What a great tune from Earth, Wind and Fire, is it R&B or is it disco at its finest: a discussion for another day! September has always been my favourite month, real sport is back, the kids are back at school and the tourists have gone home.
As a fan I have had a terrible month...after a four month unbeaten run at the end of last season propelled the love supreme, known to others as Sheffield Wednesday, back into the Championship, we have reverted to type and lost every game this month. The world famous New Orleans Saints have failed to win a game, thanks to Roger Goodell- I will say no more on that topic- and our dream of winning another Super bowl in God's country is in shreds, and even a team that is winning, my Louisiana State University Fighting Tigers are quite possibly the poorest 5-0 team in the history of the NCCA.
Having said all that, what about the WEATHER.
I can't remember a better September and as a coach I have one simple question.
Why haven't our youngest players in the U6 to U9 age groups been playing in this great weather. There is no doubt in my mind that these are our most important players. Our future National team players and hopefully World Cup players are currently in these age groups and we have just missed a whole month of warm and sunny weather which is ideal for the development of young children.
In the LISA district our mini players started playing on the last weekend of September and I am sure that everyone had a great time last Saturday, the weather was good and everyone went home dry. Very soon things will be different, the colder and wetter weather will return and it won't be anywhere near as much FUN! The kids will be bundled up but they will be cold and their movement somewhat restricted due to the many layers of clothes that they have on. Their feet will be cold and they probably wont get a good feel of the ball which won't help their technical development. Not only will they be cold, the chances are they will also be wet as we get a bit of rain in the winter. If we are trying to develop soccer players, wouldn't we be better served to try and develop them in conditions that will facilitate development as opposed to hindering it.
Here's a few more questions for you:
Would you rather watch your child play in warm dry weather or cold wet conditions?
Would your child ENJOY playing more in the warm dry weather or cold and wet conditions?
Why are our youngest players playing and learning to play soccer in our poorest weather
Would you rather have the sun at your back or the rain in your face?
Over the next few months the Lower Island Soccer Association will be working on a pilot program for these age groups as we would like to see these players NOT playing outside in the winter months. If there first experiences of soccer are fun then the chances of our future National teams players staying in the game will be greater.
The next Adam Straith, Josh Simpson and Emily Zurrer are out there and they will be tempted by other sports. As a sport we need to make sure they stay with soccer and sending them home dry and happy after every practice might keep them in our game.
The 'She Kicks' female coaching program kicks off this week. She Kicks is a partnership between LISA and the University of Victoria that aims to help develop female coaches through female only coaching clinics. During the month of October the She Kicks program will put young female players through the Active Start and Fundamentals courses as they start on the road to becoming successful female coaches and role models for our young female players.