When I was a kid I played baseball in the spring and soccer in the fall… or something like that until I was in high school when I finally tried out for the Sr soccer team (as a junior). As a goalie I was not cirque de soliel but more hulk smash… and fearless. So I got the starting in net; and I fought to keep my job every day. At least that’s how I remember it. I did not finish my senior year on the team and that was my choice not to mention another story.
After playing 2 years of rec soccer between the ages of 5 and 7 my daughters have developed an affinity for the sport. They are actually pretty good. Last year we moved them from the rec team to the affiliated travel team. Both are interested in what they call “player development”. There are many facets to player development that I think we can agree are partly mental, endurance, skill and aptitude.
Last year they completed a 4 month section with the team and they spent most of their time learning to dribble. The first month this season they continued to learn to dribble and do certain ball moves… “the mesa”, or “the ronaldo”. Or whatever they called it.
Both kids are on the U9 team and this week we had our 3rd league game in Miami and we have learned a few things…
- even though there are sufficient U9 teams for a proper league the organizers mixed the U9 and U10 girls. And sadly even our own U10 girls are losing in their bracket.
- our team is 1-2 and near the bottom
- while the kids are supposed to learn from the loss they do not all see it that way. My daughter was and is devastated. To the point where she may not want to play again.
But here we are… dribbling … and doing ball tricks that just do not work.
We are now on our 5 week of practice and all we do is dribble. It seems to me that by the time the kids learn to shoot on goal they might be in college. So then what’s the point of this other than a subscription model for coaching? And frankly this strategy is not very transportable from club to club.
I know I’m not making sense here but I’m frustrated. When I was in rec we did it all. Every aspect of the game. When I was a softball coach we taught how to run all the bases not just to first.