The differences between street soccer and club training

are pretty clear. Johan Cruyff famously said "I trained about four hours a week at Ajax as a boy, but I played 4 hours on the street every day. Where do you think I learned to play football?" Here's our reality. For paid club coaches, we have about 3 hours of training per week, and a game on the weekend. Some few lucky ones, have 4.5 hours of training time. Where do we add the street soccer piece? US Soccer's new methodology tries to address this issue by teaching the Play-Practice-Play methodology. But is this enough? We are still coaching during both "Play" parts of the session.

Let's work from where we are. I can have my 2 sessions and offer a 3rd session where I don't coach, I just facilitate a game. How about I now contact the other coaches in my age group, and now the number of kids coming out increases. Other coaches take notice and perhaps the club you're at adds a "Street Soccer" Friday, where all the kids in the club have a specific time to show up and play. All this is fine and well, but is really building a culture of street soccer?

Looking at another angle, a quick google search of "street soccer" will bring up different apps and websites with places where soccer games are being played. Does that count? if you're not playing with your neighborhood buddies, does it count? If it'd being organized by a coach, club or parent does it count?

Yes! Any form of playing the game is beneficial to growing and loving the game. Our job is to grow the game by proving opportunities, fostering safe environments and more importantly, embracing technology. Let's empower our players by looking at every opportunity to get them out and play!

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