Quality soccer training programs for young players are in short supply but high demand. While the number of youth teams on the field continue to grow, there are relatively few educated, professional coaches available. Well-meaning parents and school P.E. coaches may be able to teach your child the basics, but high-level competitive skills can only be obtained from an expert.
If your child has ambitions beyond recreational soccer, the wrong training can be devastating. Unbalanced training can leave your player lacking in crucial areas. Coaches who are either brutal or unmotivated in their methods can damage a young player's self esteem and sportsmanship, dulling the competitive edge.
Probably the greatest danger to your child from poor training is injury. Because children and teens still are developing physically, excessive training or incorrect technique can cause lasting and serious damage. One injury from bad training could end your child's future in the game and lead to a lifetime of problems.
Finding the Perfect Balance
Look for coaches who are licensed, educated in sports training and have played professional soccer, preferably at an international level. Coaches with dynamic qualifications are more likely to understand the specific needs of competitive soccer players. These instructors will impart wisdom and experience to young players. Make sure the program specializes in youth training and understands the fitness needs of growing kids.
A balanced program should focus on:
- Strength and Conditioning
- Technical Precision
- Tactical Development
- Sport Psychology Coaching
Expanding Your Horizons
Some soccer training camps and schools offer international programs that allow students to travel abroad and study language and culture alongside the game. The international soccer scene is incredibly competitive. Programs that expose young players to international teams offer a wealth of experience that simply can not be gained elsewhere.
Furthermore, traveling abroad is an unforgettable experience and will enrich your child's life immensely. In today's diverse society, cultivating appreciation for foreign languages and cultures can be a major advantage for your child.