
Further, the evaluator is charged with making a decision not just on “what helps my team” but moreover what is the “best fit” for the player. To do this the coach must consider the player’s likely developmental timeline, the key dimensions of the player, the age, the relative age of the player’s ability, and integrate that into the same for the player’s potential team. This effort towards determining a "best fit" becomes fluid since the coach is often managing several unknowns including who has committed, will likely commit and might not commit to the team.
TRANSCENDING THE 4 DIMENSIONS OF THE PLAYER: TECHNICAL, TACTICAL, PHYSICAL, PSYCHOLOGICAL
The player is often understood to be comprised of 4 dimensions. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ON WSA SOCCER'S EVALUATIVE CRITERIA.
YOUTH ACADEMY PLAYER PLACEMENT, DECISION & COMMITMENT:
Youth Academy (5U-10U ages) will follow a flexible team commitment process to allow players to explore the option of pre-competitive soccer within an exploratory phase that includes a flexible environment targeted for the developmental age of the players.
READ MORE ABOUT WSA'S YOUTH ACADEMY PLAYER COMMITMENT PROCESS
DECISION AND COMMITMENT TO TEAM 11U-19U: On or after the National Signing Day (May 1 the past 15 years) the player and parent could be requested at any moment to commit to a team by being offered a spot. It is possible the player may be offered this spot prior to May 1st through verbal communication between player and coach. This is most common in returning players and older teams. The player and parent can also verbally express their interest to a coach in her/his particular team. WSA reminds all to remember the purpose of the Player Placement Process is “best fit”. Any number of other distracters which could deter the “best fit” could be a desire for “best team” or “best league” or “best social status”.
EXPECTED COMMUNICATION AT TRYOUTS: The tryout process is often the pinnacle of the decision making step during Player Placement. This often culminates at a time when final coach to team assignments are announced, league platform announcements are finalized, and incoming or new players are identified, along with any outgoing or exiting players. The many “unknowns” begin to shape themselves into more “knowns” and an informed decision by the player and also by the team coach become more possible.
Since this is often times a high-pressured decision with the convergence of a lot of information in a short period of time, the club has RECOMMENDED COMMUNICATION GUIDELINES FOR PARENT/PLAYER COACH INTERACTION AT TRYOUTS - CLICK HERE.
FEEDBACK: Player feedback is considered to be a prized tool for helping players grow and develop. CLICK HERE to learn WSA's GUIDELINES FOR PROTECTING and SAFEGUARDING FEEDBACK AS A TOOL FOR GROWTH for each player and coach.
PARENT ROLE: The parents role in the process is crucial. Parents provide the support system, determine the tone, and are the major influencer of the player's environment during their youth sporting career and even beyond. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE ABOUT THE PARENT'S ROLE IN THE TRYOUT PROCESS.
TRYOUT DAY - WHAT TO EXPECT: Even though the actual tryout is only one of five evaluative settings applied to the Player Placement, WSA still recognizes the intense focus that can be driven towards this particular event for the child and parent.
READ MORE ABOUT WHAT TO EXPECT ON TRYOUT DAY.
REGISTERING FOR THE TEAM: To confirm your spot on the team the player will be required to register. During registration the player will make a commitment and pay a minimum of $5 deposit towards the registration. READ MORE ABOUT REGISTRATION