Experts: Louie Mata and Tony Kuster offer insights on the ‘Down-to-Earth’ article.
Some excellent points in Cony’s article, as we’ve all experienced the frustration of field limitations. I had the privilege of playing in Denmark with Cony Konstin. It was a surprise for us young American players to see so many dirt fields to play on. It could be challenging to enjoy the game if young soccer players’ only opportunities to play are at structured practices where their natural inclination to express themselves is often suppressed.
Kids need more opportunities to PLAY and be KIDS instead of coming to a training pitch to stand in line, run laps, or listen to lectures. It’s just a part of a movement that I believe that we ALL need to do to keep fighting for children’s rights.
If players have places to play, it’s much easier to get out and have fun with the sport and, ideally, grow their love of the game. As the street soccer community knows, street soccer is an incredible opportunity to learn advanced ball control skills and express oneself.
More places to play with fewer restrictions + better understanding of the fun challenges that advanced ball control skills provide = a deeper love and appreciation of the game.
Cony is not wrong, and I grew up in a similar environment, but more of a “good old days” statement. Parents now ask what fields or complexes will the kids be playing on. Do you try to convince them that playing on a dirt field will improve their child?
We know that today’s parents will pick the professional complex – because we all know their kids need the best conditions possible to become the next World Cup star.
A flat field is all that is needed – dirt or otherwise – clumpy grass fields are demoralizing. If in an “iffy” climate that periodically brings lots of rain – you get cancellations as well on a dirt field – that’s frustrating; in the U.S., most teams cancel when it rains, so training time is lost once more.
Solution? Artificial turf? And around we go – LOL.
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