Youth Soccer Thoughts

November 26th, 2009 Comments off

I picked youth soccer because I’m close to it.  I have a daughter that we shuttle all over New England for practice and games.  One and a half hours north for practice, twice a week.  Five hours south for a two day tournament.  You know how it works.  Millions of parents do this.  But why do we do it and what do we expect from it?  Let’s talk about that.

When I grew up, both my parents worked.  My father would leave on Monday morning and not be back until Friday night.  He worked construction.  He traveled to where the work was.  My mother worked the morning shift in a plastics factory.  Not only did they not have the time or the energy to shuttle me or my four siblings around, they never saw the need.  On afternoons after school, we “played”.  During the summer, we played.  Not soccer practice, not dance class, not gymnastics.  We just played.  Sure we had school sports but that was the extent of our structured activities.  Oh yeah, we had Little League Baseball. 

Today’s youth have so many activities that they can participate in.  But is a structured session, teaching technique and skills really playing?  Is it learning? Sometimes I wonder.  I remember that the walk from the bottom of my driveway to my front door could take hours.  but it was only 100 yards!  We had the freedom to walk in the woods and around our pond.  We explored and made up things to do.  Ourselves.  I know it’s a different world now.  We all have those “safety” concerns.  But what do our kids learn from the organized activities?  Do they learn to use and develop their imagination?  Do they learn skills they can put to use later in life?  Or is the time just filled for them?

Combine that structure with the “everyone wins” mentality and what do you have?  A recipe for mediocrity I think.  Life isn’t fair to everyone.  Some people win, some people lose.  Notice that I didn’t say some people are losers.  I don’t believe that.  But people that are competitive, curious and self sufficient are generally successful.  If our kids don’t learn to fight for what they want, to be competitive, to understand the why as well as the how; how will they ever succeed?  Shouldn’t we teach them to want to be the best?

When I was a kid we played pickup games.  But we had to figure out who was playing on what team.  We had to figure out the rules ourselves.  We called our friends to meet after school.  We figured out ways to play when we couldn’t  find enough players.  Today’s kids get carted to the activity.  They perform the drills and practice.  The coaches ensure that everyone get’s a “fair” amount of play time.  In the end, everyone get a small medal or certificate.  How does that relate to real life? 

 There’s a lot to think about here.  So many layers and so much to consider.  What do you think??

Categories: Ken, Soccer Tags: , , ,

SVM Fusion

November 25th, 2009 Comments off

2009 SVM Soccer @ Concord, NH.

Random Photos of the Southern Vermont Fusion Playin in Concord, NH on October 10, 2009.

Categories: Kaitie, Photos, Soccer Tags: , ,

Our Homepage

November 24th, 2009 Comments off

DSC_3364

Categories: Photos, Soccer Tags: , , ,