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  #1  
Old 12-30-15, 02:42 PM
coachg coachg is offline
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US Soccer making a bold move...

Well this will get interesting really fast.

http://www.soccerwire.com/news/clubs...o-second-tier/
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  #2  
Old 12-30-15, 04:07 PM
Upper 90 Upper 90 is offline
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The Crew DA has become just another ridiculously large club, a pyramid of money. Funny how that is the diagram on their main web site. Not saying it is bad or not what will work best long term, just calling it what it is.
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  #3  
Old 12-30-15, 04:31 PM
coachg coachg is offline
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IMO the ECNL has failed to let in Clubs that have the talent to compete in the hopes of moving those players to ECNL Clubs so they can grab more money.
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  #4  
Old 12-30-15, 05:02 PM
Upper 90 Upper 90 is offline
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More than likely true, good old econ 101 at work. But what is better a monopoly or an oligarchy? That brings back bad bad memories of tests gone by.....

In any case lot's of money grabbing going on.
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  #5  
Old 12-31-15, 09:01 AM
love4soccer love4soccer is offline
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I wonder what the costs will be? Sadly, I've seen many talented girls who could play at the ECNL level but their families can not afford to pay the club fees.
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  #6  
Old 12-31-15, 09:20 AM
Upper 90 Upper 90 is offline
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See below from Crew web site. The free part only applies to those that make the 3 teams - a U13/14, U15/16 and U17/18. They then have Pre-Academy, Elite and then all of their directional club teams. That is where the money comes from for the DA, I assume US soccer might fund a portion as well, not sure. If you can make the DA team it is one heck of a deal for sure, but that is 50 spots or so up for grabs plus you have to get to CBus 4-5 times per week etc.

Q: What are the costs for CSCA players?
A: Participation in the Crew SC Academy will be free of all fees and travel expenses — one of the few programs in the country that are fully funded. Training, competition, travel, meals, hotels and Crew SC gear will all be provided free of charge. CSCA teams seek the best players from their MLS Home Territory, the State of Ohio, regardless of economic status.
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  #7  
Old 12-31-15, 01:44 PM
buckshooter5 buckshooter5 is offline
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Upper 90 is correct it is about Money and the USSF has always been about Money.

The system is not broken !
The ECNL has created a Platform for girls to get the development needed for the next level college/National teams and has proven it works.
Most girls National teams 80-90% ECNL players ?
What happened to all this money parents are spending at ODP and not getting anything for it ?
WHY are ECNL players making the National Teams ? Develpoment ! something the USSF CANNOT provide.

The comment about being more expensive to play ECNL compared to other clubs is Not True, at the end of the day it is all about the same for ECNL clubs and for the top level Non -ECNL clubs.

For years the USSF has sat back and basically have done NOTHING to improve development in this country and refused to do anything about it.
Obvious by the girls National League which like everything else the USSF has done is again a joke.

Because they were happy raking in tons of Money and paying big Salaries to the employees and now that is being threatened and they don't like it.
They want it to go back to the way it was , being in total control and getting back to making a fortune off the backs of the parents and basically giving them nothing in return.

CoachG your comment is stupid if clubs wanted more money it sure would not be on the backs of the top players they would just form a ton of lower level teams like CU does for CUP. if you play for CU all you are doing is funding the CUP program ? or TFA/KHA that have 35 teams in every age group with a very talented Parent coach (JOKE), but the funds all go to the Club ?

Hey I get it someone is getting a payday , But cmon enough is enough

Any league that is formed is always saying they are the best and we only allow the top clubs in.
Well time passes and you have guys like CoachG saying things like lower the standards and let more teams in WHY ?
You want to keep the standards high then keep the standards high !

WHY water it down like all the other leagues ?
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  #8  
Old 01-01-16, 10:52 PM
NfamousWayneFan NfamousWayneFan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by love4soccer View Post
I wonder what the costs will be? Sadly, I've seen many talented girls who could play at the ECNL level but their families can not afford to pay the club fees.
My Biggest concern is cost.
I also don't want to travel from Huber Heights to Cincinnati or Columbus for training.
I don't mind travel for games, that's going to happen.

