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to not understand why football has become so non-competitive for kids?

(62 Posts)
Isthisoneleft Mon 02-Sep-13 16:45:15

The Football Association has made it for the 2013/14 season U9s cannot play in competitive leagues - they play a match against another team, no record of the score can be made, but you still have the hassle of travelling for home and away games, where on earth is the incentive in playing something that no one can win?

In 2014/15 U10s and under will be non-competitive
In 2015/16 U11s and under will be non-competitive
In 2016/17 U12s and under will be non-competitive

AIBU to think this is ridiculous for a sport? These kids are going to get to 18 never having played in a competitive match.

JustGiveMeFiveMinutes Mon 02-Sep-13 22:59:04

It's nothing to do with the everyone's a winner mentality. UK kids are under pressure to win matches rather than improve their skills and overall game performance. That's why European players are better than their UK counterparts. Some (possibly all) Premiership academies don't publish results. It's not just in football that coaches are taking this approach. DS1 recently played for his county (anothe sport) and the coach wasn't bothered about the result. He rotated to the boys to see who could do what, and where.

Clary Mon 02-Sep-13 22:59:29

I didn't know this.

DS2 is U11s this year, so looks like he is skating just ahead of this ruling!

Certainly I completely see it for u7s and u8s but beyond that tbh they are keen to be in a league and IMHO and IME ready and able to deal with coming bottom (as DS2's team almost did 2 seasons ago).

I think it is madness OP tbh. I agree they need to play competitive matches by the time they are at secondary.

Agree with others parents on the sidelines can be a total PITA tho. Ghe kids are usually great smile

BlingBang Mon 02-Sep-13 23:00:14

Me and my husband argue because of his sideline behaviour.

BlingBang Mon 02-Sep-13 23:03:50

Exactly, even when they are really young the best players get most of the play in matches while the smaller, less confident players get subbed all the time so much less play time. 8 yr olds get told to leave as they aren't good enough for the team etc.

Clary Mon 02-Sep-13 23:09:54

Blingblang that absolutely does not happen in DS2's team.

It is club policy to give every player a good go at the game. Sometimes the manager has to bring off a lad who has just scored in favour of one who is not so great, but how will he get better if he never plays?

And in fact the weaker players have really come on thanks to this system. I agree not all clubs operate like this tho sad

teacherwith2kids Mon 02-Sep-13 23:14:32

Having seen the amount of 'untraining' done at DS's former football academy / centre of excellence, to reverse the damage done by competitive club football even to very young boys, this has to be a good move. At the academy, all training was skills training. Who won or lost didn't matter, it was using the skills that you were being taught that really mattered (a bit like in other teaching, where a child may completely fail to write a structured story on occasion because they're busting a gut to use better vocabulary - it's OK to develop one new skill at a time occasionally).

They played matches against other academies, to test out their skills for real. All the coaching was skills-based. Between quarters of the game, there would be detailed feedback on skills, but none at all on 'how to win'. Parents were not allowed to coach from the sidelines or offer advice to their children / the ref / the coach, otherwise they were banned. All players were rotated very widely (DS was and is a goalie so him not so much).

Result, much better footballers, with a genuinely expanding 'toolkit' of skills hat they were working on and could deply deliberately, rather than just focusing on the score.

mayorquimby Tue 03-Sep-13 00:31:52

The people who seem to think that it's all politically correct nonsense etc are quite simply showing their ignorance as to how England have failed so spectacularly to produce technically competent footballers for the last two decades.

BlingBang Tue 03-Sep-13 00:51:00

My son is a defender. In a match as soon as the ball is at his feet, the coach and some of the dads just shout kick it out - rather just kick it out than try and develope skills etc. same with the very fast stiker - just wait and kick it up the pitch and he is fast enough to outrun the opposition and meet the goalie one on one. The team have been very successful and are winning most of their matches, being put up the divisions, but they rely on the old backwards english game - not developing the skills and teamwork you see elsewhere.

