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When You Let the Kids Have Fun, You'll See the Real Skill Development

Commentary
By Jorge Bordt

KAUAI, Hawaii (5-29-12) -One of the biggest problems we have in the U.S. is that we traumatize the kids when they’re little and don’t let them evolve. And then, when they become 14, 15,16 years old, they quit.

jorgebordt051912.jpg (7375 bytes)They quit because they have not been going out to have fun, because they either have to win or else. The attitude shown the kids is: you either win or there's no point doing it..

(Photo: Jorge Bordt)

This is, of course, ridiculous, because soccer should always have a fun element in it for the kids. They should develop their own relationship with the ball without being continually instructed from the sidelines. The ball should be the teacher, not the adult on the sidelines.

The kids should be able to go out on the court and have a kick-around with their pals. They should have just as much a right to have fun as anybody else.

The reason why players want to quit in their teen years is that they did not develop their individual skills when they were little, and then when they go play later, they just don't have the skills, and it never was that much fun anyway.

We’ve managed to change that win-or-else attitude in our Futsal program at the Kiahuna Club, and we've seen a lot of skill improvement. You may see a kid take on two opponents for the fun of it and very often win the duel.

You see the little ones developing the skills, and even the high school players that we have are better because we got a hold of them when they were 12. So we feel that this spontaneous, creative way of handling the ball is really working.

That’s the long-term goal that we are working to achieve, and the other aspect of it is that you belong to a club. You can come and hang out, you meet your friends, and you can either buy a hot dog and a coke, or you can buy a full course dinner.

And that’s what good clubs are about. They provide everyone a venue for being themselves, and that’s what we’re trying to do, and we’re succeeding..

When you let the kids have fun, you'll see the real skill development.

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Editor's Note: Jorge Bordt is a former captain of the U.S. Futsal Team and served as Vice President for Marketing for the U.S. Futsal Federation. He is now an owner of the Kiahuna Swim & Tennis Club in Kauai, Hawaii, and has developed a Futsal training center at the club.

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