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Youth Soccer Myths. Presented by: John Murphy CYSA Chairman of the Board [email protected] 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 . Problems with Myths

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youth soccer myths
Youth Soccer Myths

Presented by: John Murphy

CYSA Chairman of the Board

[email protected]

Youth Soccer Myths

youth soccer myths2

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

Youth Soccer Myths

slide3
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

Youth Soccer Myths

slide4
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”
  • Why discuss?
    • Reality will not go away and eventually will prevail
    • Information enables people to make better decisions

Youth Soccer Myths

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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
  • Second, scholarships are plentiful

Youth Soccer Myths

children should specialize early
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?
    • 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”

Youth Soccer Myths

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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.”
        • American Academy of Pediatrics, Intensive Training and Sport Specialization in Youth Athletes

Youth Soccer Myths

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“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

Youth Soccer Myths

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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).”

Youth Soccer Myths

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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.”

Youth Soccer Myths

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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
    • 1. “Romance phase” ages 6-13
    • 2. “Precision phase” ages 13-15
    • 3. “Integration phase” ages 15 and older

Youth Soccer Myths

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

Youth Soccer Myths

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Citizenship Through Sports Alliance, 2005 Youth Sports National Report Card
  • 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

Youth Soccer Myths

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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

Unacceptable

Youth Soccer Myths

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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.)
  • “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.)

Youth Soccer Myths

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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)

Youth Soccer Myths

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Other significant considerations
  • 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

Youth Soccer Myths

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Burnout
  • 75% quit before age 13
  • 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

Youth Soccer Myths

scholarships
Scholarships
  • Good news is they really do exist!!!
  • 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

Youth Soccer Myths

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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

Youth Soccer Myths

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Applied to CYSA
  • Approximately 8,900 17 and 18 year old players in 2005
  • 750 scholarships means is 8.5% of CYSA players in these age groups

Youth Soccer Myths

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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”

Youth Soccer Myths

slide23
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.”

Youth Soccer Myths

bay area division i schools
Bay Area Division I Schools
  • MEN (9.9 scholarships a team of 24-26 players & 5 places per year)

Total 161 total

Full 7

Partial* 107 (can be $400 - $500)

None 47

SchoolTotalFullPartialWalk-ons

  • Cal 27 0 27 0
  • St. Mary’s 26 0 16-18 8-10
  • USF 30 2 24 4
  • San Jose State 25 2 12 11
  • Santa Clara 28 3 20 5
  • Stanford 25 0 15-20 5-10

Youth Soccer Myths

bay area division i schools25
Bay Area Division I Schools
  • Women (12 scholarships per team)

Total 138

Full 9

Partial* 101 (can be $400-$500)

None 28

SchoolTotalFullPartialWalk-ons

  • Cal 31 0 30 1
  • St. Mary’s 21 NA NA NA
  • USF 27 1-3 16-18 8
  • San Jose State 30 0 25 5
  • Santa Clara 26 2 16 8
  • Stanford 24 2 16 6

Youth Soccer Myths

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Academics Count
  • 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

Youth Soccer Myths

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“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

Youth Soccer Myths

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