I recently wrote a piece of writing for Irish Times about the role of the youth coach being tougher than ever. i’m very grateful for a way the article has been received and thankful for the various messages of support I even have been sent from various parts of the planet .
The biggest challenge that I feel we’ve before us in child-youth sport are often summed up within the following sentence. As many as possible as long as possible within the best environment possible. Kids are being selected early in to environments that always demand early specialisation in one sport. Elite status is being hung round the necks of seven year olds, clubs, coaches are promoting it and fogeys are buying in thereto .
The societal expectation that’s today attached to youth sport is screwing up the training process. Young bodies and minds are being turned away by and from the game at a ridiculously early age. Our start line should be to embrace diversity and awaken a passion for sport within the kids
In Canada at the Ontario Soccer Summit Jason de Vos Director of Development at Canada Soccer delivered a strong and stirring keynote address on exactly this and more!
In Scotland Andy Kirkland (twitter), a sports scientist from the Scottish Institute of Sport and a teacher in sports coaching at the University of Stirling asks the question “can we make Scottish football great again?” Andy is an outsider looking in. His journey takes him deep into the normal heart of Scottish player development then heads to Island to ascertain if there are lessons to be learnt from there.
In Scotland, he finds that there are many enthusiastic coaches who are wanting to learn but who ultimately feel that they’re just another brick up the wall of what’s at the best a flawed system.
Andy also examines the socio-economical and sociocultural constraints that are emerging due to modern academy structures.In England head of coaching at Sport England, Stuart Armstrong (twitter) has begun a superb series of Facebook live “walkabouts” where he discusses the 7 deadly sins of talent development. inspect part one (or sin one).