Italian youth football: from where to restart?

A few days before the election of the president of the Italian Football Federation (FIGC) many talks are about of youth soccer and how to re-organize it. It’s said to teach the technique before the tactic, it speaks of the importance of the soccer school of the clubs and about coach education too. It’s all right, but the changes must inevitably go through a cultural revolution of youth football that it’s often perceived only in terms of results. In one of the last courses for youth coaches that I conducted, most of the coaches who were there, just to learn how to manage and lead teams of children, would rather not be in front of the youngest categories rowdy and playful, because they had too problems to manage and to learn to win. Most coaches would have liked to have entrusted to himself at least a team of older boys. The explanation was: the opportunity of making an adult football. I remained amazed, because I would expected the desire to grow the players of tomorrow and instead they want boys already grown up. The categories of football school seem to fear, perhaps because the enthusiasm of small noisy children and vibrant can be handled only by competent coaches who are also capable leader, able to transform children into rowdy gamers, who never lose the desire to enjoy it. Every coach wants the winning team and the small champion right away, but no one seems to want to work to build the win. The victory will probably arrive, but who could be the champion of tomorrow will be “burned” already at twelve years, because of the desire to win of an adult who thinks to know everything about football. This is one of the problems of Italian football, definitely a key part that needs new decisions for the future.

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