Archive for October 25, 2008

Early Specialization Part 2

Posted in Youth Training on October 25, 2008 by mboyle1959

In case you don’t read the comments, this was posted after part 1, I usually will not repost a cooment but, this leads to my next point

“Great article and I agree in principle. However, considering

soccer in the UK many of the development programmes for

talented kids are run by professional clubs and they force

the hand of children and parents. The clubs recruit players

at under 9 or younger as part of the Football Association

player development scheme. The numbers who actually

come through this system and play soccer for a living

are tiny! That is not to say that those who do not play

as their job drop out (no stats). My point is the early

specialisation in soccer has been made almost essential

for those who want to play at a high level. Individuals

who stay on a recreational team will be disadvantaged

when it comes to coaching opportunities and time with

a ball at their feet. I assume that it has become far more

difficult to play at the highest level without the systematic

training offered by Football Academies and Centre

of Excellences throughout the UK.”

This is exactly what is wrong with hockey in the US. It’s not pro clubs but youth clubs encouraging specialization. The “specialization” is why we have less and less skilled Americans in the NHL. The Europeans play a 40 game season and dominate the game currently. My guess is the UK will need to look outside the country for impact players as the system fails them.