It may sound like an easy question and depending on who you ask you will get a different reply. But think this for a minute; If you like to be told what to do all the time you will never grow and develop in anything that you attempt. If you are spoon fed information and decisions all the time your brain will never learn to think on its own, become lazy and actually become counterproductive regressing in its learning and developing.
Well, at any given day on any given youth soccer field that is what’s going on. Every game has 16 or 22 players on the field, (depending if you are playing small or large side), and tens or hundreds coaches/parents around the field screaming directions and what to do at every moment of the game to the players. I realize that everyone wants the best for the players and truly want to help them but in actuality they are doing just harm to them. There are coaches on the sidelines that give instructions to the players and it’s the players’ job to execute them. Furthermore often the directions that come from all the parent/coaches are inaccurate. The team coach has given certain directions that apply to a strategy, plan, development that the team is using and the parent/coach is yelling something totally different. The player gets confused, does not want to make either coach upset, does not learn how to make his own decisions, his play ability slowly declines while his frustration increases. A player just kicks the ball to nowhere and the parent/coach cheers: “Great kick awesome job”. Maybe the situation didn’t not warrant a kick to nowhere at that particular moment of the game. Maybe the player needed to maintain control of the ball and keep possession instead of just kicking it away. Knowing how to cheer and when to cheer is another way of supporting the players and it comes from properly learning and understanding the game.
The best part about the game of soccer is that it is a “PLAYER’S GAME”. It is a game where the best players make up their own minds by reading the game and constantly adjusting to situations. The fastest a player can read the game, think, prepare and adjust to situations the better he will be. The players learn from making both good and bad choices.
“SILENT PLAY/” is a way that SoccerSkillz Training helps the players accomplish their development. After an instructional training session players will be asked to play in small sided games, varying from 3v3, 5v5 or 8v8, where they will have to make up their own team shape, line up and substitutions. They run the teams as if they are in the school playground with no adult supervision. You will be amazed at how much more they communicate, help and create situations.
As coaches, parents and spectators, we can help the players more by giving them a chance to play on their own and make their own decisions. There is a right time for teaching a better way and a right time to enjoy watching them play.
Regardless of what you think the answer to the above question is, the truth may surprise you. Hundred’s of thousands of kids enjoy and play the sport of soccer across the USA, yet only 5,000 males are recruited to play soccer in college every year. The challenge to secure a soccer scholarship starts a lot earlier than any other sport. Playing for a club, academy or attending soccer camps that showcase the players to colleges is a must in today’s process for securing a soccer scholarship.
With over 1,200 men’s college soccer programs and over 1400 women’s programs securing a soccer scholarship is much harder than you would expect. Today’s college coaches are forced to divide their money and very rarely do they give full ride scholarships.
For women’s programs there are a maximum of 14 scholarships for a DI team, 9.9 for DII, 12 for NAIA programs and a fully funded NJCAA program has up to 18 scholarships per team.
Men’s soccer can offer 9.9 scholarships per team DI, 9 per team DII, 12 at the NAIA level and 18 scholarships per team for NJCAAA programs.
To be considered by college coaches for a soccer scholarship a player must play club or academy soccer and travel to a few tournaments per year. High school soccer does not get the same attention that club and academy play gets from college coaches. Perhaps all those years of high schools handing out their soccer coaching jobs to unqualified teachers has finally caught up with them. Please keep in mind that not all club teams and academies are equal and vary in circumstances. For example being part of the biggest name club or academy but hardly getting any playing time may not be as good as being a part of a smaller club or academy but getting much more playing time.
Lastly, constant improvement on fundamentals, footwork, agility, conditioning, speed and timing is an every day must for a young soccer prospect. With the hectic schedule soccer players endure sometimes the basics get away from them. Here is an easy fun solution that can be utilized anywhere. http://www.soccertoplay.com/futworks.html