I wish the competition was better aligned and wasn't so water downed.
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  #9  
Old 01-02-16, 09:42 AM
buckshooter5 buckshooter5 is offline
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LOL! This will not fly. Parents want CONTROL. How can a parent build a kids resume with this kind of garbage. Remember Pickup's team and all the visits to the hospitals when they got into the NL? Wait, Uhm.....one visit....photo opp....resume....push it to the schools. LMAO. All about the kids, I mean all about the money. TFF!
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  #10  
Old 01-02-16, 05:04 PM
buckshooter5 buckshooter5 is offline
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I understand traveling for training is an issue and in your case you are not close to the ECNL club it is what it is.

But that is how the ECNL has produced the best product in the area and country.

Again you are correct the USSF is water downed bad you have a lot of teams with a few good players on them and a lot of bad players.

if the ECNL started letting lower level clubs into the league it would also end up in the same situation that USSF is in right now.

Everyone knows the True ECNL league starts at U14 thru U18 and you only play the best teams in the country , so your kid doesn't have a choice but get better, plus they have made it very easy for the college coach to come and watch a ton of teams play in a short amount of time.

Look there are some really good teams that play in the USSF , but we are talking about history of overall club , not just one team and can these clubs create and develop great teams year after year , not just one or two teams that are good and we are not talking about younger youth teams who win everything and travel across the country at U12 Really WHY ? we are talking U14 and above , there is always that team that little Suzy has been on since U6 and the parents forced the team to stay together for 12 years , yeah they are a good team , but what happens when that team splits up and now goes off other places will those players still be really good without the lifelong teammates they had ? Probably not !

USSF is going to create a new league and Not charge anyone to play ?
Yeah Right LMAO, Nothing is for free Someone is paying and it is more than likely the lower level players paying for the Studs and don't forget someone has to pay the USSF Staff ! LMAO it is about the Money and don't forget it Boys and girls
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  #11  
Old 01-03-16, 01:18 AM
belied dat belied dat is offline
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ECNL needs this.

I've read articles about how ECNL families can spend up to $15,000 a year for their daughters' competition.

If the USSDA girl's side can make this better, then I'm all for this. Without a competitor or other option, then ECNL can do whatever they want to provide "elite" girls club soccer.
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  #12  
Old 01-04-16, 07:40 AM
buckshooter5 buckshooter5 is offline
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Regardless how it plays out, it is still an honor to have my daughter involved in a sport that cares so much about the kids.
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  #13  
Old 01-04-16, 09:17 AM
buckshooter5 buckshooter5 is offline
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Belied Dat
Share those articles with everyone ?

Should be an interesting read.

Why would local clubs break bread and give their best players up to this new league ?

What is in it for the clubs ?

Cmon Guys Nothing is for free ! someone has an angle here no doubt about it.

Better read the fine print ! or better yet just give us your credit card number and we will bill you when we need to!
I heard a local club here in town does this now for fees to make sure they get paid and you don't think someone is getting paid !

LMAO
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  #14  
Old 01-04-16, 09:57 AM
mollautt mollautt is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckshooter5 View Post
Belied Dat
Share those articles with everyone ?

Should be an interesting read.

Why would local clubs break bread and give their best players up to this new league ?

What is in it for the clubs ?

Cmon Guys Nothing is for free ! someone has an angle here no doubt about it.

Better read the fine print ! or better yet just give us your credit card number and we will bill you when we need to!
I heard a local club here in town does this now for fees to make sure they get paid and you don't think someone is getting paid !

LMAO
=>Sponsors are fitting the bill I assume.

Last edited by mollautt; 01-04-16 at 10:25 AM..
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  #15  
Old 01-05-16, 06:53 AM
Juan Pelota Juan Pelota is offline
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cup
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  #16  
Old 01-05-16, 03:07 PM
buckshooter5 buckshooter5 is offline
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My club is better than your club. My club's better than yours. LMAO! Always wondered if the truly athletic kids really get a chance to play? Seems that if you have deep pockets or own a business....your kid is a STUD. Almost Magical in a way. Wish I had a thick wallet, the teams my kids could buy, I mean be on!
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  #17  
Old 01-05-16, 04:26 PM
belied dat belied dat is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckshooter5 View Post
Belied Dat
Share those articles with everyone ?
Here's a few, not the initial article I read (I believe it was from some California families).

