Why U.S. Youth soccer culture isn’t working and how it’s ruining the game

Published on September 13, 2018

If you ask me, youth soccer is not working.

Politics are hurting our kids development now more than ever.

Players deserve a better environment in which they can have a positive youth soccer experience and continue to play the game for as long as possible.

The problem lies with all of us: parents, coaches, and clubs.

I want to do everything I can to change the culture and youth soccer, especially women’s soccer.

Here’s how current coaching and parenting are destroying youth soccer:

 

  1. Coaching culture is too ego driven

I’m sure you see at your kids games all the time-  coaches are way too caught up in winning the game than in the performance and development of their players.

I see it at every level whether it’s Rec soccer, club, or high school soccer.

Honestly that’s a big reason why I got out of coaching club soccer- because there are way too many egos in the way of kids development.

  1. Crazy soccer parents are ruining the game

Because of these crazy soccer parents, coaches have gone as far as adopting rules of not talking to parents and shutting them out in order to not have to engage.

This makes it hard for coaches to establish a relationship with parents, which causes a lack of trust among parents and coaches.

Not only does it affect coaches and other parents but more so it affects their own children.

I’ve done it myself and I’ve seen it before… a coach will not choose a kid to be on their team because the parents are so crazy… and they don’t want that crazy parent to negatively affect the rest of the team.

I can tell you firsthand that it’s a very tough decision to make but coaches will make that decision every time.

  1. The core purpose of youth soccer has been forgotten by coaches and parents.

Too often youth soccer has become about the process of winning instead of the process of developing girls into young women with strong values and character.

It’s time to stop looking at the score board and start looking at what really matters…

 

  1. Youth players are quitting too early

All players regardless of age and level want to have fun when they play. Out of the millions of kids that play soccer every year the vast majority of them simply want to play soccer to have fun and participate.

Our goal should be to keep our kids playing soccer whether that’s in college, at a club level, or the recreation level.

We all know the benefits of participating in sports has on our kids physical, social, and mental health… and that truly should be our number one priority.

 

  1. Players are too afraid to fail

I see  this every day…

Girls will avoid doing things that they’re not good at because they’re afraid to make a mistake.

At our training sessions I encourage my players to make mistakes and get creative.

The more mistakes they’re making the more they’re going to learn and develop that skill.

As coaches and parents we need to be careful when criticizing our kids when they make mistakes on the field.

Most of the time they know that they made a mistake and they don’t need to hear it from the sidelines.

This is an important topic for your kids’ future so please share this with friends, family, coaches, etc..

 

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