Nil Satis Nisi Optimum
Learn it. Live by it.
Nothing but the best is good enough.
In 2007, the Riverhounds brokered a relationship with Everton Football Club of England. At the time of this deal, The Riverhounds Academy was nothing more than a compilation of notes, in a variety of notepads, scattered around an office. There were no youth players in the system. Everton, in many respects, took a huge risk in accepting the bid for a relationship. Their other affiliate clubs in North America were strong in number, rich in history, and proven on a national stage. The Riverhounds had nothing more than a vision and a plan. But as the saying goes, "a goal without a plan is simply a wish". For the Riverhounds new ownership group, this was much more than a wish. It was a commitment.
Since inception, The Riverhounds Academy has grown in participation, programming, and value. Each day, the Staff strives to analyze the system, in order to find the holes that must be patched up in order to continue the successful growth.
Through its commitment to the game, The Riverhounds Academy will continue to prove that when developmental resources are consistently allocated to the area’s youngest players, the playing standard will exponentially elevate. For youth soccer players in Western Pennsylvania, this means an unfettered commitment to proper soccer habits and technique, as taught through a "watch and learn" approach to visual aid based learning.
In the coming years, Intelligent investment and long-term strategy will start to shine through what has been, since 2007, a rather “simple” business plan: allow the only current professional players in the area to show young players how to properly use a soccer ball rather than telling them of the need to win games. Games are to be used as metrics, measuring the results of training. As a wise coach once said, "winning is necessary when you are paid to do so or when you represent your country - otherwise, winning can, at most, just be validating".
In my time spent at Finch Farm in Liverpool, England, the home of Everton Football Club, one thing became evident – nothing but the best is good enough for the Everton Academy. This is the Academy that has developed some of the most valuable players in the world, including Wayne Rooney. This is an Academy that forces their goalkeepers to play the ball out of the back, rather than punt it, so as to teach the team how to efficiently and effectively play out of danger. This is an Academy where winning and losing means much less than player development. This is an Academy competing against many others around the world to produce the next best player. Any why? Because only the best is good enough! Only the best of players will attract the checkbooks of Manchester United, Real Madrid, and PSG, and hence, reimburse developmental clubs for those expenses (ie. the development of their youth players).
As we progress forward, it should be clear that the motto ’Nil Satis Nisi Optimum’ is the mentality of The Riverhounds Academy. We believe in putting in the time to help our players, both on and off the field. We believe in doing everything in our power to design programs for interested players who want to improve. We believe in a tiered program of development so that players can be tested while maturing in a group that fits their individual stage in the process of soccer growth. After all, the development of a youth soccer player is a process. It takes time and requires investment - into the Club and from the Club. We believe in taking the time to speak with the players about our own soccer experiences, as pro players. We believe in speaking with the parents before and after sessions, no matter the time. We are always available - this is what we do on a full-time basis. It is not our side gig. And most importantly, we believe in providing the best for all of our players. After all, Nil Satis Nisi Optimum.
Jason Kutney - CEO, Director of Youth Development, Pittsburgh Riverhounds
Most professional sports franchises don’t allow young fans to learn from their team’s elite roster. That is exactly what the Riverhounds offer, however, in their unique training academies.
Director of Academy Operations
600 Iron City Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15205