Commit to more touches on the ball
What can my kid do to get better? That is a questions that is asked at the end of every season at all levels of the game.
For the Coach there are many ways to answer that question. For some the answer is very specific wether we need to work on speed, agility, shooting etc.
But for the large majority of youth soccer players in the US, is just to play more! Breathe the game, watch it! Make soccer part of the lifestyle.
In my opinion the success of soccer in this country, is all based on what the parents expose their kids to, when it comes to the most popular game in the world.
As a teacher or a coach, we cannot make miracles twice per week for 1 hour a day/session. We understand that most of the kids playing soccer in the US are purely recreational, however from a pool of approximately 30 million kids under the age of 16 playing soccer in this country, we must be able to pull extremely good talent and quality to make US Soccer one of the most respectful soccer programs in the world. As an idea the biggest soccer center in the world (Spain) has a population of approximately 47 million people.
Young soccer players between 6-15 in the top center countries in the world (Brazil, Germany, Spain and France) touches the ball at least two thousand times per session, the difference is: 4 to 5 times per week!!! Not counting the TV time watching soccer games and being part of the culture. Soccer, Futbol, futebol is in their blood…forget culture!
We need to commit! I know it sounds crazy…”I already bring my kids to practice twice a week and games on the weekend”. Well I get it!(I’m one of you!) however that is not good enough!
Here is a list of questions that as Coach a father and as the owner of a soccer academy in Orlando, I think you should ask yourself next time you take you child to soccer practice.
What type of coaching are you getting?
Is your child being taught the right way?
Are the coaches allowing them to be creative?
What is the culture of the team or the club?
Is winning at all cost the way your child is being coached?
Is development more important than winning?
And as a coach and academy owner I ask of you:
Do you coach your child from the side line? Do you yell shoot or pass, every time you child touches the ball
Do you allow you child to be creative on the soccer team?
Have you ever look into additional training for your child?
Are you willing to commit 100%?
Did you know that practices are way more important than games?
In conclusion, we have the largest possible pool to pull players from, we have the equipment, we have everything any other country would dream of, what we need is the extra mile, more commitment and less of the mentality that soccer is a recreational sport, we need to realize that the “grass is greener” on the other side and start treating, caring and better preparing our “grass” for a bright soccer future.
This is purely the opinion of a soccer fanatic who happens to be a coach and someone who’s trying to do something different for our future generations of soccer players.