http://www.socceramerica.com/article...play-ecnl.html
http://espn.go.com/espnw/title-ix/ar...igh-price-play
http://www.thebentmusket.com/2015/3/...outh-financial
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  #18  
Old 01-06-16, 09:20 AM
buckshooter5 buckshooter5 is offline
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Nature vs Nurture. How can a parent beat Nature? Raise the cost to play! BRILLIANT! All about the kids. If a parent is willing to get a second job, then their kid can be a LIL MIA! Not that hard. Parents need to stop investing in the kid and start thickening up their wallets!
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  #19  
Old 01-06-16, 09:41 AM
love4soccer love4soccer is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckshooter5 View Post
My club is better than your club. My club's better than yours. LMAO! Always wondered if the truly athletic kids really get a chance to play? Seems that if you have deep pockets or own a business....your kid is a STUD. Almost Magical in a way. Wish I had a thick wallet, the teams my kids could buy, I mean be on!
Well Said Buck!!! So true.
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  #20  
Old 01-13-16, 04:55 PM
buckshooter5 buckshooter5 is offline
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Agian Back to my club is better than your club.

The articles as suggested are just that misleading to parents.

I know for a Fact that Locally the overall cost to play for Cup (top teams) including travel and the year round program is much more expensive than any of the ECNL Clubs in Ohio.
Obviously anything in California will be more expensive than the mid-west ?
Heck the the local SAY Org in California will be more than select clubs in the Midwest.

But coaches that have spent time and money to learn the coaching are not going to coach for free get a grib dude
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  #21  
Old 01-15-16, 08:18 AM
Rohbino Rohbino is offline
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This whole proposal from the USSF is relatively vague. There aren't enough details, from what I've read, to know a lot about the direction. That's not a surprise being that it is coming from a bureaucratic organization.

This will only be worth a damn if it allows underprivileged or under-served athletic kids that might have some potential underlying talent that can be mined and a program, such as the one proposed, will allow that to happen. If those kids develop to the level that they can play on a national team then this will be worth it. Otherwise, what's the use?

I'm so glad my kids are done with the game.

Last edited by Rohbino; 01-15-16 at 09:51 AM..
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  #22  
Old 01-15-16, 03:39 PM
buckshooter5 buckshooter5 is offline
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I can not count the kids that I have spoken with over the years that have said they "WILL NOT" allow their kids to play select soccer. How sad is that.
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  #23  
Old 01-15-16, 11:01 PM
Rohbino Rohbino is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckshooter5 View Post
I can not count the kids that I have spoken with over the years that have said they "WILL NOT" allow their kids to play select soccer. How sad is that.
It is sad. What's sadder is that it is the adults that have âucked up the game for the kids.
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  #24  
Old 01-19-16, 08:51 AM
coachg coachg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by buckshooter5 View Post
Upper 90 is correct it is about Money and the USSF has always been about Money.

The system is not broken !
The ECNL has created a Platform for girls to get the development needed for the next level college/National teams and has proven it works.
Most girls National teams 80-90% ECNL players ?
What happened to all this money parents are spending at ODP and not getting anything for it ?
WHY are ECNL players making the National Teams ? Develpoment ! something the USSF CANNOT provide.

The comment about being more expensive to play ECNL compared to other clubs is Not True, at the end of the day it is all about the same for ECNL clubs and for the top level Non -ECNL clubs.

For years the USSF has sat back and basically have done NOTHING to improve development in this country and refused to do anything about it.
Obvious by the girls National League which like everything else the USSF has done is again a joke.

Because they were happy raking in tons of Money and paying big Salaries to the employees and now that is being threatened and they don't like it.
They want it to go back to the way it was , being in total control and getting back to making a fortune off the backs of the parents and basically giving them nothing in return.

CoachG your comment is stupid if clubs wanted more money it sure would not be on the backs of the top players they would just form a ton of lower level teams like CU does for CUP. if you play for CU all you are doing is funding the CUP program ? or TFA/KHA that have 35 teams in every age group with a very talented Parent coach (JOKE), but the funds all go to the Club ?

Hey I get it someone is getting a payday , But cmon enough is enough

Any league that is formed is always saying they are the best and we only allow the top clubs in.
Well time passes and you have guys like CoachG saying things like lower the standards and let more teams in WHY ?
You want to keep the standards high then keep the standards high !

