What are we doing in youth sports?

On Sunday, I was an assistant referee for an u13 girls soccer game in a local tournament. These were recreational players and teams masquerading as “select” or “comp” teams; none of the “elite” or “competitive” teams participated, as most are finished for the summer after regionals and nationals. These were your average community-centric teams similar to the teams on which I played at this age. Of course, when I played, we played 12 games in a fall season; now, these teams apparently play year-round (I knew the elite teams played year-round, although many – some – of the elite players play multiple sports – basketball in the winter, usually – based on what I learned as an assistant referee at a national tournament, but I did not know the local teams played year-round now too).  […]

Developing Successful Performers: Learning from Spain’s World Cup Victory

On another blog, I saw an interview with Seattle Sounders Strength & Conditioning Coach David Tenney. He has an interesting response when asked about soccer development in the United States:

I agree that soccer has developed to a good level in this country…However, there are still some real areas that we lag behind our South American and European competition. I think that if you look at the average high school age or college game, it’s an overly physical battle…The American game is about trying to play at a frantic speed for as long as possible. At times, it looks like uncontrolled chaos. When we start to get coaches that can slow the game down a bit, so players can think, then we will make progress.

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Elite Soccer as a Means to Teach Offensive Basketball

Many people overlook the similarities between invasion games like lacrosse, hockey, basketball and soccer. However, watch the series of passes and tactical skills which lead to Arsenal’s Sam Nasri’s goal against Manchester United (video has been floating around on twitter thanks to Clarence Gaines and Steve Nash, among others). The series uses many of the Read more about Elite Soccer as a Means to Teach Offensive Basketball[…]