What Should Recreation Sports Be?

12 Sep

I’ve taken the approach in the past with the two recreation soccer teams I coached (at the U5 and U7 age groups) that I was trying to teach kids for future play of the game and introduce them to a sport they might play for a long time.  I wanted to build fundamental skills and start their brains in action to truly understand the game a few small steps at a time.

I discounted game results, and looked for kids to build their skills over time to win matches.

But is this a big fairy tale?  Are the kids interested in learning or interested in winning?

At one hour of practice a week and and one match per week, none of these kids will probably progress to even a high school level player if they continue in the Recreation track for many years.  Even with the practice time expanding in the next age group to two one-hour sessions – I can’t expect that any of them will progress to significantly higher skill levels.

So is a delayed payoff of future skills and knowledge worthwhile (knowing that attrition will knock out some or all of the players out before age 16) or should I as a coach do as much as possible to win matches now (even using means that might not be in the best future interests of the players)?  Will the payoff of a win offset reduced on-field happiness?



One Response to “What Should Recreation Sports Be?”


  1. Why do American Kids Play Soccer? « Be An Athlete - September 16, 2011

    […] of my recent interactions with kids and sports have caused me to question why our children play sports, and why the sports they do play are selected. With sports like Football (the gridiron version), […]

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