WHY water it down like all the other leagues ?
Bucktoother - You make me laugh..... ECNL the same cost as club?? Are you kidding after you figure in travel?? You also didn't address why the ECNL has not allowed in clubs with a record of beating ECNL teams and being at the top of almost every ranking system in almost every age group.

Since you mentioned CU / CUP whats wrong with their system it seems to be driving success at the High School Level, College Level, and yes even the National level. I believe they may be doing something right that other local clubs haven't done yet. I guess offering soccer to youth at alomost any level that their skill and or desire allows is a bad thing in your eyes but I see it as a good thing. As for clubs having 35 teams in an age group who cares since their customers are asking for a competitive soccer with good instruction above that of recreational. Its called a free market with clubs meeting the growing demand. There is a recreational level, various select / club level, and the top Elite levels. This is the free market at work. Plus by many of these kids playing in CUSL and other leagues its helping drive and improve the fan base for soccer at the National Level and hopefully the Pro-Level so that more sponsors jump in board to target a larger audience but I guess you couldn't see that side of everything. Bottom line if parents are willing to pay there will always be a clubs there to help Susie play even at a CUSL C-1001 level. Now do I believe the costs should be lower YES but I am cheap Ba$tard that thinks gas today is to expensive. So over the years I have grown to accept that like any business they will sell their products at the highest price that a consumer will pay in order to maximize their profits.
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  #25  
Old 01-21-16, 07:40 AM
Juan Pelota Juan Pelota is offline
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^^^^hanging out there like a big green booger....
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  #26  
Old 01-21-16, 10:40 AM
mollautt mollautt is offline
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=>There are 2 major systemic things wrong with soccer development in this country:

1) It costs too d@mn much to get good instruction and competition which is a barrier to entry for a lot of families. That is not going to change unless trainers decide to work for free. Of course, if trainers do not get paid, then there is much less incentive for trainers to teach the game or increase their knowledge of the game through coaching education (licenses, seminars, etc.).

2) Too many parents want their kids to play on winning teams. This puts pressure on clubs and trainers to play to win vs. play to develop. As such, kids get pigeonholed at certain positions. Tall, fast kids are labeled "defenders" where creativity and risk taking is frowned on (ex. don't want players going 1v1 on defensive 3rd).

I do not know if "winning over development" is a uniquely American problem. But I can say as a basketball coach I see it in hoops. Almost all coaches in 3rd grade CYO hoops play zone defense or run half court traps. Those defenses win 3rd grade basketball games because kids are not physically strong enough or cognitively aware enough to beat zones and traps. But zones and traps will not help kids learn the basic fundamentals of how to move their feet and react.

******

What Defense Should You Teach Youth Players (Zone, Man, Press)??
By - Joe Haefner



First, we commend all youth coaches for taking up such an important role in developing children! In the grand scheme of things, what defense or offense you pick doesn"t matter in regards to how we develop the children"s character on the teams that we coach.

Second, I think we can all agree that we want to develop better basketball players for the future and we want what is best for them.

Now, one of the most-debated topics is what defense should we teach youth players? Zone, Match Up, Pressing, Man, Amoeba?

The answer is without a doubt man-to-man defense! I can promise you that in the long-run, you will develop better basketball players by playing man to man defense. You may not win as many games at first, but I guarantee you start winning more games by the 7th and 8th grade as long as the man to man defense principles are properly taught. And the chances of those players making their high school teams will be dramatically higher. The feeling of seeing players succeeding at higher levels, because of the foundation you set as a coach is so much more rewarding than winning a few more games at the youth level that you and the players will forget about after a few years.

If you use zone defenses and presses, while you read this article, please remember that we're not judging you or trying to be condescending by any means, because we've used zone defenses and presses at the youth level as well. But we feel like that was a mistake when it came to developing the players that we coached. And we all want what's best for the kids.

We hope that you read the entire article and share your thoughts below even if you disagree with our points. We want this to be a community where we debate things in a positive, constructive way and come to a better understanding of these issues.

Now before we delve into all of the reasons that you should play man to man defense at the youth and middle school level, let"s examine why youth coaches typically go to zones, presses, and other defenses, the systemic issues, and why zone defenses and zone presses work.

