Character Strengths.jpg

A note from Director of Youth Development, Kevin McCarthy –

Many of you are familiar with the I am DUSC book that can be found in the player resource page on the DUSC website. It is a player directed journal that will help prepare players on their journey as they develop, grow and hopefully become the best they can be — both on and off the field.

It centers around 11 Character Strengths and their application in the game and in life. This year DUSC is integrating these character strengths into the practice curriculum each month. 

September was Preparation. Below you can see a sample of the guidelines and suggestions our staff were encouraged to weave into the fabric of their practices and games. 

Most importantly it was made clear that as we guide and encourage our players to be prepared, it is imperative that we model excellence in Preparation through our actions and behaviors. 

Player development in an organized environment is a key to nurturing a confident and skilled player. Preparation in our organization does not revolve around perfect spaces and surfaces, but rather purpose and clear functionality. 

Preparation is synonymous with a growth mindset. It is the belief and understanding that technical and tactical abilities can be developed. When players take stock of their equipment, think of how they should rest and eat before and after games, watch games on tv, practice on their own, they are resource priming -- using a clear and systematic way to prepare for the upcoming challenges on and off the field that activates their strengths and increases the likelihood that they will be successful and have a joyful, satisfying soccer experience.

October is Effort.  At DUSC we have an experienced, educated and licensed group of coaches. Yet, we coach our coaches that intention, energy - Effort - are the foundation of the best developmental platform.  Without that formula for Effort, players would not respond, grow or enjoy their soccer experience.

Integrating the belief that Effort is one of the most crucial aspects of performance and completely under their control, is a mantra we expect our players to embrace both in training and in games.  It is reflected in many ways - work rate, hustle, body language, transitions - and a core strength of any successful player and team.