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We Agree With Professionals Who Believe That Travel Soccer is Not For Players Under Age 11
WYSC strongly believes that travel soccer is NOT for young players participating in division Under-9 or Under-10, and that children should not get involved in a travel program until reaching the Under-11 age division. This belief is shared by many other soccer professionals. Please take a minute to read exerpts from the following articles:
Gordon Miller - VYSA Technical Director - states in his essay "Too Much Too Soon":
"When the gauge of that success is measured by either players competing at a higher level or continuing to play when they get older, we fail on both counts. There is absolutely no data that supports that particular theory. If starting travel soccer this young were the right way to go then the rest of the world would be copying our model, but it doesn’t. In fact other countries are in the exact opposite direction with their soccer philosophies and programs. For example, the French, Germans, Dutch and Spanish believe that it is important to keep young players (under the age of 12) playing within their own communities, with their friends, and, with educated coaches. They profess that it is critical for a player’s development that the youngsters spend more time on the training field, in a less result oriented environment, learning the intricacies, nuances and techniques of the game..."
From an article by Dan Chalk of The Daily News:
Link to complete article
"Our kids don't have time to just be kids,". "I think we have them on our adult schedules of busy-ness. You take a few steps on the treadmill and before you know it, you're at full speed." "The other thing you see is the level of the intensity of the parents at the competition. They've invested a lot of money, and they're looking for a return. As a result, a lot of childhoods are being lost."
From Virginia Youth Soccer Association U9-U12 Development Travel, "Twenty One Steps to Increased Learning, Fun and Retention":
"It has been fairly well established that at least 70% of all youth quit organized sports by U13. When seeking a solution it must be noted that it is not what we are doing at U13 that poses the problem but what players have experienced prior to that (at U9 through U12).
Clearly something is broken and many feel that, with improvements, we should be able to get that figure under fifty percent.
"Sports specialists and child development professionals repeatedly indicate that the problem revolves around too much pressure to achieve 'winning' results too soon instead of focusing primarily on individual development. Such pressure on young children reduces intrinsic motivation, leads to perceptions of failure, diminishes enjoyment and promotes a determination to get out as soon as they get more control over their lives..."
Link to complete article