On The Pitch

Thoughts on Youth Soccer from a Soccer Dad, Fan, Coach and Administrator

Entries for the ‘Players’ Category

A Look At Pickup Soccer in America

Pickup soccer is often credited with helping many of the world’s best players refine their skills. But in the United States, pickup soccer is seen as a rarity. This article takes an in depth look and finds that may not be the case.

Keep Her In The Game

I’ve never understood how in a country where the women’s national soccer team far outshines the men’s, we consistently see a ratio of 60/40 boys to girls in youth soccer participation. Sports don’t have to be all encompassing, but they can be an important part of every child’s life in terms of their overall growth. Nice to see our national athletes getting involved to keep girls in the game.

Of Sugar, Spice, Soccer … and Mud

Depending on the area, School Soccer and Travel Soccer can be quite different. It can often cause some culture shock when players from Rec and Travel background some together to play in school. Here’s a funny exchange that kind of highlights that…

Keeping That Warrior Spirit

In some areas, the difference between club and school soccer can be quite a shock for many players and coaches. After watching a number of skilled players struggle to adjust to easier/safer styles of play, I wrote this for many of my current and former players.

Mars & Venus Have Nothing To Do With It

Coed soccer teams are very common throughout the US, especially at the Recreational level. Could they be hurting the development of our players, especially girls? One league’s experience seems to indicate that they are.

A Flip and A Goal

The 96 Girls soccer team I coach has had a couple of players who can do a flip throw in, which has led to more than a few funny moments and scoring opportunities.

Energy Drinks and Young Athletes

Young athletes are consuming more and more energy drinks. What are the impacts and should coaches be encouraging it?

The Big Bad Wolf

Many clubs are starting to offer free skills clinics for U9 and U10 age players in an effort to recruit more players for their travel programs. But is that the only reason they’re doing it?

Sports Drinks And Hydration

The debate over what hydrates the body better – water or Gatorade – likely will never be settled. But when you look at the consumption habits of children in sports, they consume MUCH more of one than the other, helping them stay hydrated.

How Many Kids Are REALLY Over Scheduled?

For decades, parents have been convinced by the media that we’re ruining our kid’s lives by having them participate in too many activities. Yet new data shows that may not really be the case.

Differences In How Boys And Girls Retaliate

An experienced referee has some interesting observations about how older players may retaliate in different ways depending on their gender and what to look for.

Kick Like A Girl – A Documentary

When an undefeated girls soccer team called The Mighty Cheetahs goes looking for stronger competition, they find it in the boys division of their soccer league. Their coach, who happened to be in film school at the time, decided it would make a compelling story for a documentary and the result is ‘Kick Like A Girl’, a documentary due to be released this summer.

Banning Orange Slices in Youth Sports?

An Australian sports authority has banned oranges from youth sports games in the name of preventing tooth decay. Seriously.

Chocolate Milk Better Than Gatorade?

Is chocolate milk the perfect drink to refuel after an intense workout or practice? Some believe so.

A Scary Weekend of Injuries

A recent weekend in Georgia saw a significant number of serious soccer injuries. Soccer is definitely a contact sport and the risk of injury very real. Perhaps it’s time for youth referees to start showing the plastic more often.