Youth Soccer Development

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by ThePonchat, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    I know you weren't claiming this was entirely a thing of the past, but there are definitely club teams that still play this way. My son's U15 team ran into one last weekend. There were a few kids on the other team trying to pass and move, but almost all of its offense came off of long clearances from the keeper, big turf bounces, and a fast, athletic forward who chased those balls down.
     
  2. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    And parents yelling "go go go"!
     
    bigredfutbol and CornfieldSoccer repped this.
  3. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    I know what you mean by feeling forced. Another dad and I organized a weekly game over the summer a few years ago to just let the kids play and, even then it wasn't organic. They were happy to be there, but they were always looking to us for something -- reffing, score-keeping, ..., which we mostly told them to handle themselves. And at the end their parents picked them up and they scattered to different neighborhoods, much like a practice. My son's club has "pickup" sessions, but they're so heavily organized that they essentially are a practice (and they're geared to very young kids) -- I suspect a club would have a hard time doing anything that really was pickup (there's always insurance and field rental and the urge to coach)

    Not many of my son's neighborhood friends -- who include club teammates -- want to play soccer on their own, best I can tell. The best pickup experience he's had -- and I love it -- is going with a few other teammates to the fields at a local university and jumping into those true pickup games. I observed a bit at first to make sure they weren't going to get manhandled, but by his age (he's a 2005), most of the kids can handle it. And the older players -- a lot of whom aren't from the US -- don't seem to mind. Full credit to my son's coach, who plays in these games, too, for encouraging them to do this.

    Re the Hispanic pickup culture, I suspect one factor that makes that different from the efforts some of us have made to create pickup opportunities is that, unlike what I tried where the adults observe and appear to be overseeing the game, the adults seem to play, too. The games I see happen in parks, .., involving Hispanic players almost look more like adult games that the kids are just part of rather than purely kids' games. And most of the best Hispanic kids who've been part of my son's teams have grown up playing a lot with parents, uncles, older siblings, ...
     
  4. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    They were not unhappy about the goals that it produced, or the win.
     
  5. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Man I guess I got a bunch of really good soccer loving players for my open play... We started with a coach who would ref but schedules got jacked and we ended up with a fe games where the kids just played. Today we don't need a ref and we dont time games. We can go on for hours just playing. Kids respect the rules and stop play when need be.

    All we have to do is hand out pinnies and make sure the lines are good.

    You're more then welcome to join us!
     
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  6. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Thanks -- that commute might be a bit long.

    You make me wonder if the other dad and I had stuck with our informal games whether the kids would have gotten better at just playing and making it happen themselves. The lack of interest among some of the neighbors kids is frustrating, though.

    The college solution, however, I like a lot now that my son's old enough to hold his own -- he feels pretty good about being able to jump into those games and sees pretty skillful players (also not-so-skilled, too) trying all kinds of stuff.
     
  7. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    Yep...
     
  8. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    There is a lot of guidance by the older players and travel players. That helps. It's one of the great things too see these kids loving the sport still and guiding the younger ones to explore their boundaries and in many cases support them.
     
  9. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    I would say most teams still play this way bc it takes technical skill that an overwhelming amount of kids (in travel!!) don’t have and therefore it’s pretty difficult to string 5+ passes together consistently. Very few clubs able to do it. Not having the technical skill plays into our convo about pick up etc. I’ve seen kids at club (not sockers) that at u10 to u 13 have not improved their technical ability *at all*. I don’t blame it on this club bc the DOC has done a fantastic job. Their style of play is great in spurts but too many kids in the program like this. Their only saving grace is speed/aggressiveness and it makes them effective (to a degree). But it’s just so sad. If this kid had a technical foundation (vis parents and her own practice) she would be at Eclipse.
     
  10. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    I see plenty of u16 boys who have tremendous talent and are more then capable of what you are saying - they've played rec their lives but play soccer nearly everyday.

    Sometimes I watch and shake my head and think of how good they would be with a few years under a development coach and then at Sockers to bring a style of play into scope.
     
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  11. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    My daughters old travel team is like this. She started there at u8 and a lot of kids her age are still there. We've seen them play now at U1-U12 and woof its rough to watch. ZERO technical ability for most of the kids. ZERO first touch, still using toe to dribble, pass and kick its pathetic. I get that first touch takes time and practice (which obviously these girls arent doing) but the toe thing?? What are they doing at practice other then sharks and minnows?
     

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