Why Youth Coaches Go To Zone Defenses
First off, I don't have a problem with zone defenses. I believe that zone defenses combined with good defensive fundamentals can help teams win games. However, in most cases, they should not be used at the youth and middle school level.

Under the current system in the U.S., most coaches get the unnecessary burden of having to teach skills, zone offense, man offense, press breakers, and defense with limited practice time. Some coaches only get one hour per week. Even at the high school level, it takes me at least 10 to 20 practices to get a good base to handle these situations. Some youth coaches barely get 20 practices within two seasons.

If we are concerned with the long-term development of youth basketball players, they should not even be playing 5v5 with the same rules as high school and NBA teams. As we"ve been saying all along, young kids should start out playing 3v3 half court, then 4v4, then 5v5. I first heard this from my high school coach 15 years ago. This is something that I've seen youth expert Bob Bigelow and many other great coaches preach for years. Not to mention, we introduce the game to kids before they are taught how to move efficiently.

As Bob Bigelow likes to say, "Adapt the game to fit the kids. Not the other way around."

If you would like to read more in depth on the systemic issues, please read these articles:

Could 3 on 3 Basketball Be the Best for Youth Players?

What's Wrong With Youth Basketball Leagues (And How To Fix Them)

Should We Teach Basketball Skills to Kids Under the Age of 10?

Not to mention, most youth coaches are volunteers who have full-time jobs and kids! So they barely have any time to educate themselves on how to teach basketball to youth players. Nobody educates them on the age-appropriate skills and how kids learn.

So what happens is that a coach hears from a colleague, faces a zone defense, or sees another team playing zone. Then, they see how much trouble it is giving the opposing team. Next, the coach implements the zone defense and realizes it only takes a few minutes a day to practice. And they weren't even sure how to teach man to man defense in the first place. Next, games are closer and you might be winning a few games you shouldn't. So the coach decides he's sticking with the zone defense.

With the instant gratification of winning now and the need to please parents, coaches end up coaching for the outcome, rather than the process. And this does hurt youth players' development in the long run.

Why Zone Defenses Work At The Youth Level
Zone defenses also work at the youth level because:

Players have not practiced enough yet to develop the proper ball handling skills to beat zone defenses and break presses.
Players are not strong enough to throw passes far enough and crisp enough to beat a zone. Defenses can send 3 or 4 defenders at the ball and still be effective.
Players have not developed the necessary strength and coordination to shoot accurately from long-distance.
Players have not developed the cognitive skills necessary to recognize situations quickly and react in the appropriate time needed.
Opposing coaches don't have enough practice time to cover all of the situations.
Unlike man to man defense, you don't even have to apply good defensive principles to be effective at the youth level.

Why Teaching Zone Defense Can Handicap Your Youth Players' Future and Why Man to Man Defense Is The Best Defense For Youth Players
1. Develop Athleticism - Something I rarely hear coaches talk about in the man to man versus zone defense debate for youth players is athleticism.

Now who is going to develop into a better athlete? Somebody who has to move all over the floor using many different movement patterns or a defender in a zone whom only has to guard in a 7x7 feet box. Also, in a zone defense, defenders are typically stuck in the post area or perimeter area. So they don"t learn post and perimeter defense.

Now, you might argue that you don"t use a lazy zone or that you have a trapping zone and that your players run all over the place.

Well, as a person that studies athletic development both as a hobby and as a basketball coach, I can tell you that even aggressive zone defenses do NOT develop athleticism the way man to man defense does. Let's take your centers and/or forwards that you have towards the back of the zone as an example. (And by the way, these "big" players probably need to work on foot coordination and athleticism more than anyone). Just look at their feet as they play in the back of the zone. They rarely have to move quickly, get down in low stance, or transition from shuffle to cross over defensive movements. This changing from run, to shuffle, to cross over, is incredible for athletic development. This is one of the best things you can do. Their legs get stronger, faster, more coordinated, and more athletic.

And let's pretend that you even rotate your big guys to the front of the zone trapping to develop their athleticism, you still won't develop the same athleticism as playing man to man defense. With straight up man to man defense, you have to play 1v1 on-ball defense. There is nobody to trap or bail you out, except for help defense. So you have to move faster, work harder and smarter, and react quicker to keep the ball in front of you or out of the middle of the court.

