by Alan Maher
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 player 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 standingsâ€¦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 we try to control our kids too much. We live in a society of fear 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.