BILL HOWE, seasoned coach and advocate for youth soccer, was kind enough to pen some compelling responses to the challenges I presented in my article, ‘A BOLD STAND FOR CHANGE. Here are his insights and experiences on how we can reshape the future of youth soccer.
Koach Karl, in your article, “A Bold Stand for Change,” there are very thoughtful, introspective insights. There are many others like yourself. A major issue is that most feel powerless to change things, or for that matter, influence decisions & and fixed mindsets.
I am unsure how to address this problem. One thing I have experienced is that we cannot remove anything. We must either replace it with something better or change it without butting heads.
At times, my frustration had me wanting to quit. One day, after a very vocal meeting with my local association, I suffered a heart attack. Let’s just say that this was more than a wake-up call!
I have had enough time to review and assess my experiences. It has led me down paths I had never envisioned.
Your goals are worthy and need to happen ASAP. Somehow, this growing frustration needs to take off more vigorously with some noise followed by a serious PR campaign. The question becomes,
- What are the needed resources?
- How do we acquire them?
- How do we use them?
We need a match to light the fire.
Building a more formal environment and core group to spearhead a movement might be one way? When we look at the resources and control of those minds we are trying to change; it will not happen at the local coffee shop (or pub). There must be some way that has a predictable chance of success. Just trying to wrap our heads around the challenge at a conceptual level is a big ask.
Soccer is not alone in this challenge. I believe we can only make a sustainable change by bringing sport (soccer) back into its proper place in society. Many sports operate outside of the boundaries of normal behavior. They feel exempt for some reason, and this is where the train goes off the tracks.
Children are being negatively impacted by sports, much of Education, and other disparate entities in child environments. We need a more unified approach as a philosophy to work from.
A “Child/Players Bill of Rights” might be a good starting point. If it could be defined and actually USED, it might generate a standard by which organizations and individuals can conform.
Find a (Proposed) “FUNdamental – Bill of Rights” at the end of this article!” 😊
Those who achieve the objectives of such a statement can be recognized, much like the PADI system. As you know, I am a diver. For me and my family’s safety, we only dive at 5-star PADI dive centers. We know what they must conform to and that they are mandated by PADI to follow the rules set and must be prepared to be inspected at any time.
Koach Karl’s Notes:
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