• How to talk to refs
    After Donna Olmstead made a convincing case against berating referees or their assistants in her Youth Soccer Insider column, "Before you scream at a ref ...", we received some feedback from readers pointing out that there may be times when game officials should be told if they're erring or missing violations.
  • Key factors in college recruiting (Part II)
    Yavapai College, located in Prescott, Ariz., has captured seven NJCAA National Championships and finished in the top four nationally 17 times since 1990. The coaches are longtime NSCAA members Mike Pantalione and Hugh Bell, who will never claim to have all the answers. This is intended for college coaches and others connected with the sport to have a laugh, look back on some of their own experiences, and perhaps add to the list of key factors to be aware of during the recruiting process:
  • Key factors in college recruiting (Part I)
    Yavapai College, located in Prescott, Ariz., has captured seven NJCAA National Championships and finished in the top four nationally 17 times since 1990. The coaches are longtime NSCAA members Mike Pantalione and Hugh Bell, who will never claim to have all the answers. This is intended for college coaches and others connected with the sport to have a laugh, look back on some of their own experiences, and perhaps add to the list of key factors to be aware of during the recruiting process:
  • The importance of playing 'out of position'
    A friend reminded me the other day of an old soccer saying. It goes something like, "Good forwards make the best defenders and good defenders make the best forwards." There is a lot of truth to this saying.
  • MLS site for kids inspires
    Major League Soccer's kid-friendly Web site -- www.mlsstarting11.com -- features videos and bios on the league's of the top MLS stars meant to inspire young players, and get them excited about playing soccer.
  • Keep parents in the loop
    When my wife and I ask our kids how they are doing in school, the answer is always "great." Fortunately, many of their teachers email us weekly progress reports that give us a clearer, more accurate picture of how they are really doing. However, nothing beats a parent/teacher conference, especially when our child is included.
  • 'Typical' teen takes unique adventure
    David Adams is your typical American teenager. He loves Subway sandwiches on toasted white bread. His dad has to bug him to finish his homework before he goes to soccer practice. And he spends a couple of hours each night on Facebook.
  • From the kids, literally
    We continue to receive entertaining examples of what happens when children misinterpret, can't comprehend, or take literally adults' instructions since Susan Boyd's "Lost in Translation" column appeared last month.
  • The Magic of Informal Play: 'Let's kick, Daddy'
    "Let's kick, Daddy." Those were the words our 2-year-old son Braedon uttered a few months ago. As soon as the phrase had crossed his lips a flood of memories came rushing back to the forefront of my mind.