Youth Soccer: What Is The Primary Focus?
The ongoing debate of player development vs. winning in youth sports (and specifically soccer) resurfaced last week with news that GotSoccer would start producing team rankings for U10 and U11 soccer teams.
The news prompted an opinion piece from SoccerAmerica calling it ‘Insanity’.
Chris Hummer from SoccerWire.com dove deeper. Rather than relying on open-ended comments online, he reached out to a collection of respected youth soccer coaches and directors to get their thoughts.
The feedback is summarized best by a U.S. Soccer spokesperson: “In general, we don’t support the concept of ranking teams at the youth level. Our approach is to reduce the idea of winning trophies and concentrate more on the development of the players.”
More than anything, parents need to pay close attention to where they register their youth athletes. What’s the emphasis of that organization? Do they have your child’s best interests in mind? Or are they just trying to win at all costs?