Kaw Valley FC soccer juggling act of developing and winning resumes at Rock Chalk Park
photo by: Carter Gaskins
Listening to Kaw Valley FC head coach Istvan Urbanyi discuss what the right mentality is for a soccer player in the Premier Development League, it’s easy to picture a pitcher blessed with a 95 mph fastball being forced to throw his offspeed pitches in minor league games.
“I told the guys at halftime: ‘If you guys are here for the result only, then it’s not going to work.’ The first half, we forgot to play,” Urbanyi said after last week’s 2-1 loss to the Des Moines Menace. “Hey, you will develop yourself only if you play the game, not if you only go and kick the ball forward and try to survive or only focus on how to win. You need to do more here.”
At the same time, he explained, you need to learn how to win — a tough balancing act for the college players who make up the Cranes’ roster.
“You have to combine these things because one thing we have to make clear: Result is important. If someone says result is not important, that’s a poor understanding. Whatever level we’re talking, players must learn how to be competitive, how to be motivated, how to develop winning mentality,” said Urbanyi, a native of Hungary. “Competition is part of sport. That’s kind of the fuel.”
Winning without taking shortcuts that impede development is basically the goal.
“I can’t imagine any better condition than trying to win,” Urbanyi said. “Now, what or how many things would we sacrifice to win the game? Would you tell your goalkeeper, ‘Don’t even think about passing the ball to the defender, just kick it forward because we don’t want to get beat at the back?’ Would you tell your defenders, ‘Don’t try to possess the ball?’ No, we’re not going to do that. We want to experience pressure. We want them to experience difficult situations because we also want them to learn how to solve the problems, how to deal with those situations. So mistakes will be part of our players’ season.”
If you never fall, you never learn how to get back up.
“If we don’t want players to make mistakes, how are we going to make them stronger?” Urbanyi said. “How are we going to make them understand, OK, these are the limits. These are the kind of borders I should make as a player in certain situations.”
Kaw Valley (2-3-1) will try to play the game the right way and win vs. the St. Louis Lions (0-1-1) 7:30 p.m. Friday at Rock Chalk Park, 6100 Rock Chalk Drive.