Wednesday, April 27, 2016


A Must Read for Parents of Youth Soccer Players
Recently while at the NSCAA convention I met two British gentlemen and of course we began discussing the game of soccer. As we talked, one of my new British friends calmly stated that the bottom line to all of this is the following:
When kids in England go out to play after school, they only kick the ball using their legs and feet. When Americans go out to play after school they usually play with their hands. Baseball, football and basketball have them throwing and catching the ball.

American pre-youth have the opportunity to eliminate the toe-kick before age 5

He went on to make a point, which is true. “The culture of playing sports in the USA starts out very different for our kids here. It’s a cultural difference from the very start.”

His statements made me think of an idea regarding the positive role parents can play in youth soccer. It’s pretty simple actually and it uses a tried and traditional event in American family culture. I’m referring to the good old-fashioned, USA born, backyard family barbecue.This is our traditional event. Every spring, summer and sometimes into the fall, family members, including extended family, sit around the pool or yard relaxing while we slow cook our favorite recipes on the smoker. While the adults cook and socialize, the kids usual manage to pick up a game of either whiffle ball, basketball with a small kid basket or start throwing the foam football.

In the kids’ minds, they are just out having fun in the yard. In actuality, the kids are playing, but they are also learning some of the basics of a sport. In whiffle ball they are tossing a ball like a pitch, while the batter is swings the whiffle bat trying to connect. The kids who are throwing the foam football are learning distance and catching using a softer material.

To parents I would say don’t change anything from your barbecue except bring in a SoccerTee and a soccer ball. Watch the kids kick off the SoccerTee at 2 and 3 years-old and have fun. They’ll kick it again and again with the same exuberance from the very first kick. Just like the foam football being easier to catch and the whiffle ball being easier to hit, the kids using SoccerTee makes it easier for them to kick. They’re having fun while learning soccer skills.

The kids develop coordination and some muscle memory, which help sets the foundation for playing soccer. The results can become compounded over time by just playing in the backyard whether is a weekend family barbecue of after school with other kids on the street.

So, let’s take note from my futbol friends in England. Let’s have our kids play and practice with their feet, building skills and coordination just like they do with their hands.

Parents, if this made sense to you, please click below and see how fast American 3-year olds learn to kick with a SoccerTee  here!

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