• Before you scream at a ref ...
    Sometimes as I slouch down in my lawn chair watching my grandchildren's soccer games, I indulge in wishful thinking. Only skillful, focused players on the field. Only knowledgeable, supportive parents on the sidelines. Only coaches who remember the bottom line is character development and not just winning games. Only top-notch officials running the lines and the field. Never going to happen. Like I said - wishful thinking.
  • Adults and their funny instructions
    By Mike Woitalla In last week's Youth Soccer Insider ("Lost in Translation"), Susan Boyd shared some priceless examples of adult sideline instructions that were misinterpreted - to say the least -- by the young children they were aimed at and yielded some humorous responses. The piece prompted our readers to share some of their own, and jogged my memory of some of the most entertaining "advice" I've heard from adults at youth soccer fields.
  • Hard cash seals the deal
    The trend of European pro teams partnering with elite American youth clubs raises the question: What do the foreign clubs have to offer and what are they expecting?
  • Lost in Translation
    Watching my grandson's soccer game last week, I was reminded that even when we think kids aren't listening, they really are, it's just that they don't understand us. But they try, because they want to please us. The following results come from some of the most confusing and therefore entertaining vignettes of my journey through youth soccer.
  • Get Flip-Flops to Improve Practice and Game Play
    Shortly after a practice or game ends, all players should participate in the collective ritual that I simply call the "aaaaahhhh." Typically, "aaaaahhhh" is the sound that players make when they take off their cleats, socks and shinguards and slip on a cool pair of flip-flops. In Northern California, we can usually get away with flip-flops. But in other parts of the country and depending on the time of year, other footwear may be more appropriate.
  • More Backyard Games
    Here are more ways players can work on their skills on their own. ...
  • Recommended Backyard Games
    The offseason is near, so here are ways players can work on their skills on their own. ...
  • 'Most important is scoring'
    The youth coach faces many formidable tasks. Carrying a net full of soccer balls, a big duffle bag, the fold-out bench and pop-up goals from the parking lot to the field - that's no mean feat.
  • Long before they became stars ...
    When Soccer America profiles the nation's top young players, we ask them to reflect on their early youth soccer years and share their outstanding memories. Here are some of our favorites:
  • Why is scrimmage dessert?
    It seems to be conventional wisdom that scrimmaging - letting children actually play soccer - is something that should happen only at the end of practice.
  • Check out future stars at U-20 World Cup
    The U-20 World Cup is underway in Egypt and the USA starts play on Saturday against European Champion Germany.
  • For Kids Only ...
    This column is for the kids. Adults can stop reading now. Dear Soccer-Playing Children of America,
  • Feedback: WPS, Pele, Risk-Taking, High Costs
    Below are reader comments on recent editions of the Youth Soccer Insider. 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.
  • The Real Problem with Women's Pro Soccer
    The first season of the Women's Professional Soccer league produced lower crowds and bigger financial losses than anticipated.
  • Keys To Creating Savvy Players
    Transition is the most important moment in soccer; the moment in the match when individual players switch their player role in the game from defense to attack or attack to defense. Transition is acquired first by an individual player, then a group of players, and then the team.
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