By now you’ve probably seen the video
It’s basically a five minute recruitment ad to United Soccer Club in England. There are a lot of issues this video brings up. I’d like to talk first, about nine year olds.
Every one matures at different rates. Some nine year olds can be 7, others 11 in their development. Their development can be measured physically as well as mentally and emotionally.
This player is obviously skilled, though it’s difficult to say how much more skilled he is than the other players. We don’t know what level or ages the other boys on the team are. A lot of the kids do look taller than our soccer star. Taller kids usually don’t have the coordination of shorter players. This is due to a lot of factors. Some of them being longer limbs and higher center of gravities.
My main concern is this child’s long term development. Is he putting all of his eggs in one basket? Or is his grandfather putting his eggs in the basket for him? How much time does he spend practicing and what are his motivations for this? Is it because he enjoys it, or is it because it makes his parents happy?
It is a very long haul from being nine and playing youth soccer to playing at the professional level. There are tons of twists and turns along the way. I’ve known many outstanding athletes who were nationally ranked as children that not only dropped out of their sport before college, but did some major rebelling against their pushy parents.
And on this note, I wonder if Manchester United understands childhood psychology and development. Do they have the child’s best interests or their clubs. I don’t believe they are one and the same. I hope they do.
Tomorrow, I’ll write about some of the physical skills I observed watching this video.