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"Koach Karl's Methodology Endorsed By National & Professional Soccer Organizations"

By Steven Morrison,
ACCYSL Board Member

Coach Gianni,
It was very nice to read your letter in the cysa mag, you are right highly competitive soccer is getting out of control - less is more,

I'm concerned kids are being nudged into comp soccer too soon, failing 8-9 year old kids at try-outs & sending the kids that make it to far away places is too much too soon,

I find it very difficult to ingore the following recommendations........

United States Soccer Federation (USSF) Coaching Committee 1985. "The USSF discourages the awarding of trophies, medals, etc. to championship winning teams for 6-10 year old players throughout the country, and discourages the selection of Select Teams in these age groups."

'Competition for 10-Year old and under - Player support research and reference document'. Received research help from the American Academy of Pediatrics; World Health Organization; International Federation of Sports Medicine and supported b Junior Olympics made the following 'frank' statement:

"The higher the level of competition, the greater the emphasis on winning. Winning at top levels is assessed by going to tournaments, championships, travel and attainment of external rewards. For some adults, this becomes paramount in their quest for success. They set new objectives of training and competition that may not reflect th! e interest of children (play for fun, improve skills, be with friends)."

A position statement presented by Karl Dewazien, CYSA State Coaching Director, was endorsed by these groups: NSCAA national coaching staff, USYSA state directors of coaching and player development, USSF national staff, USSF national instructional staff, USSF National Team coaches, MLS head coaches and WUSA head coaches.

The position statement reads: "We believe soccer festivals should replace soccer tournaments for players under age10, with no elimination and no ultimate winner. We also endorse and support the movement to prohibit U-10 teams traveling to events that promote winning and losing and the awarding of trophies."

Following are principles adopted at the Union of European Football Association Youth Conference held in the spring of 1995 in Norway. The working group drew up a list! of 10 important guiding principles for coaches and parents. They appeared in the AFCAT (Association of Football Coaches and Teachers) newsletter, Catalyst.

No. 1: Children's football (soccer) means playing and playing means FUN. For young players, children's football means their first contact with the organized game. Do not forget that it has to involve fun and pleasure and not hard work. It has to be an integral part of their young lives. The first impression is a signpost to the child's further development. So, let them have fun, let them play and pay less attention to the results. The best outcome you can get in children's football is to have happy, delighted children who play together with their friends and can learn something.

No. 2: For children, being together with their friends is most important. Children in the past used to meet their friends in parks or in the fields in the neighborhood. They spent their free time there and often played football. So adults must not lose sight of the fact that an important aspect of football is for children being together with friends. We must watch over that friendship as it helps promote the human spirit. Therefore, try to have their friends and schoolmates playing in their teams as much as possible.

No. 5: More practice - Less matches. As a rule, you should seek to teach players rather than put hem under pressure by playing competitively. Too many games can harm a child's physical and social development. Norway has a rule that U-10 children should not play more than 20 games a year and U-12's at most 25 games.

I think leagues should consider more creative ways of flighting strong u10 teams, maybe a 'house' flight with another local league, no try-outs, limited traveling, kids still get to play with friends, less emphasis on winning more on fun (with class 4, there are no standings, no trophies)

take care,
Steven Morrison
(ACCYSL Board Member)

Copyrightę FUN Soccer Enterprises 2005
Posted on 21 Sep 2005 by coachgianni
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