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Soccer Myths Presented by: John Murphy CYSA Chairman of the Board

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Presentation on theme: "Soccer Myths Presented by: John Murphy CYSA Chairman of the Board"— Presentation transcript:

1 Soccer Myths Presented by: John Murphy CYSA Chairman of the Board

2 Youth Soccer Myths A “myth” is a popular belief that has grown up around something Or Something that has an unverifiable existence George Washington & the Cherry Tree

3 Soccer Myths Problems with Myths Maybe strongly held emotionally based beliefs Often partially true with part that is true extrapolated to extreme and unwarranted conclusions Often involve false syllogisms

4 Soccer Myths Discussing can be dangerous because of the emotionalism that may have attached Discussing can be dangerous because of the emotionalism that may have attached “There is nothing more horrible than the murder of a beautiful theory by a brutal gang of facts” “There is nothing more horrible than the murder of a beautiful theory by a brutal gang of facts” Why discuss? Why discuss? –Reality will not go away and eventually will prevail –Information enables people to make better decisions

5 Soccer Myths We will examine two myths that are very, very common in youth soccer today We will examine two myths that are very, very common in youth soccer today First, that children should specialize early in one sport and have intensive training First, that children should specialize early in one sport and have intensive training Second, scholarships are plentiful Second, scholarships are plentiful

6 Soccer Myths Children should Specialize Early How many times have you heard that child must start and dedicate himself or herself to soccer by age 8 or even age 7? How many times have you heard that child must start and dedicate himself or herself to soccer by age 8 or even age 7? –Sounds logical – more do something better get – “practice makes perfect”  BUT maybe kids are more than just short adults –Plays on fear of being “left behind”

7 Soccer Myths How Accurate an Idea? “Children are encouraged to participate in sports at a level consistent with their abilities and interests. Pushing children beyond these limits is discouraged as is specialization in a single sport before adolescence.” “Children are encouraged to participate in sports at a level consistent with their abilities and interests. Pushing children beyond these limits is discouraged as is specialization in a single sport before adolescence.” –American Academy of Pediatrics, Intensive Training and Sport Specialization in Youth Athletes

8 Soccer Myths “Research supports the recommendation that child athletes avoid early sports specialization. Those who participate in a variety of sports and specialize only after reaching the age of puberty tend to be more consistent performers, have fewer injuries, and adhere to sports play longer than those who specialize early.” “Research supports the recommendation that child athletes avoid early sports specialization. Those who participate in a variety of sports and specialize only after reaching the age of puberty tend to be more consistent performers, have fewer injuries, and adhere to sports play longer than those who specialize early.” –American Academy of Pediatrics, Intensive Training and Sport Specialization in Youth Athletes

9 Soccer Myths Center for Sports Parenting, Top Ten Sports Parenting Myths Myth: “The sooner your child specializes in just one sport, the better chance they have of advancing to higher level (e.g., college, professional ranks).” Myth: “The sooner your child specializes in just one sport, the better chance they have of advancing to higher level (e.g., college, professional ranks).”

10 Soccer Myths Center for Sports Parenting, Top Ten Sports Parenting Myths Response: Some coaches pressure kids to play just one sport. As a parent, you should be wary of this! In addition to burnout worries, ask yourself, ‘how does your child know which sport will be his/her best one, unless they try a bunch of different sports?’ When they are young, let them try a bunch of sports.” Response: Some coaches pressure kids to play just one sport. As a parent, you should be wary of this! In addition to burnout worries, ask yourself, ‘how does your child know which sport will be his/her best one, unless they try a bunch of different sports?’ When they are young, let them try a bunch of sports.”

11 Soccer Myths Hedstrom & Gould, Research in Youth Sports: Critical Issues Status, Youth Sports: Talent Development and Sports Specialization (2004) Hedstrom & Gould, Research in Youth Sports: Critical Issues Status, Youth Sports: Talent Development and Sports Specialization (2004) Studies of highly successful athletes show three phases Studies of highly successful athletes show three phases –1. “Romance phase” ages 6-13 –2. “Precision phase” ages –3. “Integration phase” ages 15 and older

12 Soccer Myths Romance phase – child participates in multiple sports for FUN Romance phase – child participates in multiple sports for FUN Precision phase – focus on limited number of sports Precision phase – focus on limited number of sports Integration phase – deliberate practice in an effort to pursue performance excellence Integration phase – deliberate practice in an effort to pursue performance excellence –Phases are sequential without skipping any

13 Soccer Myths Citizenship Through Sports Alliance, 2005 Youth Sports National Report Card Grade of “D” in area of “Child Centered Philosophy Grade of “D” in area of “Child Centered Philosophy –Youth sports leaders, parents and coaches put the goal of children – fun, friends, fitness, participation and skill development – first Unacceptable

14 Soccer Myths League leaders, parents and coaches understand the dangers of early sports specialization League leaders, parents and coaches understand the dangers of early sports specialization Needs Improvement Youth sports leaders set expectations and hold parents, coaches and themselves accountable for sportsmanship, civility and commitment to child-centered philosophy Youth sports leaders set expectations and hold parents, coaches and themselves accountable for sportsmanship, civility and commitment to child-centered philosophyUnacceptable

15 Soccer Myths Specialization when young does not work Specialization when young does not work “Concerns voiced in response to specialization include the fact that athletic performance at one age in childhood does not accurately predict performance at a later age.” (Hedstrom & Gould, supra.) “Concerns voiced in response to specialization include the fact that athletic performance at one age in childhood does not accurately predict performance at a later age.” (Hedstrom & Gould, supra.) “There is very little predictive value when it comes to saying an 8 year-old will grow to be a superior athlete when they’re 18.” (Center for Sports Parenting, supra.) “There is very little predictive value when it comes to saying an 8 year-old will grow to be a superior athlete when they’re 18.” (Center for Sports Parenting, supra.)

