Claudio Reyna: When is the right age to specialize in soccer?

PCA P1 content - 2016-01-20 - Claudio Reyna screenshot - website

Claudio Reyna: When is the right age to specialize in soccer?

Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the Development Zone of Positive Coaching Alliance. US Club Soccer is proud to welcome Positive Coaching Alliance to its members, specifically related to Players First. Positive Coaching Alliance is helping to advance the Players First pillars of Coaching Education, Parent Engagement & Education and Player Health & Safety.

Claudio Reyna, a Positive Coaching Alliance National Advisory Board Member and former U.S. Soccer men’s national team captain, weighed in on an often-discussed subject in youth soccer: when to specialize and take a child’s soccer playing to a more serious level.

Reyna, the Director of Football Operations for New York City FC (MLS), suggested that athletes participate in training sessions and watch a team play before committing. Parents, too, play an active role in assessing the choices of environment that will most benefit their youth soccer players. Parents should be honest about the abilities of their children, and help them find a team that will lend to success, confidence and overall development.

It’s a tricky question, with no single right answer that will work for everyone.

Read the entire article here.

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