FC Valencia

Developing Athletes and Teams for the Future


Developing athletes and teams for the future!
Insight by Charles Martinez – Director of Coaching, FC Valencia


Our goal has always been to identify talent early and develop it. We have all seen firsthand the obsession with winning, unfortunately this forces coaches to make tryout selections based on few criteria, the overarching goal being to win now.

One of the reasons FC Valencia chose to join the Southern California Developmental Soccer League (SCDSL) was so that our coaches could focus on this longer term developmental philosophy. As you can imagine, this is sometimes not always the popular view and implementing can be extremely difficult at times. As we mature as a club and continue developing our coaching curriculum, implementation will always be key to our success of these young athletes.

This vision of  longer term development will eventually become more common, however the identification isn’t an exact science. I’ve spent nearly 35 years of my life around this beautiful game, traveling to different parts of the world playing, coaching, and training along the way. I’ve been fortunate to of met many great people and have worked with some wonderful coaches. Throughout my experience it’s become very clear that certain coaches have a keen sense of what it takes and can identify this early in the developmental process. In my opinion, this is a gift – and even though science and technology can help steer us in the right direction, identifying that talent early is an art form. Those that understand the process of development, understand that this is ongoing – and it takes time. Identifying talent is not easy and becoming distracted by shiny objects along the way is sometimes very easy. My experience is my guide, and it tells me to stay the course and breath. Enjoy the path along the way and take time to reflect on the growth of these young athletes!

Talent identification, on the other hand, is the prediction of future performance based upon an evaluation of current physical, technical, tactical and psychological qualities. Talent selection is pretty simple; talent identification is an art. One yields great results today; the other builds elite athletes and winning teams for the future.

Read more @ Changing the Game Project