Youth Soccer News

What is Your Club's Philosophy?

What is Your Club's Philosophy?

Ask any American parent what they expect from a competitive youth soccer club and you will hear a variation of the following answer; "We want a club that focuses on player development - not just winning."  This sounds good, but I suspect that most American parents don't know what they are talking about and are merely repeating marketing buzzwords said by every club in America.  I contend that you must understand the club's soccer philosophy [or lack thereof] as a crucial part of evaluating your child's development. 

Why does this matter? Clubs with clearly defined philosophies (and high expectations) typically have consistently better coaching.

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5 Things More Important to Your Child's Soccer Development than Futsal

5 Things More Important to Your Child's Soccer Development than Futsal

I have seen a lot of hype, mainly among American parents and league promoters, claiming the intrinsic benefits of futsal. At times, this trend has drifted into the absurd - with respected journalists from newspapers like The Guardian pondering whether futsal can produce an American Lionel Messi or Christiano Ronaldo.  This has prompted me to publish the following list "5 Things More Important to Your Child's Soccer Development than Futsal".

Before your head explodes, I am not suggesting, by any means, that you shouldn't participate in futsal. I just think you should have realistic expectations about the benefits for your child.

Said plainly, futsal didn't create Messi, just like the blacktops of Rucker Park New York didn't create Dr. J and Wilt Chamberlin - Rucker Park was an outbirth of a broader culture of basketball within the inner cities of America. No reasonable person that knows anything about basketball would suggest that playing at Rucker Park will force you to make quicker decisions and play with greater speed - that sort of logic is reserved only for unsuspecting American soccer parents and is best served with a shovel.

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Part 4 - Training Methodology

Part 4 - Training Methodology

This is the forth installment of my series; The Playbook - My Strategy (So Far) for Raising an Elite Soccer Player. Today's topic discusses the methodology I use for conducting individual training sessions with my son.

Being a parent/trainer is rewarding, but can be frustrating for both the parent and the child if not handled properly.  Through trial and error, I developed a system that works for me and my son. I encourage you to apply nuggets from this post to your routine.  Remember, the number of repetitions needed to achieve ball mastery won't always be "fun", but rarely should it be upsetting. You are giving your child an advantage and hopefully sharing a few life lessons -  not training them for certain pro stardom. Keep that perspective in mind as you set out on this long journey of youth soccer.

Special author's note: My rule of thumb: Be consistent, limit verbal instructions and let the child own his/her training by memorizing routines and leverage technology.

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Raising a Scholar Athlete - Recommended Educational Tools

Raising a Scholar Athlete - Recommended Educational Tools

Access to education is the greatest gift we can give to our kids.  That is why education is the highest priority in our home. Parents of competitive athletes share this commitment. I am highlighting a few resources we use at home to help families nurture well-rounded scholar-athletes.  

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More than Words - Ode to Youth Soccer Coaches

More than Words - Ode to Youth Soccer Coaches
If I had a nickel for everytime a youth soccer coach in America told a group of unsuspecting parents that a poor game performance or losing season was due to his/her prioritizing development over winning; I would make Mark Zuckerberg look like a welfare case.  By convincing naive American parents that winning is a totally irrelevant metric for evaluating a youth soccer program, US soccer clubs avoid almost all accountability.

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Part 3 - How Much Do They Train

Part 3 - How Much Do They Train

This is the third installment of my series; The Playbook - My Strategy (So Far) for Raising an Elite Soccer Player. Today's topic discusses the amount of time my son spends training. My son's soccer journey has just begun; please share your tips with me.

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Part 2 - Confessions of a Soccer Dad (My Why)

Part 2 - Confessions of a Soccer Dad (My Why)

I have a confession to make. The primary reason I signed my son up for competitive soccer was not fun. It was a close second, but not the first reason.  I know this statement is sacrilegious in most circles, but hear me out.

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The Playbook - My Strategy (So Far) For Raising An Elite Soccer Player

The Playbook - My Strategy (So Far) For Raising An Elite Soccer Player

Currently, my son is an advanced soccer player who loves the game. When my friends see him play, and our interaction, they naturally ask what I do.  I have been hesitant to give isolated tips because success depends on a number of factors.  Finally, I am sitting down to share my playbook for raising an elite youth soccer player (so far).  I hope this post provides good ideas for parents who want to take more ownership in their child's soccer development.

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Sporty Slaps World Cup 2018 Power Rankings

Sporty Slaps World Cup 2018 Power Rankings

With just a month away from the 2018 World Cup, its time to make our predictions.  Let's have some fun! Click here to compete in the Parents United World Cup 2018 Bracket Challenge (Click Here). 

 

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THE ONLY FOUR WAYS TO GET BETTER!

THE ONLY FOUR WAYS TO GET BETTER!

One thing I love about youth soccer is that it provides an opportunity for me to share valuable life lessons with my son. This post was inspired by one such conversation while riding home from his practice. This is the musings of a soccer dad, I would love to hear your thoughts as well.

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