Friday, June 04, 2010

If you tolerate this then your children will be next

Grateful thanks to @Marrsio and others on Twitter for bringing this to my attention. A fantastic feature on "How A Soccer Star Is Made" by Michael Sokolove in the New York Times.

As Rob points out on Left Back In The Changing Room:
Proving, once again, that the Americans kick our ass when it comes to extended journalistic pieces. Wonderful, wonderful stuff.
In fact I'm not even sure where Sokolove would find an outlet for this kind of thing in Scotland.

Coincidentally we had John Collins wading into the debate today:
It starts at grassroots level, at five, six or seven years of age. The sessions I give help develop skill, create two-footed players, improve their balance and co-ordination, while enabling players to master the ball. And once you’ve given the kids that, you take it to the next stage and put them into game situations where tactics come into it. But that has to come after the foundations are laid.

I see too many big players playing at the back in under-10 games because they can kick it the furthest and are the strongest. That’s not what football’s about. We’ve got to develop skill and technique. It’s not about winning. Every kid wants to win when they go on the pitch so we don’t have to talk about ‘the will to win’. That’s in the Scottish blood. But the will to prepare for victory is vital and that comes on the training pitch. (The Herald)
Collins was launching a training scheme with The Platinum Scheme. Leaving aside the rumours that JC's attitude to teaching the young players in his first team squad was to remove his top and challenge them to sit-up duels, he is speaking some sense. Nothing new, but some sense.

But it's another scheme in a country of countless such schemes. Most are never heard of again.

Collins would probably find a lot to agree with in the New York Times article. The depressing thing is, in comparing the US system unfavourably to the Dutch system, Sokolove might just have highlighted how far Scotland is behind both.