Youth Soccer News
Does this scenario sound familiar? Your child has the ball in his/her defensive third and three defenders are approaching quickly. You see a teammate wide open so you scream PASS at the top of your lungs. In response, (if you are lucky) your child passes the ball. No harm no foul right? Wrong. Yelling pass, during a game, may make parents feel good, but is not developmentally helpful for the player and more importantly, it adds additional stress to a player who is supposed to be having fun. In this blog post, I will offer a better approach.
This month Sporty Slaps we will be sponsoring a fundraising sale to support the Tucancitos Soccer Club. Tucancitos is a non-profit youth soccer club serving children throughout the Triangle Area. The money generated will be used to support team activities, general expenses and tuition assistance for players.
I grew up on a farm in a small town called Clover South Carolina. Despite working a full-time job, my dad raised over 50 head of black Angus cows, ran a lawn care business and grew almost every vegetable known in North America. It wasn't a glamorous lifestyle, but it put food on the table and sent my brothers and me to college.
As kids, there was never a morning where something didn't need to be planted, picked, gathered, fed, built, chopped, moved or fixed. Even my friends were afraid to come over out of fear of being trapped into forced labor by my dad! For better or worst, life is a lot different for children these days. My children think that food comes from a magical Walmart app on my phone. Therefore, I am choosing to use educational excellence and sport as a means to instill some those values that my parents instilled in me.
My boys have watched every step of this venture take off. My oldest son has even given me some great marketing tips. After all, it's kinda hard to get inside the mind of your typical 7-year-old. The creation of Sporty Slaps has introduced important concepts to him such as globalization, money, trade etc. Each day, even my 4-year-old comes home with a different idea for the business; which is when I introduce the concept of RISK! Regardless of what happens with the business, this has been a great experience for them and something that we will cherish forever.
Starting a side hustle is not for everyone, but I do encourage you to always keep an eye out for opportunities to make extra money while doing something that you enjoy.
People often ask, how I decided to join a travel soccer club. Early on, I made the following promise to my son, "Daddy will do almost anything to support you in soccer as long as you are willing to train with me individually". With that agreement, I signed him up for travel soccer. Without such an agreement, we would have stayed at the YMCA.
LEARNING TO DRIBBLE WITH EVERY STEP IS THE MOST IMPORTANT SKILL IN YOUTH SOCCER.
Parents and coaches should implement training sessions with a rule that forces players to dribble with every step. When confronted by defenders, you want the player to instinctively use light touches keeping (and shielding) the ball close to his/her body. In open space, the player can still move with pace (without chasing the ball) and dribble with every step. This requires a combination of longer strides, pushing the ball further and light touches. Setting up drills instructing players to travel as quickly as they can while also dribbling with every step is much more effective than simply telling a player "not to chase the ball".