Author Mike Slatton

Mike Slatton is a 2nd generation American youth soccer coach since 1984, and the son of one of the nation's first female licensed youth soccer coaches (Anita Slatton, 1979). He's also a professional soccer scout, a player since 1977, and the father of three adult and teenage children who all play or have played the game. "My job as a youth soccer coach is to develop confident, detail oriented problem solvers who can react quickly under pressure. It's important that players NOT be afraid of making mistakes, to encourage an appreciation of failure as a learning tool. This relates to life - not just soccer."

Soccer Careers The dead-end to a pro soccer career
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From the beginning of their soccer endeavors, the kids who hit puberty first in the age group, will get the most attention. Those players will feel like things come easy for them, and their parents will act like their child is “the chosen one”. Then, when everyone catches up to them in size, and the soccer world stops revolving around them, they will quit.

Athlete Performance Young soccer players shoots on goal
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Consider that it took a field-wide effort of ten other boys to give your player the opportunity to knock the ball into the goal.

Your player’s ability to score goals is 100% reliant on their TEAMMATES.  100%.  In other words, they have NO CONTROL over whether or not they score, as the opportunity to score lies is someone else’s ability – or willingness – to give them the ball.  In fact, if you want your child to score goals – and you have money to throw – you should probably throw it at your child’s teammates, for assists.

Athlete Performance USMNT
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We are training the wrong kids. Period.

Youth soccer is a multi-billion dollar industry in the U.S. and those who run it (US Soccer, Youth Soccer Club Directors, MLS / NASL / USL pro teams, & independent player development organizations like Coerver) INTENTIONALLY target the parents and players who can most AFFORD the RISING COSTS of training and “opportunities” they offer.

Economics Youth Soccer Team Parent
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This article offers tips on: communication, planning and organization, and promoting of good player and parent conduct. With the correct tools and information, the team manager can become an integral part of the team and allow the coach to do what they are qualified and brought in to do: engage, coach, develop players.

Athlete Performance Leah dribbling
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Children are BORN with confidence. The have no fear of anything, until they are given a reason to fear something.

For instance, children aren’t afraid of heights until they fall, or they witness someone else fall, or are convinced by another person that they should be afraid of falling. Children aren’t afraid of strange animals until they are bitten, see someone else get bitten, or are convinced by another person that approaching a strange animal could result in physical harm. With no outside influence, children are CONFIDENT.

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