Isthisoneleft Tue 03-Sep-13 09:05:49

It seems to be all or nothing though.

Technical skills I would expect to be seen being taught at the training sessions, followed by the mid-week friendlies, with the weekend match being the game.

I know of some children that are technically able, but lack any sort of sportsmanship skills (i.e. throw awful tantrums if they lose, can't shake opponents hand) this needs to be taught as well as the skills of the feet.

Also by making all matches non-competitive it gives no choice - as the gymnastics mum said other sports can do competitive/non-competitive gymnastics dependent on a) ability and b) what the child would like to take part in, that option is lost for football.

TantrumsAndBalloons Tue 03-Sep-13 09:27:39

Its not non competitive. Not even at u7/8 even though they do not publish the results, everyone knows who wins.

But I do not think it is a good idea and that is because at 9/10/11 the teams need to be put into divisions IMHO
Ds2 is 10 and there are 3 divisions for his age group which means that they are playing teams of more or less the same ability. And they can move up as they improve.

Yes, you have to teach children about competitiveness, winning and losing. But putting a team in division 3 in matches with the top division teams, who have players that take football very seriously, who have played at premiership development centres etc, is not going to teach them love for the game is it?

BlingBang Tue 03-Sep-13 09:35:37

Of course it's competitive whether the scores and results are published on a table or not, much more than I remember when I was young. And yes you need divisions so that each team can play others of similar ability (hopefully). Just think so many kids miss out though if they are younger or smaller for their year, don't get into a team really young as it is really hard for them to catch up or feel confident taking part in matches with players who have been playing for teams since they were 4 or 5.

utreas Tue 03-Sep-13 09:42:29

Its being done to try and allow clubs and coaches focus on teaching the children the more technical aspects of the game. The single biggest reason for the national team's troubles is the lack of technical ability in young english players as the emphasis at youth level has been too much on winning and physical attributes. As our young players lack the technical skills, fewer and fewer are making it to the highest level thus shrinking the pool of players for the national team to pick from and this badly affecting the chances of the England team.

TantrumsAndBalloons Tue 03-Sep-13 09:48:36

utreas i agree with the idea behind this. I just worry that the divide between the abilities of different teams, once they are all in the same "division" will be too much.

Isthisoneleft Tue 03-Sep-13 09:50:37

But isn't technical aspect of the game for training sessions/friendlies - not the match?

Take the premier clubs (although I just want kids to be able to play today not be aiming for the premiership) they play their Saturday match and train during the week.

My kids train during the week and play matches on the weekend, these matches are now non-competitive due to teaching technicality, so what is the training for during the week?

TantrumsAndBalloons Tue 03-Sep-13 10:07:43

Well, IMO it's pretty pointless teaching the technical aspects of the game, if it doesn't carry over to the match. The whole point is that they take the skills learnt during training into the match.

It's not about winning at all costs, it's about having the technical skills, the vision, the ability to pick out a pass or move into position for the ball or using the whole width of the pitch.
That's what they are taught during training but if the whole mentality of the team is win at any cost, then you get one person taking on the whole team and scoring, you get players out of position, defenders up front trying to score.

It doesn't teach anything other than bang in as many goals as you can and forget the rest.

And this isn't what professional clubs look for.

If its a case of parents wanting their DC to progress I the game, they need to understand that in order to be recognized, they need the technical ability. They need the stamina that comes from doing the same drills over and over. They need to know what position to be in to receive the ball, which pass to make, how to communicate, agility and speed.

It's not about which team scores the most goals or wins the league.

I don't think "win the league at all costs, never mind the actual technical aspect" is good. I don't think it helps the sport at all

BlingBang Tue 03-Sep-13 10:10:52

They are competitive though - in the kids eyes and the everyone else really. They are trying to get the ethos I suppose that trying your skills out and giving all players a chance of playing in matches and putting their skills into practice is more important than the end score. If the coaches, parents and kids just focus on the end score then you will be tempted to favour and play your stronger players, shout at defenders to 'kick it out' etc rather than trying to encourage them to to 'technical'.

