If we needed to use a few words to describe the 21st century, some words that come to mind are efficiency, convenience, and speed. Basically, accomplishing tasks properly with the least number of steps. Faster cars, more fuel-efficient cars, faster, thinner, and cheaper tech, better and more user-friendly apps, phones that can do more than laptops of old. The list can go on and on. That is the overall theme, but how about in sports?
The first thought here about the changes in sports may be with regards to styles of play. With the World Cup, we see soccer is getting faster. There is smarter movement and creative formations and roles due to the ability to specialize. We see the influence of other sports. On corner kicks and free kicks, we see a lot of football and basketball movements, creating space with pretty much moving screens, hand checking, flopping, and quick movements and changes of pace dominating movement on the pitch. In the last edition, the Dutch national team during their penalty shootout substituted their goalkeeper who played the entire game for another, who has a better record saving penalty kicks. Of all things you could call the move, random isn’t one of them. Preparation is a part of every sport, especially at the pro level. Scouting, talent evaluators, are finding ways to quantify and get a leg up on their competition by completely understanding their opponents. The other team, in this case Costa Rica, had to adjust to a new goalkeeper, who has tendencies to protect a certain side and has a different skill set. Which requires a different skill set to adjust. Costa Rica was unable to adjust. That level of decision making requires an organization which allows for a coach to focus on knowing their players’ games inside out and do what he is paid to do, which is coach and get the best out of his players.
The most recent World Cup didn’t see as many bold decisions to this degree, other than if you are aware of the organizational chaos in the Argentinian team. Argentina was in the World Cup final in 2014. Now, they made it into the knockout stage after relying on other results, and not taking care of business against Iceland, and not being up to play against Croatia. Since 2010, Argentina has had 5 coaches. Their current coach, Jorge Sampaoli, has changed his starting lineup in every single game he has been the manager for. The Argentine federation is known to be cash-strapped, with there even being reports that Lionel Messi who some consider the best player in the world and maybe ever, had to pay the salaries out of his pocket of the support staff. The lack of organizational stability has also caused new players to come in and out, and senior players like Messi announced their retirement, and then came back with the hope of a new coach, only for that to be left up in the air again now with Argentina’s elimination. Players and coaches can only do so much. Allowing the players to focus all of their energy on playing, and picking the right coach to bring the best out of the players is a duty for the organization. An unstable organization cannot execute as needed to produce results.
A great representation of organizational stability and player talent coming together is the Spanish national team. Winning the UEFA Euro’s in 2008 and 2012, and winning the World Cup in between in 2010. Their “golden generation” with great coaching and crucially, organizational stability, were able to enjoy a great run of success. How did it end? Stability was taken away. The coach in 2014 was unable to adapt to teams figuring their style out. The organization failed to do its job in adapting and growing with the style of the play. Then in this most recent world cup, they fired their coach two days before their tournament opener. The theme here is the importance of organizational stability and efficiency. With the example of Argentina, a lack of efficiency and trust have left their football in a state of disarray. Meanwhile, Spain’s stability, trust, and efficiency garnered them a huge success, but a small disruption in that trust and efficiency and a failure on the part of the organization to stay ahead of the curve led to poor results the past couple tournaments. Administrative burdens have hurt teams and leagues whether professional or amateur.
International competition is a useful example, but this principle can be applied to the leagues kids participate in as well. As league managers and parents, there is an expectation that the focus of youth sports should be on the kids growing because of playing the sports they chose to play. Having administrative hurdles takes away from that focus, and creates a need for organizational stability and efficiency so that the focus of coaches and organizers can be on the kids. SquadFusion provides the resources for your organization to efficiently organize practices and games, get players registered and organized into teams, collect and manage payment methods and plans, and provide peace of mind for parents, coaches and league managers so that they can focus on bringing the best out of their players and produce results. Just like most things in the 21st Century, efficiency, trust, and convenience, and speed of getting set up are key, and SquadFusion provides that opportunity, in a one-stop shop experience. In this day in age, efficiency, convenience and simplicity aren’t just needed, they are demanded, and SquadFusion delivers.