Fun and Fair Play!
Soccer is a unique game, one that has the potential of uniting like minded people from all across the globe. There are many ways in which a person can discover their love for this beautiful game. You may be a player, coach or referee, you may have kids involved in soccer or you may simply be a fan of a professional team. Whatever your reason, soccer welcomes you and Missoula Strikers welcomes you.
Our aim is to “develop” players and we do it using mini-soccer games. The importance of playing on smaller fields, with reduced numbers, is to ensure that our young players are appropriately challenged in terms of their skill development. Some important things we aim to offer our players in the micro program are:
- To have fun
- To form a love for the game
- To make new friends
- To develop personal skills
- To learn the rules of the game and understand sportsmanship
- To be given an introduction to different positions, formations and roles on the field
- To allow players to learn from their own mistakes
- To set realistic expectations that meet the needs of our young players, not those of adults
Why do children play soccer?
Often the assumption made by adults as to why children play soccer, is far from reality. Our role as administrators, coaches, referees, parents and supporters, is to simply provide a fun and safe learning environment, one in which allows children to love playing soccer. Of course, children also want to win but it may not be as important as it is to us. Most kids just want to have fun and play with their friends. Some important things we should remember as adults are:
- Provide positive encouragement
- Allow kids to learn from their own mistakes
- See mistakes as an opportunity to provide positive encouragement
- Reward effort rather than ability
- Build confidence and self esteem
- Model appropriate behavior – children often emulate their coaches
- Respect opponents, officials and all involved
With player development in mind, if we would like children to develop an understanding of the game, as well as an ability to problem solve, then we have a duty to let them think for themselves from time to time.