Soccer America Members can post their feedback on SoccerAmerica.com's Blog and Commentary section using the link provided at the bottom of our e-letters. Selected posts are included periodically in the e-letters. Below are reader comments on a recent editions of the Youth Soccer Insider:
Barcelona's approach to youth development by Mike Woitalla
This is such a nice perspective to have in the age of the local youth teams as early as the U-9 and U-10 level insisting on weight training and fast footwork training a couple of nights a week.
Besides the emphasis on soccer and not winning, there is something to be said of the "system." By the time these kids can drive they probably know what every other player on the field is thinking and where they should be at any given moment. We can only dream of having one such system in MLS. My optimistic side places its hopes with good ole American ingenuity. If we see something that works, especially in this digital age of fact communication, we are very good at improving on it. Hopefully some influential domestic soccer professionals are taking note.
Every youth coach in America should read that article. There is such an overemphasis on winning and hurrying kids into travel soccer. We need to teach them how to fall in love with the game and the ball. They need to understand about competition in the team and outside the team. The fact that Spain and Barcelona can win major titles with some the smallest sized players is also a lesson to be learned from. I have derived more pleasure from watching them play than any teams since Brazil in 1970.
I by all means enjoyed this article in full, because it touches base with something that is very important. The Barca youth system is focused on helping players be more comfortable on the ball and have a better understanding of the game as whole. Barca's youth system values player imagination, creativity, and playing faster mentally rather than in a hurry physically. Many may say that this type of system may not work in many countries, but I beg to differ. We all want our players to play smarter and be more active on and off the ball.
How fair can tryouts really be? by Ian Barker
Good thoughts and suggestions. Introducing objective assessments along with subjective evaluations helps clarify the decisions. Most players and parents do not have the experience or insight to see subtle differences so by using objective data it reinforces the coach's observations and makes it easier for the players to accept the outcome.