Not to mention, the zone at the youth level usually forms bad habits. You"ll find that players in trapping and pressing defenses will form bad habits, because they can get away with things defensively such as lunging out of position, constantly going for steals, and reaching all of the time. It"s very hard to break these habits and in some cases, it doesn"t happen. So in my opinion, this can wreck a player"s basketball career if not approached properly.

Also, how many times have you seen a player who is extremely skilled get passed on for being not athletic enough? Now how many times do you see college coaches attempt to develop athletes who are not very skilled?

If you"ve been around the game, you know that many coaches are more willing to take a chance on an athlete who isn"t very skilled compared to a skilled basketball player who isn"t athletic. I"m not downplaying the importance of basketball skills. Developing basketball skills is super-important, but you also need to spend a considerable amount of time on developing athleticism.

If you don"t believe me, go watch some NAIA and Division 3 games. These kids are skilled! They just aren"t as big and as athletic as the D-2 and D-1 guys. Some of this is genetics. Some of this is a faulty athletic development system in the U.S.

Bottom line, this argument alone would deter me away from zone defenses, because of my background and belief that athleticism is so important not only in the game of basketball, but in all sports.

This is one of my favorite drills for developing basketball skills and athleticism: https://www.breakthroughbasketball.c...1-defense.html

Al Marshall is one of the best zone defense coaches in the world (if you don"t believe me, just check out the reviews on his zone defense DVD). He uses the drill above every 2 to 3 practices because of its tremendous value to improving on-ball defense and athleticism.

Since we"re talking about Coach Marshall, I figure we"d also mention that even Al does not allow his youth and middle school teams (7 to 14 year olds) to play zone defense.


2. Players Develop A Better Basketball IQ Playing Man to Man Defense

One of the reasons I"m a big believer in motion offense is because I think it develops smarter basketball players and I"m a fan of man to man defense for the same reason.

Who is going to develop a better feel for the game?

Player A shuffles back and forth between two spots and only learns to defend on one part of the floor.

Player B who is transitioning to different spots on the floor and learning to defend screens, cutters, post players, ball handlers, shooters, etc.

Obviously, it"s Player B. The more situations the player faces and the more repetitions the player gets in those situations with proper coaching and feedback will result in a better and smarter basketball player.

Now if Player B heads to a program that plays zone defense, they will be a very effective defender.


3. Players Form Bad Defensive Habits By Using Zone Defenses and Presses

As mentioned above, a big problem with zone defenses and presses is that many youth coaches allow their players to develop bad defensive habits. Because youth players have not developed their coordination, strength, basketball skills, and general athleticism, defensive habits such as swarming the ball and lunging out of position for the steal every time will benefit them on the scoreboard.

In a zone defense, they also tend to just watch the ball and they can still be successful in regards to wins and losses at the youth level. In order to be successful with a man to man defense, they have to be aware of both the man and the ball. They HAVE to learn good defensive principles in order to be successful!

As these youth players get older, all of the sudden these bad defensive habits get exposed because kids are bigger, stronger, more coordinated, and more skilled.

Now, the kids with bad defensive habits are cut from teams, get less playing time, and in the extreme case, could even lose out on scholarship opportunities. Now, if you're at a school that doesn't cut, you just end up with a poor team and this hurts the player's chance of getting recruited. College coaches usually want good players from winning programs.

And you might be wondering, why doesn't coach just teach them the right way to play when they get to high school?

It can takes years to break the bad defensive habits. After players have spent most of their youth basketball career using poor defensive fundamentals, it's very difficult to break the bad habits.

They'd rather keep the players with good habits and spend their time on other things to make them better players and make the team better. After trying to do this a few times, most coaches just end up cutting these players right away because they have learned that the process is so frustrating and not worth their time. The coaches do this to keep the team's best interests in mind.

You also have to know man to man defense principles to have success at the higher levels even if you use zone defense as your primary defense. You can ask Syracuse's Jim Boeheim who is known for running a very successful 2-3 zone defense and he will tell you the same thing. As mentioned above, Al Marshall does the same thing.

Arguments For Zone Defenses At The Youth Level
Zone Defense Isn"t The Problem - Lack of Defensive Fundamentals Are The Problem

I've also heard the argument that zone defenses aren't the problem, it's the lack of fundamentals being taught with the zone defense that is the problem. I agree with this. But it is a rarity at this age level for coaches to teach the proper defensive fundamentals with zone defense. And I still don't believe zone defenses are age-appropriate for youth teams for the same reasons mentioned above. On average, players are too weak and uncoordinated to execute the offensive principles that beat zone defenses.

