The STATE of Soccer in WASHINGTON
Dennis Hillyard is trying to make his points about youth soccer the “old-fashioned way.” One email at a time.
So it was that recently my in box found a series of notes and articles about the way he thinks the youth game should be run in America, and everywhere else, too.
“My reason for submitting it to you now is in the earnest hope
that you may bring it to the attention of your various soccer
colleagues in the hope that it can solicit a groundswell of
attention for the need for similar changes here in the USA.
I know that many State Soccer Associations RECOMMEND
such changes however, herein lies the problem in that they
RECOMMEND rather than, issuing MANDATORY rulings.
Any assistance that you and your colleagues can provide in
addressing what I consider to be, one of the most important,
progressive and essential steps to the long term development
of soccer here in the United States.” —Dennis Hillyard
Linked for your review are the following files from Hillyard:
Hillyard’s main passion is getting rid of the idea that ‘winning’ is what youth soccer is all about. He maintains the word needs to be redefined for the sake of the sport, and the kids.
“COACHES NEED KIDS FAR MORE THAN KIDS WILL EVER NEED COACHES. Place a ball down and leave it. A group of kids come by and immediately they will organize themselves into two teams and get a game going. They may argue, dispute decisions etc, but at the end they will all go home tired, muddy but happy and most probably, not knowing or even caring who won or lost. ALL OF THIS ACHIEVED WITHOUT A REFEREE, PARENT OR COACH IN SIGHT.” —Hillyard
“A child arrives home from a game and what is the first question a parent will ask NOT DID YOU HAVE A GOOD GAME ? NOT DID YOU ENJOY YOURSELF ? BUT DID YOU WIN? This is NOT a criticism of the parents as it is a perfectly normal question to ask however, my criticism is leveled directly at both, parents who attend games as well as coaches both of whom who only measure success by the number of games the children win.” —Hillyard
“Go to any park or recreational area where kids soccer is being played and more than likely you will see children many aged ten years and under participating in organized competitive leagues. Unfortunately you will also observe both, parents and coaches screaming meaningless advice and sadly, even abuse should ‘Little Johnny’ dare to make a mistake. Whenever I mention the possible harm and adverse effect this can have on the children the response is always the same. “Children are naturally competitive and love to win so what is the problem’ ? Imagine their surprise when they hear me agree with them but with one very Important difference. Once the disappointment of losing wears off then all the kids do is to look forward to their next game.” —Hillyard
Read the entire article here: A ‘Disease’ Called Winning