The following is a letter I wrote to the head of the League my son played soccer with until today.
- Our children have not been taught any fundamentals at all this season. I’ve been to every practice and every game, and have verified with other parents and asked the children directly. By fundamentals I include – How to properly kick a ball, passing, goal tending, throw ins, goal kicks, corner kicks, defense – really the list goes on and on. This frustration was explained to the coaches at the end of the game. We were told “That is not what we do. We don’t teach fundamentals. All we teach are individual moves.” I replied with “Our goalies don’t even know that they can use their hands.” I was told, “You seriously expect us to teach a goalie that he is allowed to pick up the ball? What a waste of time that would be.” I retorted with. “Yes! I have been a coach for 15 years. Always make sure that your players understand fundamentals before teaching anything advanced.” The response? “Yeah whatever. Waste of time.” Then he turned to the other coaches and said “Come on lets go.” And they walked off.
- The individual skill that was used non stop during the game was the “Pull Back.” Don’t misunderstand, I find this to be a useful skill for any soccer player to know, however in today’s game the move was so over used that the parents on the side line were actually laughing. Why? Every pull back executed garnered a player a sticker. At one point in the game all of the kids, minus the goalies, were sitting in a circle pulling back the ball from each other. The game actually wasn’t moving. It was one large pull back session. Again, the parents on the side line were actually laughing how stupid the game had become. The coaches? They just kept saying”Do a pull back!” over and over again. This went on for quite some time. The obvious point to make here is that even though the move has been taught, the purpose of the move has not been. A pull back has a use, a purpose, and a player should be taught that. The only thing the kids on our team know about the pull back is that if they do one they get a sticker.
- With 5 minutes left in the game my son walked off the field and told me he wouldn’t be going back. Realize this – he never does that. I asked him what was wrong, his answer is crushing. “My team doesn’t know how to pass. They don’t know how to kick a ball. Our goalies don’t know they can use their hands. All we do is pull backs. That coach over there told me to stop going after the ball so hard. I don’t want to play here anymore. We aren’t doing anything. This is boring.” He is five years old and came to the same conclusion about the league that the parents had come to on the sideline and had been discussing the entire game, the games prior, and at the practices.
- Team practices are so disorganized and disorderly, that the parents have started to step in by walking on the to field to get the kids to pay attention to their coach who is too busy having fun himself. We spend at least half of every practice playing Sharks and Minos. 15 minutes is spent doing a scrimmage where the kids randomly run into each other. The other 15 minutes are spent doing the same two moves over and over again. Not once have any fundamentals been covered. I know this because I actually asked our coach two practices ago if he could teach the kids how to kick the ball considering most of them don’t know how to. The response? “I guess.. just not really sure why.” The guy either hasn’t noticed what the parents have or doesn’t care. Most of the kids don’t actually know how to kick the ball correctly.
- Our team has won every game prior to today. I say this only for one reason – we win because our top players actually are the ones that ignore the coach both in practice and the game – again to such a degree that the parents are having to walk onto the field DURING A GAME to get the kids who aren’t in to stop screwing around. The coach seems to be oblivious to this, or again just doesn’t care. Again – we win because our kids ignore their coach. Does that seem right to you?
- I signed my son up for Legends because supposedly he was going to learn more about the game, team skills, and individual skills. In the weeks we have been with Legends the only thing he has learned is the pull back. I taught him how to kick a ball, at goalie he could use his hands, how to defend, how to attack, how to pass and how to throw in. Why should I pay your league to not teach my son how to play the very sport I am paying you to teach him.