TantrumsAndBalloons Tue 03-Sep-13 10:17:41

competitive is good, win at all costs is not IMO

Bowlersarm Tue 03-Sep-13 10:18:19

Interesting debate, with good points.

The only thing I feel I can add is that my DS plays at a very high level. When he was in a local Sunday league club the competitiveness from both the clubs themselves and the parents were at a ridculously aggressive level.

At 11 he went to a professional club and the competitiveness stopped team vs team. It was more about watching individual players and bringing them on, rather than the match results.

Now with the youth team, winning is important again. They want to win cups, tournaments, the league etc. to the coaches it is of paramount importance.

So I suppose, at premiership level, the competitiveness doesn't come from the parents. They are keen their own son is doing well, but not really passionate about the team and it's results, in itself.

utreas Tue 03-Sep-13 10:18:54

Isthisoneleft- All though having some games that are cakewalks for some teams isn't ideal I think its a vast improvement on the current system. The current state of affairs is bordering on desperate, my team (Tottenham) have spent more than £100m this summer and have not bought a single english player so something needs to be done.

MrsMelons Tue 03-Sep-13 11:26:34

My DS has just started in an under 8s side which we knew was non-competitive but we were looking forward in a year or 2 to him playing in competitive league sides so basically every year he moves up a team that age group becomes non-competitive - ridiculous.

I am fed up of children having no drive or no motivation due to this 'everyones a winner' attitude. You don't get anywhere in life without amibition and motivation.

There are lots of football training sessions children can attend weekly where they do not play competitive football so I don't see why they cannot leave it as it is and those who wish to play competitively should be able to. I could understand under 11s maybe but once they are at seniors then it should be competitive IMO. The new rules re squad sizes will help children with their technical ability so I can't see the issue.

I have witnessed dreadful behaviour on the sidelines even in the pre-season friendlies, parents shouting abuse and swearing at 7 YOs, children refusing to shake hands at the end and swearing, fighting between parents and abuse to the ref, this is all before the season starts and one friendly was abandoned due to parents causing trouble. Really awful but clearly has nothing to do with it being competitive or not, just vile parents!

LadyBryan Tue 03-Sep-13 11:52:39

everything that is wrong in British sport IMO is the "everyone is a winner, everyone wins by taking part"

BlingBang Tue 03-Sep-13 12:02:07

i think you are wrong saying there is no drive, it's non competitive etc. my 7/8 yr old played a match nearly every sunday and tournaments. the kids played to win every time, they were playing their hearts out. what is horrble when you have games that end like 10-0 . the kids still play to win and compete - doesn't really matter if it's logged and put on a score table. they are still moving to better teams and being scouted and going for trials.

Tiredemma Tue 03-Sep-13 12:09:36

"everything that is wrong in British sport IMO is the "everyone is a winner, everyone wins by taking part"

I really agree with this comment- football aside (because i think some good arguments about 'lack of skill' have been raised here).

Look how well we did in the Olympics. You don't win medals by having the attitude that 'everyone' is a winner. You have to have the passion and drive to 'win'. Without competition seriously what is the point of sport?

MrsMelons Tue 03-Sep-13 12:35:57

I don't think I am wrong, I think it is my opinion from what I have witnessed but I think maybe it is less so in youth football as the children playing have chosen to do that and of course want to win. I guess I was generalising as many schools seem to promote non-competitive sport/PE etc.

There are statistics to prove that the children who play competitive sports generally do better academically as they have the right mindset to do well and achieve.

MrsMelons Tue 03-Sep-13 12:37:17

I do think that children should be able to play for fun also and have the opportunity to do sobut those wishing to play competitively should have that choice.

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