Competition in youth soccer is becoming more intense with each passing year and in more parts of the country and we see the exaggeration of that on reality television all the time. Children are losing the opportunity to have fun with sports – for it to be a healthy break from other parts of a busy life. The opportunity to rest and relax and be with family is shelved in favor of staying busy. At ages 7 – 12 training should still be fun. Kids this age tend to view soccer as a fun sport and not a business [and they should view it as fun].
Don’t retire kid
There was an ad that went out from Aspen Sports that did a great job educating adults on what kids are feeling in sports nowadays.
This goes down as one of the best videos I have ever seen… You feel for the kid – even though it’s just an ad… At the same time, you know this happens in every city.
“Parents, leagues and coaches need to look out for the kids”
How to prevent burnout
Age 7-11 is a critical age. If the kid doesn’t look forward to time with the team or trainer each week there’s a risk of burnout.
This is not to say that all kids are the same.
Some kids this age live and breathe the sport [they can name more pros than I can]! In all likelihood these are the kids who will go on to play professionally.
However, burnout is also a risk for these personality traits as well.
Don’t compare competition in youth soccer
Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate. – Author Unknown
Skills to work on
- Foot Skills / dribbling with different parts of the foot
- Passing & Receiving
- Defending 1 on 1
- Ball striking with laces and teaching how to get both feet off the ground
- Dribbling in tight and open space
- Side volleys
- Advanced footskills
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