What Does It Really Take To Make It To The Next Level? Albion SC’s Noah Gins Speaks Out.
The dreams of youth soccer players are filled with sheering crowds and the accolades that are bestowed on Ronaldo and Messi but few players realize the hard work that goes into being successful. It takes more than talent to make it to the next level. Highly acclaimed Executive Director Noah Gins speaks out on what it really takes to make it
GoalNation spoke with Albion Soccer Club Executive Director Noah Gins on advice for becoming a better soccer player and the goals of coaches on the field.
Diane Scavuzzo: You were a collegiate star and played professionally — and now are the head of one of the top youth soccer clubs in America. What is the most important advice you could give a youth soccer players who dreams of taking his or her game to the next level?
Noah Gins: Taking your game to the next level will require a player to do more and ask more of themselves.
A player who wants to raise the level of their game must step outside the box and do what other players are not doing.
Players need guidance and a player development pathway but it is nobody’s responsibility but their own to move themselves to the next level. Players must take responsibility for their own game and build a competition advantage into their game.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the greatest asset a player can have?
Noah Gins: The greatest asset a player can have is the desire to learn, the heart of a champion, and a work ethic that will always be there.
Diane Scavuzzo: What can a player learn from his or her mistakes?
Noah Gins: The greatest opportunity comes from making a mistake and knowing what you did wrong to prevent it from happening again.
Coaches do not like to see players make the same mistakes over and over. Coaches can understand mistakes — just not the same ones over and over again.
Diane Scavuzzo: What mistakes do you remember making on the field?
Noah Gins: Early on, I remember holding onto the ball to long.
I remember going into my first National Team Camp and realizing I could no longer dribble the ball for a long time.
I quickly learned from my mistakes and made sure it was not repeated.
Diane Scavuzzo: How does a coach know if a player is listening?
Noah Gins: A coach knows a player is listening when they show evidence on the field of what you are asking.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the best way to handle criticism?
Noah Gins: Best way to handle it is to prove them wrong with action.
Diane Scavuzzo: What should you do if you think your coach doesn’t like you?
Noah Gins: If you think your coach does not like you, know that you are wrong.
Coaches like all their players. Coaches cannot and do not play all their players and players cannot confuse those two things. Often times players equate being liked with play time. This is where things go south quickly between a player and a coach.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why is respect so important on and off the soccer field?
Noah Gins: If soccer is going to give back to a player or a coach then you must respect the game and all the game is.
That is the referees, the opponent, the coach, the players, the spectators. It is all that is under the umbrella of the game and it all must be respected.
Diane Scavuzzo: Do coaches always realize what a powerful influence they can have on a player?
Noah Gins: Most definitely not.
Soccer coaches lose sight of the fact that players hold onto every word spoken and every action taken.
The players look up to coaches and the coaches have the key to a players success which gives coaches a lot of responsibility. Coaches must take a step back more often and realize that they have the opportunity to shape these players lives and are doing it each day out.
Diane Scavuzzo: What is the best way to build up confidence?
Noah Gins: Do simple things really well.
Diane Scavuzzo: What advice can you share on gaining mental strength?
Noah Gins: Don’t stop, keep pursuing.
Adversity will hit and when it does — do not stop.
Diane Scavuzzo: Why do you love what you do? What motivates you?
Noah Gins: I love the game of soccer — we all love it, and beyond that, it is the dream that lives inside each player that I aim to fulfill.
I truly want to help every player and every coach reach their goal and beyond. This is what motivates me each day out, it is helping others find their success.
Diane Scavuzzo: How important is winning? Everyone talks about winning vs development — are they always at odds with each other?
Noah Gins: Winning in relationship to development is not a priority.
Winning a trophy is not the objective inside player development.
We know that coaches step on the field to win and players want to win and this is without question, but when it comes to player development winning cannot be the priority.
Diane Scavuzzo: How do you track a players performance?
Noah Gins: We have begun to use video technology to help our players see their performance and give them valuable feedback. In addition, we have implemented stats that allow players understand their performance based on goals and objectives built into their player specific function on the field.
Diane Scavuzzo: Where do you want Albion SC to be in five years?
Noah Gins: The coaches at Albion SC are working hard to have our club become the most recognized soccer club and brand in the country with the most successfully developed players and teams.
I want Albion SC to be known for the leadership, the level of coaching, the quality of players, and the style of play — along with the core values of respect and hard work we possess on and off the field.
Albion SC is based in San Diego, CA and has been awarded the new U.S. Soccer Girls Development Academy (DA) and has the Boys DA. Albion SC also works with the PUMA / Arsenal FC program. The club has approximately 45 youth soccer coaches training youth soccer players and is well recognized across the country for successfully developing youth talent.