Do you remember the idea of a pick-up game? It happens in most team
sports at the playground. However, it does not happen enough for soccer.
The idea of structuring free play was stressed at my A course solely for
the purpose of giving the game back to the players. Kids have the most fun
when they do it themselves. Our adult rules and regulations are foreign to
kids and they can handle it, if we give them the go ahead.
San Rafael Youth Soccer Club has come about as close as possible to achieve
this pick-up play. Every spring for the past four years the Youth Soccer Club has
sponsored a program designed for pick-up play. The program is 7 to 9 weeks
long and the players show up and play without interference from us adults.
The kids even line their own fields!
The youth soccer players check-in every morning with the monitor and then the players go
straight to the fields. Youth soccer teams are made by handing out training vests as
they check-in. The kids play about 3 twenty minute games on the day.
The fans are told explicitly to be fans. No coaching. Period. Parents are
encouraged to sit and enjoy their coffee and the games. This is a great way
for some families to visit and to watch their kids play.
The players are sometimes switched during the games to try to make the teams
as fair as possible. This was only done by the monitor after seeing how the
games were going. Parents would sometimes help point some uneven teams out,
but the monitor did the changes.
The program is for U10, U12, and U14 players. The Club even has an
introductory league for U6, U7, and U8 players. It is a shortened season to
give young players a chance to play soccer before the full season comes. We
give the prospective players and coaches a ³soccer tryout² to see if they
like the game. If they do the season is only a few months
Does your community have this type of program?
We would love to read the details and share with our readership!