Look at the baseball system. Players are eventually going to be taking leads off of first base and pitching from 60 feet, 6 inches, but we don't start the youth players out that way. We shorten the mound and we don't let players take leads off of first base until they reach a certain age. Baseball modifies the game for youth, not the other way around like the current basketball system.


Players Can"t Advance the Ball Against Aggressive Man to Man Defense

I agree that if you play a super-athletic team that plays aggressive man to man defense, you can have more problems with this team than if they had played a zone defense. I think there are two solutions here.

If the coach is winning by a lot, they should call off the dogs. Don"t let them defend outside the 3-point line or play a zone defense if they think that would help. That is what I have done in a few games where we ran into this problem.

Find equal competition. It"s senseless for both teams to play a game where you win or lose by 40+ points. I realize that I"m spoiled because I coach in Kansas City, so it"s easier to find similar competition due to the large population, but do your best to find teams that will be productive to play against. When I organized my first youth league in small-town Iowa at age 22, I called local teams with similar skill levels and organized a 6-team league.


These Kids Will Never Play Basketball Beyond Middle School or High School

Basketball is one of the latest developing sports. Unless you can see the future, I don"t believe anybody can truly figure out who is going to develop into a good basketball player or not. Here are just a few reasons why:

Late growth spurts

See Michael Jordan - grew 6 inches between sophomore and junior season in high school.
See Scottie Pippen - grew 6 inches in college.
See Bill Russell - was 5"10 in the 10th grade.
See Shaquille O"Neal - cut from 9th grade basketball team for being too clumsy.

These are just a few examples. As I"m sure with a little research, you would find many more in basketball and other sports.

Passion and hard work. Sometimes, passion and hard work for something will take players a lot further than somebody who is a little bit more naturally talented. Believe it or not, in this start earlier and do-more-at-younger-age era, it"s not what you do prior to puberty that counts, it"s what you do post-puberty that"s going to make the biggest difference in your basketball development. Steve Nash didn"t start playing until age 12. Dirk Nowitzki started around the same age.


Build a Winning Tradition

At some schools, coaches have the challenge of building a program. Maybe the team has lost at all levels from varsity to youth for a long time. Due to this, excitement about the program is low to put it kindly and participation is low. In order to create a buzz and get kids involved, you need to use some tactics such as zone defenses and zone presses that might help you win more games.

This one is hard for me to argue with. However, you want to be careful. You would still need to make sure proper defensive principles and basketball skills are being worked on in every practice. Otherwise, the situation could be a catch-22. You might start winning more games at the youth level and get more involvement, but due to the bad habits being formed, you still don't win many more games at the varsity level.

Also, maybe you want to develop a "winning" attitude. This also needs to be handled with care, because what is the underlying message that is or is NOT being communicated. It could be harder to convey that working hard, doing the right thing, and avoiding quick-fixes will be better for you in the long-run.


The Zone Defense Gives Our Kids A Chance To Compete

I know some coaches that teach man to man defense, but will use a zone defense against a team that is far superior with talent. This one doesn"t really bother me as much as long as the team doesn"t get in the habit of playing zone defense every game.

I prefer to try a sagging / pack-line type defense to counter the more athletic teams. If I still have lots of trouble, I MIGHT use a zone defense.

They Have To Learn How To Play Against Pressure and Zones When They"re Older So They Should Be Playing Against It Now

Yes. I think we can all agree that they will play according to those rules when they get older, but is that really the right approach?

Kids also may need to learn how to drive a car, learn calculus, and learn how to raise a family and communicate with their spouse, but we"re not going to throw them the keys and have them get in LA rush hour at age 10, we"re not going to teach them calculus before they understand basic math, geometry, and algebra, and we"re definitely not going to tell our 12 year old kid to go start a family.

It"s all about progressions and doing what"s right for their long-term development. Presses and zones are advanced basketball strategies and need to be saved for the older age groups.

