James Charette, Blackhills FC Technical Director
Coach James has been a youth soccer technical director for 21 years. He's been involved in Washington Coaching Education for 23 years and served as the Director of Coach Development for Washington Youth Soccer. Since 2011, he has been a U.S. Youth Soccer National Staff Instructor teaching the National “C” and “B” Licenses. He has been a U.S. Developement Academy Scout for three years from 2015-2018. In 2016, Coach Charrett was a key staff memeber on the U.S. Women’s National Team where he was a scout during the Rio Olympics. Locally, he's been the WYS Boys 1998 EDP/ODPSounders FC Head Coach from 2010-2011. Coach James has a NSCAA Advanced National Diploma and holds a U.S. National "A" License. For additional information on Coach James' experience, view his resume.
What is a Technical Director?
Fundamentally, the job of the Technical Director can be summarized in one basic position to develop and improve coaches so that players maximize their potential at all ages. Accomplishing this lofty objective requires wide-ranging, and very different types of professional skills:
Staff Development: The best Technical Directors are great at managing coaching development -- both formally (through licensing, courses, seminars, etc.) and informally (through regular feedback and observation, mentoring, etc.).
Coach Assignments: Identifying coaches with special talents, or coaches that can help your club in specific areas, is key in creating a staff with depth and breadth. The Technical Director should always be looking to attract great coaches, as well as individuals with the potential to become great coaches, to the club. As importantly, a Technical Director needs to assign the right coach to the right age group based on the particular strengths of the coach and the demands of the age group. There are very different personal and teaching skills required, and very different areas of focus for player development, from U-10 to U-14 to U-18. Matching the player age and level to the qualities of the coach, as well as helping the coach become better in the most important areas required for success in the age group, is critical.
Culture Development: Club culture creates an environment of growth or stagnation, and an environment that retains players and staff or loses them. Creating positive culture begins with something as basic as defining (and limiting) the roles and responsibilities of different constituents -- parents, the Board of Directors, coaches, etc. Positive culture is evident in an environment where players and coaches know and internalize the values of the organization, and feel loyalty to the organization. At the highest level, the Technical Director is the most important person in the club in creating a culture that values, incentives, and prioritizes player development.
Playing Style: Do the club's teams all seem to play the same way, or are there huge differences in style and philosophy between one team and the next? Keep in mind that a consistent style does not mean that every team will be as successful as the next. However, it does mean that players are being consistently taught to play the game the same way, and in the long-term they will be more successful in doing so.
Player Development: Is the club consistently developing players who can play at higher levels? While there can be many reasons why teams are or are not successful, the ultimate responsibility of a Technical Director is to create an environment where players can maximize their potential. As a "quick and dirty" measurement, individual player growth and development is a good barometer of a Technical Director. When the majority of players across every age group can identify new ideas, understanding, and abilities from month-to-month, positive things are happening.