A place for essays (and occasional rants) from the author (and selected cohorts) about youth soccer and sports.

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Summer provides all kinds of soccer activities for players. Teams can play in tournaments on 14 of 15 weekends from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  In addition to over 15 3v3 tournaments (including the “World Championship”) there are summer leagues for in 3v3, 5v5, wall-ball indoor soccer and other formats. 

Not to mention camps galore – every club, every college and scores of others, including Coerver Colorado’s 9-week, 21 camp schedule. Finally, add in the other adult-run activities from team practices to less formal kick-around sessions and individual training and lessons and it’s easily possible for an athlete to squeeze two or three soccer activities a day into the days of summer.

All of this without leaving the state!  How great is that?


 “If a four-month season of one’s sport of choice is good, then six months is better. Ten months is better yet.  And twelve months: optimum.  Except that it’s not.”

– James Sokolove: Warrior Girls


“REST IS A WEAPON.” Athletes need time off – for rest, for recovery, as a balance to the intensity of the time on, and to allow opportunities for other sports, interests, activities and friendships that bring texture and equilibrium to their lives.

That’s not happening for far too many youth soccer players.  The concept of “off-seasons” – which once in youth soccer were from the last game in November until 3-4 weeks before the first league game in the spring and from the final June game into August – has largely disappeared. Continue reading

  • March 1, 2018. Finding the Right Team and Club for Your Child.

Until the age of 14 the most important consideration by far for both players and parents should be to find the best available coaching. That is not always with the “top” clubs where parental and club pressures often lead at the younger ages to player selection for size, strength and athleticism over skill and coaching that pursues games won more than player development. Even within the club, the best teaching can be found on the “B” and “C” teams, where there is often considerably less focus on the winning needed to maintain the brand’s image. The benefits to a player in terms of developing leadership skills and the ability to impact a game should also be considered: those can be hard to come by in a team already populated by a pack of “big dogs.”  Continue reading