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Carolina Soccer Center of Excellence

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Jan, 2024

Club Statement

“Sport has the power to change the world…it has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.”
Nelson Mandela

Mandela’s statement is wonderfully accurate, and especially so when speaking of soccer, the world’s most popular sport. Soccer is a universal language, and therefore soccer can elicit harmony, empathy, and brother/sister hood. Soccer is, and can be, and force of genuine good in the world.

In noting the above: the primary function of any individual involved in soccer, specifically soccer coaching, should be the resolution to ensure that he or she does not turn anyone away from the sport. There are two major pitfalls to avoid at the grassroots level to guard against this occurring.

n organization or a coach (or coaches) conducting themselves in a disordered, ill-disciplined, un-educated, un-caring, dismissive, arrogant, or otherwise destructive way. Behavior of this sort all but guarantees that when a player reaches an age when he or she can begin to comprehend their talent relative to their peers, he or she will realize they have little to none: because no player could possibly flourish in such dysfunctional environments. The player will quit the game, with the possibility of building an active dislike towards it.

A parent behaving in a way that is ultra-competitive, ultra-aggressive, living vicarious through their child, and/or in a manner that indicates a break with reality. The ultimate result in this situation, is that when the player reaches an age when he or she can effectively stand their ground against their mega-enthused and over-pressuring parent, that they quite the game. With the possibility of building an active dislike towards it.

The results of both #1 and #2 usually occur around the age of 13 – 14, when physical, psychological, and social changes are also turning a child’s world around.

It makes no difference if a player turns out to be “good” or not good. A world of 8-billion-plus people will always produce phenomenal players. What matters is giving all who try to play the opportunity to fulfil their individual potential by not causing any harm to their development. Committing to this effort provides the greatest opportunity for the highest number of participants to stay fond of the game, no matter what level they can or do reach.

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