Youth Soccer: From Science to Performance

Youth Soccer: From Science to Performance

Youth Soccer: From Science to Performance

Youth Soccer: From Science to Performance

Synopsis

As the adult game has increased in popularity, youth soccer has also seen significant expansion in recent years. The popularity of the youth game is set to continue. Young boy and girl players wish to emulate professional soccer stars and the professional game, often with long-term financial rewards in mind, is increasingly keen to develop young talent. Applied sports science is now a well-established feature of the adult game but the sports science that supports modern football does not translate directly into the youth game. The coaches of young players need specific information about children. Themes explored in this text include: * growth of physiological systems * development of motor and perceptive skills * paediatric environmental physiology * prevention of injury * diet and nutrition * youth fitness and skills training * effective teaching and coaching of juniors * the role of football academies. Youth Soccer: From Science to Performance blends current child-focused sports science theory with youth-specific coaching practice to help create soccer development strategies for children. It promotes knowledge and understanding in all these areas and will further professional expertise amongst coaches who wish to develop the all year round potential of youth soccer players and train the stars of the future.

Excerpt

Association football, otherwise known as soccer, is the most popular global sport with millions of males and females participating in the game. The production line of young footballers operates non-stop with each individual having dreams and aspirations of 'making it to the top' and emulating his/her superheroes. Many youngsters have their bedroom walls and rooms plastered with memorabilia and the expectations for success at all levels of competition are high. Furthermore, greater emphasis has been placed on boosting the production line at the start with a playground to podium approach. The focus on youth soccer has grown since the huge financial implications of 'spotting a future star' together with increased professional approaches to training and education have encouraged coaches, parents and administrators to support soccer development programmes. These approaches have emerged since the early 1980s and development programmes and structures are highly sophisticated and well funded in the new millennium. It is against this backdrop that a book considering essential scientific aspects of youth soccer is required. Over the years, there have been various texts covering the principles of youth soccer coaching and training. These texts include playing principles and practices with an almost infinite number of soccer activities, skill practices and strategic approaches described. Soccer coaching material is now readily available at the end of a computer terminal and thousands of web sites dedicated to soccer reflect the global demand. Surprisingly, therefore, there are few if any dedicated texts on the science of youth soccer. Given the emphasis on this sector of the playing population the need to fill this gap in the literature is important.

Since its inception in 1987, the World Congress of Science and Football has been held once every four years. The first Congress included a theme titled 'strain in adolescent footballers' reflecting the concerns about youth football at that time. Over subsequent congresses, scientific reports on varied aspects of paediatric sports and exercise science and youth soccer have been presented. Other

introduction to youth soccer science . . .

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