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Big Kids & Little Kids Together – Priceless

My son called me a few weeks ago about his new season. My grandson was on the team. I went to see them play—what a surprise. Big kids and little kids together. My grandson is playing on a team of kids from the fifth grade to the eighth grade.

Try to imagine what was happening with that age range. The big kids lumbered down the field and just kicked the ball. They had no skills whatsoever. It was kick and chase the ball. My grandson tried to be fancy with the ball. All was interesting but not very productive.

I thought of my wasted youth—we played basketball where we could find a game. We played 3v3 or 4v4 or 5v5! No coach or personal trainer. We had no league, or team standings, Just Play.

My son coaches the team. No practice, Just Play—low-level stuff.
I love it.

Why should all soccer be high-level competition? Why cannot kids just have fun? I do not even like the thought that an adult needs to be at the game. I played basketball and football without ever seeing an adult. How about that? Club stuff between kids.

Pilgrim, we have lost our way. We are too organized and try to control our kids too much. We live in a fearful society where kids cannot play by themselves. For me growing up was playing away from adults. Ah, the stories I could tell about early Brooklyn with roasted mickeys and all the rest. We will leave that for another time.

Play On As Best You Can!

Alan Maher

You may recognize Alan Maher from his many articles published by FUNdamental Soccer over the last three decades. What you may not know is that for more than a quarter of a century Alan Maher was the chairman of printed training material for the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. His articles can be read not only in NCAA's own magazine, Soccer Journal, but in every soccer magazine in the country. Alan also published the extremely educational/innovative "Attacking Soccer with the Neutral Player" book as a supplement to FUNdamental SOCCERS' popular '9-Step Practice Routine'.