Some of my recent posts describe my concerns about too much focus on ‘quick passing & moving’ at too young an age. Coaches are trying to copy the Barcelona style of possession play and many parents are happy to see lots of passes being strung together and tend not to like the player who doesn’t pass quickly.
But I’m concerned that this leads to one-dimensional soccer and doesn’t give the players what they need to creatively solve problems during games against strong, tactically smart opposition.
I am concerned that we are not emphasizing enough a critical part of youth player development: creativity, technical skills, and risk taking, that, when later combined with smart passing and fast movement, leads to top-level, entertaining soccer.
So take a look at this clip from Barcelona’s youth academy. These are ten or eleven year old boys. Watch carefully the many skills and soccer IQ used just in these ten seconds. Their toolkit is large already!