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By: Brent Ridenour, President of Ohio Extreme Soccer Club

I saw a quote the other day that I wanted to discuss:

“Our obsession with playing time robs our kids the ability to see the bigger picture. Game day is a small portion of a huge life-long team impact. You won’t always be the superstar in life, but there is always something to be gained when you are a part of something bigger than you.”

As a club President for almost 10 years, I have only heard of one or two parents question training sessions and  what a player is getting out of training, but we hear from 5-10 parents a year about playing time in games.

At Ohio Extreme we do have “playing time” policies based on the age group of the team, but at the end of the day, our directors and coaches are all aiming at the same thing…and that’s player development.   There is “some” development that occurs during games, but not as much as occurs in training and during Footskills Night.

In my opinion, as a parent, I would be MUCH more concerned over how many times my child is touching the ball at training and at foot skills.  Those touches are way more important than minutes played in games.  In fact, I would argue that 100 minutes of “game time” equals about 10 minutes of foot skills.

In school, do parents question how many “tests” a child has?  Or what is being taught during the lessons?   The lessons are much more important.

Games are for the parents and training is for our coaches and players.  We need to all try and help change that mindset.