Athletic Development Trumps Elite Selection

Originally published in Los Angeles Sports & Fitness, July/August 2016.

As Abby Wambach retired after her record-setting career with the U.S. Soccer Women’s National Team, she criticized Jurgen Klinsmann for his strategy of recruiting dual-national citizens living and developing outside the United States. Whereas many viewed Wambach’s comments as xenophobic, and somewhat disingenuous as she never appeared to have a problem with her teammate Sydney Leroux who was raised in Canada, the comments struck me as less about xenophobia and more about the long-term development of soccer in the United States.  Read more

Coaching and Mistakes

In youth sports, the way that a coach deals with mistakes is one of the great differentiating factors between coaches. Some view mistakes as something to eliminate; others view mistakes as part of the learning process, and an essential step, especially for young players. The coach’s viewpoint informs his coaching style and his or her communication with the players. Read more

  • What Is A Playmaker?

    Who decided that a point guard has to be small? More importantly, what is a point guard? We expect a point guard to be a leader and have a high basketball I.Q. Why don’t we expect or challenge all players to develop this game awareness? Why rely on only one player? Read more →
  • The PBDL Concept

    English soccer academies wait until players are 11 to play full 11v11 soccer; in Italy, youth basketball players participate in skill-oriented clinics at 6-years-old, but start competitive games at 12. In the United States, kids play 5v5 full court games and compete for national championships when they are 8-years-old.

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  • Starting A PBDL

    The PBDL emphasizes learning and development. Presently, players and parents have numerous recreation options - leagues based on fun and equal participation, typically for beginners - and numerous competitive opportunities - teams focused on strategy, game preparation and winning. There are few true development leagues - until now.

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