Saturday, August 9, 2008

North Kitsap kids get fresh look at soccer

POULSBO — The North Kitsap Soccer Club’s youngest shooters will soon be playing on a new field: equality.

NKSC coaching director Chris May said in reviewing the club’s programming, too much time was being spent perfecting the skills of the older players and not enough focus was on the needs of the little ones.

In the past the young-uns would compete against one another on teams, which looked similar to a confused, yet enthusiastic, school of fish darting to and fro. They played on bumpy and sloped fields at Port Gamble. Not all of the athletes were taught at the same skill level, as the coaches are all parent volunteers and not all are proficient in soccer’s rules and skills.

The results: Several kids who didn’t have much fun, the playing field wasn’t equal and the competition was too intense.

“It wasn’t very much fun and they weren’t learning,” May said. “Kids are way too young at that age to play soccer on a competitive level. Trying to have 5-year-olds compete is crazy.”

Experts say competition at 5 and 6 can be detrimental to learning.

Therefore this fall NKSC is launching a new program for its U6 and U7 players, aptly titled the “Micro Academy.”

The new focus is fun, the basics, and equal learning opportunities for all with an emphasis on child development.

Read the rest here.

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