byRobert Hutton,
Svenja O'Donnell
and Thomas Penny



Our kids are only young once. Let us not miss out on these precious opportunities to watch them play the game they love.

“We have all been witnessing the atmosphere during any soccer game: that is to win at any price, where the players are subjected to both coaches screaming orders and parents trying to tell them what to do, using strong words when the ball is not in the opponents’ net.

I often felt uncomfortable witnessing such situations. I felt bad, thinking of the child or young adult who experience such humiliation in front of his peers and parents. Whatever skill and understanding of the game he has acquired is drowned in a sea of criticism. He cannot think and give a swift decision in his moves, he retracts to himself thinking that he has failed and to him the game is not fun anymore.

We have to accept that first of all, in youth soccer competition, winning should not be the primary goal. Learning the proper skills and basics in detail are the principal tools the player needs to face his opponent. In addition, once a player has grasped the fundamental skills, it is important to let him try what he has learned in a game situation. It is at that moment that he will use his ability to think and to “SEE” the game and that he will acquire self-confidence. On the other hand, the coach’s function is to keep note of the mistakes done during the game and explain the correction AFTER the game when the tension is already released. Obviously, young players will make mistakes. They will learn from their mistakes provided they are not embarrassed. Otherwise they will be turned off from a game they should enjoy. Let them learn to make their own decision during the game even if it is the wrong one. The role of the coach will be to guide them in a constructive way.

Finally, my advice to the parents is to simply enjoy seeing their children play. It is the most gratifying feeling to see your son or daughter improve in his/her skill, to see their growing confidence and most of all to share their love for the game. To criticize them will hurt their performance and ultimately lose interest in playing.

Let’s all remember that our objective is not only to win a game. It is much more than that. It is to learn with proper instructions, to gain confidence, to think and be creative, to give decisions and most of all to enjoy playing ball…”

Learning vs. Winning by Dr. Gabriel Nigrin

In this article, by Dr. Gabriel Nigrin, we see this epidemic that is taking over the atmosphere of our children’s sporting events. Our kids are growing up in a generation where they do not get to enjoy being a little kid for very long. The seasons where soccer is justfun, when they get the opportunity to chase a ball around a field for 45 minutes, and then get a rewarding snack after is dwindling down and becoming shorter each year before we are forced to put them on competitive teams.

Why are we forcing our kids to grow up to fast?

Why are we allowing the club teams to enter their lives so early?

Why are we pressuring their love for the game and not letting them find it themselves?

Dr. Nigrin has made some awesome points in this article that the Soccer Tee team agrees with! Also, Soccer Tee is excited to give you, our parents and coaches, some resources for your young athletes to make the skills learning process of the game enjoyable and even memorable with you right by their side.

With our teaching tool, your athlete is learning the proper skills to kick the soccer ball with the laces of their foot and get rid of the torturous toe kick at the earliest age possible. This is something you can set up in the backyard and spend quality time with athlete. Your child is getting the repetition of kicks, with the feel that it is a fun game, and you both are enjoying the quality time together. This tool is a mixture of learning with the encouragement from you that they are getting better and better with every kick.

Our kids are only young once. Let us not miss out on these precious opportunities to watch them play the game they love at such a young age!

Soccer Tee Team

translation missing: