We have been abounding with information regarding the formative, growth and development of a soccer player. But as in other areas, not everything is scientific evidence and not all information should be taken as an indicative parameter for an individual or a team. The same literature has ranges and parameters, and as such should be taken into account.
Parents have many doubts about their children and usually they ask the following questions:
What does my child needs to know / learn at this time/age?
How can I help my son to be a better player, a better person, a better teammate?
How much should we train/play at this age? How much is too much, or too little, or are we doing the right/correct thing?
Not that these questions are wrong, but before we move forward can we add or guide some questions such as:
What is my child’s goal/dream?
How can I help/support my son to achieve his goal/dream?
Are we raising successful children? Are they getting prepared for life?
Knowing that we may all have different goals we need to find a way that the sport is providing all what we are looking. Some main goal for their son will be to enjoy the sport experience as an extracurricular activity, which is fine. Others are willing to work hard trying to achieve an academic scholarship, that's fine too. And some want to support their children to seek their dream to be a professional soccer player, which personally, I believe is nothing wrong with that either.
Each family provides the formative environment that they believe is right for their kids and is very respectable that it can be different from one family to another. Values and education starts at home, will continue at school, can be aid with sports or other extracurricular activities. Soccer, if well implemented, can be a great complement for each child's formation and guidance towards his future.
Soccer at any level, should be seen with the highest professionalism. Either as recreational or as development athlete, each player should learn the values of discipline, effort, camaraderie, teamwork, as well as to learn how to win, lose or adapt to any situation, whether in adversity or in prosperity.
In soccer is not much of reinventing the wheel, all types of trainings are good, everything helps to learn and to improve but there are many particular and specific things that will help each child individually. But it is complicated to diagnose each individual and guide them with their own specifics, which will need to be well planned. A good manageable diagnosis does not just happen but comes about as the natural consequence of taking carefully considered steps. Good coaching, game analysis, observational temperament, attitude and characteristic examination are the most important aspects of the child´s assessment process, and they all complement each other to such an extent that it is impossible to build a satisfactory plan without combining and collating information from these procedures.
Very common to hear following:
I want my son to be a striker! I want him to score goals!
I don’t my son to be on defense or keeper!
For every goal my son scores, I give him a price.
But what if we change them for the following questions:
What position does my child needs to be playing?
Where does my child will develop better to be the best he could be?
When does my child will be ready to play a second or a third position?
Now through social media we have seen many opinions, debates, recommendations about many aspects of youth soccer development. (Burnouts, multisport players vs sport specialization, wining vs development, position rotations vs position specialization, passing vs dribbling, training traditional workout vs small sided games, etc.)
Which one of those should be the next topic????