Casual vs Committed Approach
On July 7, 2000 Louis Van Gaal signed a 6 year contract
to become the Coach of the Dutch National Soccer Team and
to oversee the entire National Program of Dutch Soccer.
This fulfilled a lifelong dream and allowed Van Gaal the opportunity
to give something back to Dutch Soccer.
His Master Plan was to share the knowledge and experience that he gained over his career
with the Dutch soccer community – professional and amateur.
This was the most cherished appointment in his career.
On Nov.28, 2001 Louis Van Gaal resigned as the National Team Coach of Holland —
Less than a year and a half into his 6 year contract.
A very sad day for Van Gaal and as he said – the saddest day in his professional career
The reason for his resignation:
He could not count on the support of the majority of his players
who desired a more casual approach
In the long run, a casual approach does not work.
It takes more than just the desire to achieve big things.
Van Gaal felt that the last 10 – 20% was lacking in his players.
That last 10-20 % is total commitment
Dutch soccer has been my model for the past 35 years
I’ve studied it and on 5 different occasions I have spent time in Holland
In ’76 – took a CBC group on a soccer trip to Holland, England and Portugal
In ’97 – a 10 day coaching course in Zeist at the KNVB Headquarters (mentality)
In ’00 – 2 weeks at the European Cup Championships (passion)
In ’01 – 10 days on a free-lance trip to observe training and games (professionalism)
My attraction to Dutch soccer initially was the style of play — skillful and fluid
I have grown to appreciate their detailed analytical approach
Such a tiny country has given so much to the soccer world
Soccer people worldwide seek their total soccer concept
They have a simplistic approach to soccer – they call it Dutch Vision
They are very willing to share their information worldwide
with the realization that they then must continue to improve themselves.
Many of the soccer developing countries have Dutch coaches
as their National Team Coach
I want to address the casual vs committed approach concept
Casual approach works to a point – however
To achieve success at the highest levels of competition
requires a totally committed effort.
A casual approach works for indoor soccer where you simply show up and play.
There is no real preparation involved.
In the Dec.’99 issue of the NSCAA Journal, there was an article entitled
Soccer and The Next Generation –
The author expressed concern about US Soccer saying –
“I worry that we’re always going to be a nation of soccer participants
with no real passion for the game.
Sort of the next millennium’s successor to slow pitch softball”
Passion – part of the lacking 10-20% as stated by Van Gaal.
A casual approach allows you to play at the game with little personal investment
In order to achieve the final 10-20% requires personal investments of time and effort.
Total commitment extends beyond the boundaries of the casual approach
Commitment involves the following aspects:
1—set high standards
2—invest personal time and energy to achieve them
3—placing a high value on good training habits
4—preparing yourself in every way possible
5—be willing to challenge yourself to extend your personal boundaries
I want to cite 2 recent examples:
Brian O’Hagan – keeper — @6’3”, very good keeper skills, very poor foot skills
From the end of his Jr season to the start of his Sr season, he worked diligently to
improve his foot skills – came back Sr with very good foot skills –
Matt Mueller – as a Soph was running 2 miles in 13:30 plus — joined the track team as a
distance runner to prepare himself for soccer –as a Sr. was running 2 miles in @11:45
and his game and confidence improved also.
I see the same situation in the CBC soccer program concerning the casual approach
It concerns me and I want to challenge the players
to consider a more committed approach
To achieve the final 10-20% requires:
Mental toughness, self-discipline, determination, extra effort and solid preparation
It‘s not only intensity or effort that is needed,
It’s preparation, focus and attention to detail that matters the most.
As I watched the youth teams in Holland train, I saw the commitment to excellence,
The attention paid to small details, and the importance and quality of a clean touch.
It was the expected norm and there was no place for the casual approach because the
level of play and the level of competition demanded everyone to be at their best.
CBC Soccer is a competitive and challenging experience.
A long-standing tradition and expectation of success is the guiding force
In the 58 years of recorded CBC Soccer History, (that I have been able to find)
CBC has won over 1200 games and 94 Championships
For a season average record : 20-4-2 and 2+ Championships
(over 59 years – thru 2006)
A casual approach will leave you very short
A committed approach will give you a chance
The ultimate, final decision is yours
Your personal investment will determine your personal outcome.
 – Terry Michler, Co-Founder, Dutch Soccer Vision