Last spring I was the coach for my oldest son's U-10 soccer team. The league had developmental directors who helped train the coaches. These directors were great guys with a lot of helpful instructional ideas. They wanted us to work on skills in practice, not tactics. They seemed to be driven by the goal of developing highly-technical players for the men's national team in 10 years.
The other coaches, though, were driven by the goal of winning. And winning by so much that they got asked to coach the all-star team. Our age-group commissioner had four already-existing, stacked teams that he wanted to only play each other, then he had six "other" teams that would only play each other. His supervisor vetoed that plan, so instead the stacked teams just ran up the score against the regular teams. The league had a rule against running up the score that was observed only in breaking it. The developmental guys said, "Do not take players off the field if one team is ahead by more than four goals. Instead, change your formation or have your team follow instructions like making sure every player touches the ball once before shooting." The other coaches would run up the score until I asked the referee to intervene, then they would remove players.
I came to have a dislike for careers and their coaches. We lost every game, often by eight or nine goals. The developmental guys loved me (and I guess the careers and their coaches loved me, too), but my players and their parents hated me. I decided I'd never coach again.
Somehow that led to me coaching my middle son's U-7 indoor soccer team this winter. The league supervisor is a nice guy interested in helping kids learn and have fun. The kids are younger, and the teams seem to be (mostly) randomly assigned. We've won two, lost two, and tied one.
Last Saturday, though, we were up against the closest thing our league has to a team of careers. The team seems like it might be a pre-formed group, since the players and coaches were already color-coordinated to their "random" team color. The team practices tactics (and illegal tactics, at that, leaving one kid 30 yards offside at all times, relying on the fact our age group doesn't enforce the offside rule). We only had six players that day, so we had no substitutes. (And one of our players was the troublesome kid who gets in his teammates' way and constantly tries to pick up the ball.)
It was very satisfying when we won, 3-0.
My son had two goals, and the best girl on the team added another. We even played a man down for five minutes when my son took a bathroom break mid-game. (Thanks to efficient design, the bathroom is two floors away.) After they went down 1-0, the other team pulled a defender up to play offense. After we scored our third goal, they pulled the other defender and the goalie up to offense, as well. I was hoping their coach would be crying during the post-game handshake line, but he wasn't.
Our team would have seven points from five games, if we kept score, recorded wins and losses, and used points. Projected out to 32 games played, we'd have 45 points, which would put is just inside the top half of the Premier League. Sam Allardyce only has 34 points right now and everyone's talking about how his job is secure.