Join Now  | 
Home About Contact Us Privacy & Security Advertise
Soccer America Daily Soccer World Daily Special Edition Around The Net Soccer Business Insider College Soccer Reporter Youth Soccer Reporter Soccer on TV Soccer America Classifieds Game Report
Paul Gardner: SoccerTalk Soccer America Confidential Youth Soccer Insider World Cup Watch
RSS Feeds Archives Manage Subscriptions Subscribe
Order Current Issue Subscribe Manage My Subscription Renew My Subscription Gift Subscription
My Account Join Now
Tournament Calendar Camps & Academies Soccer Glossary Classifieds
'The game has to come naturally'
October 11th, 2007 7:30PM
Subscribe to Youth Soccer Insider

MOST READ
TAGS:  youth boys

MOST COMMENTED

Today's Youth Soccer Insider features feedback from Soccer America readers on "Reviving the Pickup Game," by Sam Snow, US Youth Soccer's Director of Coaching Education.

Greg Martinez (San Rafael, Calif.):
Well put Mr. Snow. It was so refreshing for someone who is involved in youth soccer at a national level to make this point. The game has to come naturally, and be intrinsic to the kid for them to really enjoy it and then become good. I have a dirt lot in my neighborhood. You have inspired me to point the kids in that direction.

Art Watkins (Harrisburg, Pa.):
I can say that if it weren't for pickup games at our local sports complex for five bucks, three hours, my son would not be playing at the level he is now. His development immediately went from good to really great. His play has immensely improved and I don't have to pay a trainer for that kind of education.

Janice Hill (Dayton, Ohio):
I'm trying to do this through my church. I understand, like in any sport, players learn great moves from other players. I want the kids to have fun without pressure. It's also a great way for kids to try a sport without the parents' investment of time, money or energy.

Barry Tuck (Durham, N.C.):
As usual, Sam has hit the nail on the head. As a longtime youth coach, I get to my field early and the players have an understanding, as soon as we have enough to play a pickup game, that's what we play. The players set up the field while I'm setting up my cones for practice (hopefully, I get to join in the game for a little bit, but as a player, not a coach). Only when it's "regular" practice time and we have a quorum do we move into the more structured, progression training. It rewards the kids who get there early, and also solves the problem of kids just standing around and pounding a stationary ball into a goal while waiting for the coach to show up. Pretty soon, the kids are showing up for their own pickup game before the coach even gets there, which is perfect!

Jim Czarnecki (Baltimore, Md.):

That is a theme my wife and I have talked about for years, especially the idea of kids setting up games for themselves and creating rule-changes and adapting to different situations (i.e. uneven teams, strange field shape, flat soccer ball, etc.). Pickup soccer also allows kids to experiment with different ways of handling the ball without some grownup yelling at them. Kids being kids does have its benefits.

Matthew J. Cardillo (Tampa, Fla.):
The coincidence of Sam's article on pickup games and "overcoaching" was amazing as it arrived on the heels of the thrashing that the U.S. women received at the hands of the talented and "pickup-game-trained" Brazilians. Way too many youth coaches, with the support of the parents, are so sickeningly focused on results instead of player development that we have produced robotic players who have had the fun sucked out of them. Perhaps youth coaches will take the first big step of admitting that we have a problem.

Len Oliver (Director of Coaching, DC Stoddert Soccer):
My first two words in all my courses, especially in the F modules, are "DON'T COACH." Boy, do I get questions about that one. "How are they going to learn?" "Who will teach them?" "What do you mean by 'the ball is the teacher!'" And so on. So Sam's piece is a good reminder.

Chuck Elmendorf (Medford, N.J.):
Sam Snow wrote a great article I really wish everyone could read, and more importantly understand what is being said in the article, and what is happening to the game and our kids. Somehow, we've managed to create or succumb to a culture of constantly hovering over our kids, paying thousands of dollars and driving thousands of miles per year so they can play a game. All sports these days suffer many of the same problems -- everything has become year-round and the poor kids now have no choice but to select one sport at way too early an age.This robs them of many opportunities to learn and grow.

 



No comments yet.

Sign in to leave a comment. Don't have an account? Join Now




AUTHORS

ARCHIVES
FOLLOW SOCCERAMERICA

Recent Youth Soccer Insider
The 21 U.S. girls aiming to make history    
The USA has won three Women's World Cups, four Olympic titles, and three U-20 Women's World ...
Revisiting ice after injury    
The acronym RICE -- which stands for Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation -- has been around since ...
Champions: U.S. U-15 girls perfect in Orlando; U-18 boys lift Czech crown    
The USA outscored seven opponents 49-0 and won the Concacaf U-15 Girls Championship with a 2-0 ...
Reffing in Russia: Remembering History, 25 Years Later    
For a long time, I looked positively at the Soviet military cap and Moscow police cap ...
How about some hot sauce with that leg cramp?    
I'm pretty sure anyone who's ever played a sport has had a muscle cramp at some ...
U.S. Soccer names final 22 clubs to Girls Development Academy for total of 74    
U.S. Soccer has accepted an additional 22 clubs to the Girls Development Academy, which will kick ...
U.S. U-20s down New York Cosmos and Red Bulls II    
The U.S. U-20 men's national team, during a 10-day training camp in New Jersey, beat the ...
Q&A: U.S. U-20 coach Michelle French on country vs. college conflict    
Thirteen of the USA's 18-woman squad at the Olympic Games in Rio played in a U-20 ...
Bahrain eliminates U.S. U-19 men in game marred by brawl    
The U.S. U-19 men's national team, after having upset host Spain, was eliminated from the Sub-20 ...
Cal South clubs claim four US Youth Soccer national titles    
South California clubs won a pair of US Youth Soccer national titles last weekend in both ...
>> Youth Soccer Insider Archives