Teesta Sisodia-Sullivan - March 1, 2018
Antonio Saviano is currently
the Director of Operations at the Premier Sports Campus at Lakewood Ranch,
Florida. He is also the President
and Founder of SoccerKix, Inc. He was previously the Director of Coaching in Wilmington, North Carolina at the Cape Fear Youth Soccer Association. You
can also learn more about Antonio at his LinkedIn profile.
What traits in a young player can help a coach or scout identify those athletes who may be good enough to play professionally?
It’s great to be able to show versatility. As a player, the question is always can he/she play multiple positions?
If you have a player who can only play one position, they are limited in what they can offer a team. If you have a player who can play multiple positions, they will be more valuable to the team.
How does a player balance between standing out (possibly showing off) and maintaining a team approach to playing?
In soccer or any other sports for that matter, teams may win simply because they have the best player or players. However other teams may also win with only average players. Part of the secret is teamwork – no matter how good the individual players are, if they don’t play as a unit, they won’t win.
Other than technical ability, what measurables do you look for when scouting a young player?
In my personal opinion at a high level it is all about the two important aspects: ability and attitude.
Ability is the decision making on the field, when, how, if… *making a pass, shoot, etc.) Can the player see his/her teammate to make a forward pass? Can he/she beat another player? Can he/she play a one/two?
Attitude is the way the player acts on the field and approaches practices and games. A player must have a positive attitude that motivates his fellow teammates. Does he/she support and encourage teammates? Is he/she taking practices and training seriously and always trying to improve himself and the team?
What options are there for a player to get noticed, if there is no Development Academy nearby?
Being a good player on your club or high school team is not good enough anymore, so players need to play on teams that will give them exposure at the higher level such as showcase events. Unfortunately there isn’t an easy way to get noticed anymore. A little luck also goes a long way.
What advice would you give the serious player who is dedicated to his craft to best position himself so he can be seen and possibly placed with a professional team?
Be persistent, committed, listen and never give up. Keep the right attitude and respect your staff and teammates. Hard work and commitment will not go unseen.
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