The Baton Rouge Soccer Club Academy Fall season started with a “Street Soccer” event that was very successful and promising. The event had nearly a hundred kids from the Academy with kids ranging from five to nine years of age.
Using one whole field, our coaching staff set up eight small-sided fields, with colored jerseys available, to play 5v5. Designating 16 lines for the youngsters, we then quickly and randomly selected players from the group containing various abilities and ages. They were organized into teams.
Once the teams were organized, we directed them to a field where we gave them a ball and told them to “just play.” We even got the parents involved by having them watch over a game, emphasizing that is was only to monitor and not to coach, as this is a key component of ” street soccer.” After the designated time we allowed the kids to grab some water and then repeated the whole process in the hopes that the teams would never be completely the same.
“As the event went along you could really see the trying different things, finding solutions to problems they encountered, competing to score goals, varying their roles in each game, and most importantly having fun, said Scott Buete, BRSC Academy Director. “It truly was a sight to see!”
BRSC Academy attempts to create this “Street Soccer” platform and environment because it can foster development in the following ways: (1) the opportunities to mimic or copy observing many other players; (2) the freedom to experiment without the fear of being cut from the squad or benched; and (3) playing with and against many different players of various ages, allowing each player to adopt many different roles.
When players play with and against the same small group of players, they quickly see and learn the strengths and weaknesses of the limited variety of players around them, and repeatedly fall into the same roles.