One problem with the way organized soccer works in the U.S. is that it gets kids to fall in love with playing soccer without falling in love with the ball.
The problem is that they love to play it, but they don’t love to practice it or have too many thoughts about getting better.
What’s not to love about playing? We make quite the production of it. Nice uniforms, nice fields, nice soccer complexes, officials and lots of folks cheering on the kids.
Even sideline toxicity sends the message that the kids are doing something important if adults get that worked up about it.
Why get better? They get to play either way, and occasionally, even if just by luck, they get to be the hero.
I agree with Tom Byer. Kids don’t quit soccer because of all the BS ‘the research’ points to. They quit when the kids who love the ball are kicking their teeth in and they realize they are years behind them and it would take years and effort that they aren’t willing to put in to catch up.
In other words, for all those years they loved to ‘play’ soccer, they never actually learned some of soccer’s ball basics.