What should youth soccer look like in the US?

Discussion in 'Coach' started by Malabranca, May 15, 2020.

  1. Malabranca

    Malabranca Member

    Oct 6, 2016
    Since we most have a little extra time to be reflective these days, here is my question: What should youth soccer look like in the US?

    Soccer is currently sort of the leader in the commercialism of youth sports in the US. On the one hand, that is not necessarily a bad thing, as in many overseas jurisdictions, commercial entities are the main institutions for youth sports. That being said, I think US soccer was one of the first sports that figured out you could make money by making the parents of the players the true consumers..You definitely see this in other sports now, but I think soccer with its training companies and academies have long developed this market, and as a result, skewed the way we develop talent hereabouts so strongly towards pay-to-play. What should it look like?
  2. rca2

    rca2 Member+

    Nov 25, 2005
    It should look like kids having fun playing in the streets, vacant lots, school yards and parks around the country with nary a coach or official in sight.
    NewDadaCoach repped this.
  3. rustysurf83

    rustysurf83 Member

    Dec 30, 2015
    Borussia Dortmund
    #3 rustysurf83, May 16, 2020
    Last edited: May 16, 2020
    Agree. They probably need to like the game first. My oldest kid plays “premier” (whatever that means anymore) and half the players couldn’t pick Messi out of a lineup.

    I plan to have my younger teams/players do mostly 1v1 Panna to 5v5 Futsal due to social distancing requirements once we start back up (we have always focused a lot on that anyways). Kids think it is way cooler to nutmeg an opponent or do a rainbow over someone vs. their role as an 8 in the 433. They also practice a ton on their own when they know it will be 1v1 and they can “show off” new moves next practice.
  4. Malabranca

    Malabranca Member

    Oct 6, 2016
    Don't disagree at all. Having a stronger soccer "culture" would vastly help. That being said, we sort of have to work with what we have or build something different. So, if we need more playground games, how do we get there?
  5. stphnsn

    stphnsn Member+

    Jan 30, 2009
    Culture aside, we need a top-down comprehensive restructuring from our national organization with delegation to the state associations. National sets the standards. States implement them. Big states like CA can split into multiple regions under the state association. We shouldn't have competing associations in any jurisdiction. It's so simple to see how it should work, but as with everything, money makes complications. "Men and nations do behave wisely once they've exhausted all alternatives."
    rca2 repped this.
  6. Malabranca

    Malabranca Member

    Oct 6, 2016
    So you are envisioning something along the model Iceland uses?
  7. elessar78

    elessar78 Moderator
    Staff Member

    May 12, 2010
    Arsenal FC
    In theory National should set the standard, but I think that ship has sailed. They have shown that they are a) powerless to actually implement any change and b) aren't interested. It's up to individual clubs and to a lesser degree state associations. There's no secret on what it takes to make great footballers, right? And there are multiple, equally good ways to get there (none of which is widely used here). The Argentines, Spaniards, Germans, Japanese, Italians, Croats, Dutch, French, Belgians etc, etc all have slightly different ways that end up with top flight footballers. I think even if California and Texas plays with more of a Latin Style and the Northeast is more "English"—there's nothing wrong with that. We want to play good possession soccer and we can't even play decent long ball or direct.

    Not my primary choice, but my area still has a big, blue collar ethos—maybe they're not built to play tiki-taka. Why couldn't we raise a generation to play Mourinho-ball? Play tough, organized defense like his teams, like the Serbs . . . because for the foreseeable future, we'll only have a handful of skill players at any time but we have enough athletes to do things without the ball.

    What should it look like? Belgium is starting even smaller at the youngest ages. 1v1 with no GKs, then progressing to slightly more players each year. Here we put 8 kids on the pitch at age 6 and the two most athletic get the most touches. Passing doesn't really exist yet.

    What should it look like? We need to shift mindset from player production to coach production—like Iceland. Like Germany, the Fed or State Associations, need to have full-time staff coaches whose job is ONLY to help raise the level of coaches in the state. We need coaches who coach all FOUR pillars—there's very few coaches who deal with the psychosocial?

    We need to be talking to parents more and regularly about what the right things are instead of letting them stew with their own devious plans on making super-teams by consolidating area talent at age 9.
    smontrose repped this.
  8. rca2

    rca2 Member+

    Nov 25, 2005
    There are very few coaches that deal with the physical aspect too, i.e., athlete development, strength, or whatever other label you want to put on it. Finally every "soccer" coach should be a techncial and tactical expert, but I don't like the current way of teaching fundamentals and don't like the conventional views of tactics. It all reeks to me of skipping the fundamental stage and teaching U16 topics to U10s. The players and their future teams would be much better off if we stuck to fundamentals with pre-teens.
  9. The philosophy of AZ Alkmaar regarding development.
    Use google translate if interested
    Don't believe in your own talent, they say at AZ
    Engine room Eredivisie
    Speed, a good shot, tactical insight. Is that talent? At AZ, which plays against league leader Feyenoord this weekend, they think very differently. And that has serious consequences for the youth academy and the first team.
    Enzo van Steenbergen 17 February 2023 Reading time 7 minutes

    Geloof niet in je eigen talent, zeggen ze bij AZ
    Machinekamer Eredivisie deel 6 Snelheid, een goed schot, tactisch inzicht. Is dat talent? Bij AZ, dat dit weekend tegen koploper Feyenoord speelt, denken ze daar heel anders over. En dat heeft flinke gevolgen voor de jeugdopleiding en het eerste elftal.

    17 februari 2023 Leestijd 7 minuten

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