USMNT AND THE DEVELOPMENT OF ELITE PLAYERS
The Importance of Club Development (Part 2)
Partner, The Game Planners, LLC
About a month ago, I wrote an article about the current roster of the USMNT and its implications to our elite player development. To narrow the gap between the leading MNTs on the planet and to play a semi-final in the World Cup 2026, I suggested the following based on my analysis of the recent USMNT roster.
While the first two points above reflect the current nature of the top and bottom of our soccer development pyramid, for this article, I will concentrate specifically on youth soccer clubs - the bottom tier of our soccer landscape.
Let us have a look at our youth soccer club scene:
It is all about applying some perspective to youth soccer …. and helping today’s youth players reach their full potential.
YSCindex provides data, insights, and expertise to help youth soccer clubs differentiate themselves from the competition. Developed by Dr. Michael Warech, a behavioral scientist and the CEO of Warech Associates, LLC, the YSCindex is an innovative online survey management tool that was created to improve the game.
Based on hundreds of interviews with youth club sports leaders and research in behavioral science, the YSCindex measures six critical dimensions of club success:
What inspired Warech and what is his perspective on youth soccer in America?
U.S. Soccer has recommended to its youth members to eliminate the skill of heading the ball in training sessions and games for children 10 years old and younger. Children 11 to 13 years old may head the ball in games, but are limited in how often the skill can be practiced in a training session. US Youth Soccer will follow that recommendation. The recommendation from U.S. Soccer is a part of a larger player safety campaign, called Recognize to Recover. I urge all coaches to review all of the information available here.
Previously published by the U.S. Soccer Sports Medicine Committee:
“At present, there are many gaps and inconsistencies within the medical literature regarding the safety of heading in soccer. The impact of purposeful heading is linear which is less severe than rotational impact. … Head injuries during soccer are more likely to be from accidental contacts such as head-ground, head-opponent, or the rare head-goalpost. …. At this point in time, it is premature to conclude that purposeful heading of a modern soccer ball is a dangerous activity.”
Fortunately, concussions in soccer are not as common as say, sprained ankles or even the more severe broken bone. Yet they do happen -- usually from head-to-head contact or head-to-ground contact. Head-to-head contact could occur sometimes due to poor technique by one or both players challenging for the ball in the air.
So most head injuries in soccer are from the head impacting something other than the ball. The human skull is surprisingly tough. Head injuries from the ball often occur when the technique is done incorrectly.
The legendary Sam Snow (formerly of US Youth Soccer) with American Made Soccer Consultants is on the latest episode of the WVSA Beyond The Pitch Podcast. Sam discusses the first steps a new grassroots coach should take and think about before the upcoming season. Listen to it here: https://lnkd.in/evpqWTq
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Contributed by Ruth Nicholson
You have worked hard to build your club – but what are the three simple secrets to making it even better? Learn the three critical elements that make or break an organization’s success on and off the field.
The three secrets to a successful club live within the balance and partnership between
The people who serve in these roles make up the Off-Field Team.