Now, I don"t have issues with competitive or elite 7th and 8th grade teams doing these things. To me, that"s more of a to-ma-to / to-mah-to issue. Younger kids from the 3rd to 6th grade levels, they need to learn how to play the game, physically develop, and psychologically develop before zone defenses and presses are used.


Possible Solution To Work on Zone Offense With Advanced Youth Players

I wouldn't advise this until the kids are 12 or 13, but if coaches got together before a game during the second half of the season and said let's work on playing against a 2-3 zone defense during the 2nd quarter, I believe the benefits would be outstanding. That way, you could introduce zone offensive principles when the kids are ready and work on them in a game environment.

Even though it takes effort, discipline, and time, man to man defense is by far the best route to go in developing players.

Among many other things, it improves athleticism, basketball IQ, basketball skills, and the athlete's chances to succeed at the next level.


What do you think? Let us know by leaving your comments, suggestions, and questions...
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  #27  
Old 01-21-16, 12:51 PM
buckshooter5 buckshooter5 is offline
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Select is dying. Parents are figuring out that their kids need to play multiple sports and actual enjoy the sports they are participating in. Not to mention our present economy is a double edged sword. Parents do not have the extra cash for stud teams and kids actually need an education to compete in the workplace. Parents are finally figuring out that getting a solid education takes a lil investment of a kids time. I actually miss all the medal wearing toolbox parents. Sad to see them waking up.
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  #28  
Old 01-21-16, 04:10 PM
sportsfanofyear sportsfanofyear is offline
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Originally Posted by buckshooter5 View Post
Select is dying. Parents are figuring out that their kids need to play multiple sports and actual enjoy the sports they are participating in. Not to mention our present economy is a double edged sword. Parents do not have the extra cash for stud teams and kids actually need an education to compete in the workplace. Parents are finally figuring out that getting a solid education takes a lil investment of a kids time. I actually miss all the medal wearing toolbox parents. Sad to see them waking up.
I have to admit that I agree with you, "select" or "premier" soccer is dying. Maybe not exactly dying but what once was in high growth mode has definitely retracted in participation.

If USSF really wants to "improve" or put soccer back in a growth mode, then USSF should puts its attention on the College Game! Fix college soccer so that it is year long, with one game a week in Sep-Oct-Mar-Apr, tournament in May, get more scholarships, get more colleges playing men's soccer, etc.

Why doesn't USSF put its focus college? Because that is not how they do it in Europe or Brazil or Ivory Coast. Fire trUCK that. Take advantage of the facilities and infrastructure already in place in college and expand it and improve it. Isn't that what the NFL and NBA have done with college, either directly or indirectly?
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  #29  
Old 01-21-16, 07:01 PM
belied dat belied dat is offline
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Originally Posted by sportsfanofyear View Post
I have to admit that I agree with you, "select" or "premier" soccer is dying. Maybe not exactly dying but what once was in high growth mode has definitely retracted in participation.

If USSF really wants to "improve" or put soccer back in a growth mode, then USSF should puts its attention on the College Game! Fix college soccer so that it is year long, with one game a week in Sep-Oct-Mar-Apr, tournament in May, get more scholarships, get more colleges playing men's soccer, etc.

Why doesn't USSF put its focus college? Because that is not how they do it in Europe or Brazil or Ivory Coast. Fire trUCK that. Take advantage of the facilities and infrastructure already in place in college and expand it and improve it. Isn't that what the NFL and NBA have done with college, either directly or indirectly?
The problem exists way before college soccer. There's so much more development opportunity from U5-U18 than there is at 18-22 years old. Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying college soccer can't and shouldn't change...I've been an advocate for it before it hit the mainstream.

The problem with college soccer is kids are developed enough to make college soccer better. That's why there's an influx of internationals. Look at the top draft picks almost every year -- internationals. MLS is comprised of 42% international players. We just don't develop players well enough for higher level playing.
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  #30  
Old 01-22-16, 04:51 PM
buckshooter5 buckshooter5 is offline
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Wait a minute ?
I thought for a minute I logged into the Wrong Forum is this Basketball ?

What kind of garbage truck you driving ?

Next thing you know the best thing for these kids will be sitting around a campfire singing songs or better yet undermining the Korean goverment ?

You Guys are Clueless ! Trainers not getting paid, teachers not getting paid, police not getting paid, Garbage gets picked up on Tuesday make sure you are in the can !
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