If you take a look at today's US youth soccer player what would you say their biggest shortcomings are?
What are things that hinder their ability to becoming a quality soccer player. The debate is on going and many things come to mind. Here are three things that I would like to point out:
Quality of coaching - Although there are a lot of volunteer coaches and all mean well, the majority do not know or understand the game and are not properly certified with licensing. Watching youtube videos is not enough to conduct a training session. Understanding the need of small sided games, proper fundamentals and not over coaching are another liabilities that youth coaches do not understand.
Technical ability – A big factor of development. A player must develop his/her technical skills, via way of structured training but most of all, free play, backyard play, playground play, where players can express their creativity and be free of parent or coach interference to be allowed to create his/her own moves and style of play. 1v1 scenarios are another great development tool a player must possess. Futsal is an enviroment that allows for such scenarios and and ability for a player to become stronger at his/her 1v1 skills. The confidence a player develops from his/her 1v1 skills carries into the rest of their game.
Training mentality – young players in Europe or South America are training 12-15 hours/week after the age of 12! Our players are typically training 5-8 hours/week and many do not continually develop their skills during the main part of the season. In the rest of the world players play the game outside of structured training sessions, at the park, in school, beach or any where they can find a ball and space. In the US players do not spend much time outside of structure training playing pickup games and having fun with it. Free play games in a playground futsal enviroment helps develop creativity. Players try to copy moves they have seen on tv by their favorite players. This is what soccerskillz free futsal play is all about. No parent and coaches telling players what to do, just play and figure things out. 1V1, 2V2 or other small sided situations like quicker decisions, limited space among others and of course plenty of goals hopefully will help the us youth soccer culture come to the game of futsal and help develop their overall play.
Below is a 1V1 with four goal activity conducted at the soccerskillz futsal development program.