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What do we do Now?

During the winter months, I live in South Florida. It is warm and we have many friends here. There is no soccer, so I take a winter break from that.

I met a friend who has a son-in-law who was a soccer player in England. He now coaches youth teams in New England. I thought, how can he do that as a living? I called a dear friend and asked him that question.

My friend told me that the player could coach some teams after school and make more than a teacher with two degrees. That stopped me.

How about a USSF license? Training by the NSCAA? The state that he lived in? No response.

I had some thoughts on what if things went wrong? Suppose that the team did not do well? What to do?

Let us examine the team structure in detail.

On Long Island the team has a coach of record. He or she goes to the games with the team. Normally that person is a volunteer. Then the team hires a professional coach. Perhaps the English coach. Then there is a personal trainer for many of the players. Finally, there is a tournament coach who takes the team to regional tournaments.

Suppose that the team does not do well. Then the parents ask, “what do we do now?”

Consider the alternatives:

·        Change teams.

·        Get new coaches.

·        Change the game and go to lacrosse.

The last choice is very popular on Long Island.

Now back up. What happened to the child that wanted to just play soccer for fun. No English coach. No high powered tournaments and no high expectations. FUN!

I repeat, “what do we do now?” You tell me.

These people can grow up to be spectators at games. They can be supportive of soccer as a good sport for all kids. But if we drive them away with the demand for foreign salaried coaches we will kill the sport.

Can you name another sport where all players are expected to do well or else. We have driven the fun out of soccer. The joy is gone.

I fear for the future. It looks bleak with all the demands placed on young children. If I was a young child, I would stay at home and read books.

Think of what is happening,

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'.