16 Soccer Myths Studies of the practice in former Soviet Union “showed early sport specialization did not lead to the performance advantages people thought, and in fact, there was an advantage to early sport diversification.” (Hedstrom & Gould, supra) Studies of the practice in former Soviet Union “showed early sport specialization did not lead to the performance advantages people thought, and in fact, there was an advantage to early sport diversification.” (Hedstrom & Gould, supra)

17 Soccer Myths Other significant considerations Overuse injuries Overuse injuries –“... one factor was repeatedly cited as the prime cause for the outbreak in overuse injuries among young athletes: specialization in one sport at an early age and they year- round, almost manic training for it that often follows.”  New York Times, February 23, 2005, Old Before their time: Overuse injuries afflict the young

18 Soccer Myths Burnout 75% quit before age 13 75% quit before age 13 Between 1990 and 2002 number of youth in United States increased by more than 7 million Between 1990 and 2002 number of youth in United States increased by more than 7 million –Number of soccer players during same period decreased by approximately 1 million –U.S. News & World Report, June 7, 2004, p. 48

19 Soccer Myths Scholarships Good news is they really do exist!!! Good news is they really do exist!!! Problems Problems –No where near as available as what people are led to believe –A lot of hype from various quarters about them  Great Marketing Tool for some

20 Soccer Myths Some Information Regarding a. The numbers –1. 500,000 high school soccer players –2. 150,000 seniors –3. 15,000 roster positions –4. 5% of roster positions receive any assistance b. Translates to approximately 750 scholarships

21 Soccer Myths Applied to CYSA Approximately 8, and 18 year old players in 2005 Approximately 8, and 18 year old players in scholarships means is 8.5% of CYSA players in these age groups 750 scholarships means is 8.5% of CYSA players in these age groups

22 Soccer Myths But CYSA players are only part of the “pool” competing for scholarships But CYSA players are only part of the “pool” competing for scholarships –CYSA has approximately 7.5% of United States Youth Soccer (USYS) registered players –Estimate USYS 120,000 players in same age groups  Approximately 6% could get scholarships  CYSA is 7.5% of the 6%  USYS not only source of players in pool Very, very few are “full ride” Very, very few are “full ride”

23 Soccer Myths October 2005, San Francisco Chronicle Feature Article on “the myth of the full ride” October 2005, San Francisco Chronicle Feature Article on “the myth of the full ride” “Folks, you might want to take a seat in one of those well-used lawn chairs and listen up: Your kid has a better shot at a perfect SAT score.” “Folks, you might want to take a seat in one of those well-used lawn chairs and listen up: Your kid has a better shot at a perfect SAT score.”

24 Soccer Myths Bay Area Division I Schools MEN (9.9 scholarships a team of players & 5 places per year) MEN (9.9 scholarships a team of players & 5 places per year) Total161 total Full7 Partial*107 (can be $400 - $500) None47 SchoolTotalFullPartialWalk-ons Cal Cal St. Mary’s St. Mary’s USF USF San Jose State San Jose State Santa Clara Santa Clara Stanford Stanford

25 Soccer Myths Bay Area Division I Schools Women (12 scholarships per team) Women (12 scholarships per team) Total138 Full9 Partial* 101 (can be $400-$500) None28 SchoolTotalFullPartialWalk-ons Cal Cal St. Mary’s 21 NANANA St. Mary’s 21 NANANA USF USF San Jose State San Jose State Santa Clara Santa Clara Stanford Stanford242166

26 Soccer Myths Academics Count If player does not meet school’s academic requirements it does not matter how good of soccer player they are If player does not meet school’s academic requirements it does not matter how good of soccer player they are –Problem of players shunning difficult courses to  Satisfy demands of travel and competitive soccer  Keep high grade point average

27 Soccer Myths “For some kids and parents, the scholarship is the final payoff. If you look at it as the payoff for the investment you’ve made on youth soccer – all the trips, the hotels, the club fees, the equipment – that’s the wrong approach. The payoff is to have a healthy, happy, well-rounded child. If there’s a scholarship, let that be the icing on the cake.” “For some kids and parents, the scholarship is the final payoff. If you look at it as the payoff for the investment you’ve made on youth soccer – all the trips, the hotels, the club fees, the equipment – that’s the wrong approach. The payoff is to have a healthy, happy, well-rounded child. If there’s a scholarship, let that be the icing on the cake.”  Santa Clara Women’s Coach Jerry Smith, quoted in San Francisco Chronicle October 30, 2005


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