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120 games a year is Child Abuse!




Last week I participated in a coaching camp to upgrade my coaching license to the national level. During that time, conversing with other Coaches and Officials from the Bay Area and the Peninsula, I acquired some information that I wasn't aware of and it really shocked me.

The top youth teams in the U.S. play 120 games a year!

This is UNACCEPTABLE. This is not soccer anymore. This is not sport anymore. This is, quite simply, CHILD ABUSE.
The young players are not the ones responsible.
We are responsible.
Coaches, Parents, Schools and Soccer Organizations have the responsibility to correct this situation. Apart from the regular soccer season, teams play in too many tournaments.
The Organizers like to have a lot of subscribing teams.
Too many Coaches like to improve their curriculum of victories to show how good they are.
Too many Parents like to have sons and daughters who win tournaments so they can get a good scholarship from Schools that look ONLY for strong soccer players and NOT for good students who will become the future ruling class of our country (please notice I said OUR country and not your country).
A few months ago I received this quotation and it's time to use it:

I am only one, but still I am one. I cannot do everything but still I can do something.

I denounce this situation.
It's not right for kids to play 120 games during the year.
In Europe, the top teams, that line up the best youth soccer players on the planet, invest more than 4 million dollars a year on their youth teams, to form the future generation of champions.
Do you know how many games these players play in one year?

Just 24. Twenty four!

The meaning of youth soccer, like every other sport, is to teach them how to play, improve their fundamental skills and prepare them for the challenges of real life.
Practices are for learning and games are to see if we have learned. What can you learn if you basically play games? Games are a kind of test. What test can you affront if you don't have time to study?

In a convention with more than 300 kids, when they were asked: "How many games do you think the top youth players play in Europe? ", they answered 270! A few even estimated more than 400!!!
Our children believe that the better you are the more games you play. They measure how good they are by the amount of games they play. We have to correct this aberration, this distortion of reality.

I am one. I am only one, but I can still do something so, I strongly implore Coaches, Parents, Schools and Organizations to STOP THIS CHILD ABUSE by introducing, as soon as possible a 'norm' or a 'soccer law' that prohibits the youth teams to play more than 50 games a year in 2006, 45 games in 2007 and 40 in 2008.
Please do this for the future of the kids and for this magnificent sport in the U.S.
We don't need a tragedy on a soccer field in June, July or August, in 100 degree heat, to finally show some good sense. I strongly encourage you to act before this happens.
If by our obtuseness a tragedy happens, we can't blame soccer but only ourselves. Coaches, Parents, Schools and Organizations will be responsible.
Before requesting boundaries that forbid coaches to cannibalize other teams in other communities, let's create a law that enforces HOW MUCH kids can play and not WHERE!

I've thrown a stone in the pond and I hope the circle spreads and reaches all of you. I know many who have the same concern. Please raise your voice when the right moment comes at the various conventions.


Coach Gianni
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Posted on 07 Jul 2005 by coachgianni
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