MYSL 2013 Banquet


Here is the first picture from our 2013 Banquet.

All these good looking people are from MI Revolution FC.

They are the Board of Directors and some Coaches.

All had a great time.

Sent by Stephanie Nowak


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Dennis Bergkamp: There is times not to coach. . . . . .


Dennis Bergkamp: 'There are times not to coach'

By Mike Woitalla

Dennis Bergkamp scored 37 goals in 79 appearances for the Netherlands and won titles with Ajax Amsterdam, Inter Milan and Arsenal, where he lifted three EPL and four FA Cup crowns.

Upon retirement in 2006 he helped coach his son’s team in England before moving back to Amsterdam, where he coached U-12s and U-18s and managed the Ajax youth program before becoming assistant coach to the first team.

When he first started coaching kids, Bergkamp had to learn to be patient, he told The Guardian’s Amy Lawrence in a recent interview.

"I struggled a bit," he said. "You look at a player and think, 'Why can't you control that ball?' But you have to take a few steps back.

"There are times not to coach. You have to be balanced to know that. The urge is to step in and show how good you are as a coach and show you know everything and you can tell them.

“Sometimes it is better to let them make a mistake. Sometimes they learn more from that than being told what to do."

Bergkamp, a product of Ajax’s youth program, compares the coaching of his youth to what he sees today:

"If I look at my coaches in the youth at Ajax, with all due respect they were two elderly men who would stand at the side of the pitch, shouting a few things. So in a way you create your own career, you create your own development, and that helps you later on. Whereas now there are a lot of coaches, everyone has got their badge, they all think they are Mourinho or Wenger, even with the 12- to 13-year-olds.

"They know exactly what to do, what kind of exercises they have to do with the kids, and in a way they don't have to think for themselves any more. It is all done for them. It's a problem because they don't think for themselves.

“If they get a new situation, they look to someone as if to say, 'What do I have to do now?' I believe that is over-coaching. It's too much. Let them have their freedom. You have to create the environment where they can be unique and not a clone."

Bergkamp also provided examples of how coaching to win games is a detriment to long-term player development:

"You have to win these games, so the coach is going to manage to win the game instead of developing the player. In my opinion it should be totally the opposite.

“Sometimes you put your strongest player on the bench just to let others shine. Or you put a right-footed player who can't do anything with his left on the left side and force him to use his left foot. Of course in that game you will probably lose because you don't use your strongest players in their strongest position, but in the end you have a player who used his left foot when he was 12 and 13 and 14, and he can use both feet when he comes into the first team. That's what we have at Ajax and I really stand behind that."


GotSoccer Insanity: Ranking 9 year olds !! Really ??


GotSoccer Insanity: Ranking 9-year-olds! Really?

By John O'Sullivan

America is obsessed with rankings. From NCAA football and basketball to top high school recruits across the sporting spectrum, the American sports fan has no shortage of statistics and ratings in every professional and college sport. Unfortunately, team rankings have leached into youth sports as well, where any benefit they bring is far outweighed by the negative consequences of rating young athletes and teams during their developmental years.

Unfortunately these rankings have now taken over the youth soccer world. On Oct. 14, the web site, the most well-known youth soccer ranking site, decided to expand its ratings and begin ranking 9- and 10-year-old soccer teams in both small-sided and full-sided game categories. In the words of CEO Gavin Owen-Thomas, "We've always received a tremendous number of requests to rank the younger ages and I believe the time is now right.”

Really? Right for what? Right for who? It’s certainly not right for the kids who are actually playing!

Any coach who has taken a USSF E License knows that the 9- to 12-year-old age group is known as the “Golden Age of Skill Development.” According to USSF best practices in Long Term Athletic Development, the years prior to the growth spurt for both male and female players are the time when their bodies are most sensitive to developing sport specific skill. It is a time when technical training is crucial, and games should be used as a training tool and a way to measure development.

This age is a time when players need ample game minutes to hone their new skills at a variety of positions. Players need to be encouraged to take risks. Defenders and goalkeepers should not be afraid of playing out of the back. Attacking players need to develop the confidence to beat opponents on the dribble, and possess the ball instead of launch it up the field. Any coach will tell you that these things usually go out the window if your sole focus is to win your games. Unfortunately, that is what the new GotSoccer rankings will do; hinder what little emphasis there already is on development and put all the onus on winning games.

In GotSoccer, you don’t get ranking points for style, or possession, or close games. You don’t get points for letting all your athletes have playing time, or putting your fast goalscorer in the back or midfield to develop his all around ability. You get points for beating teams, and for winning games and tournaments. You earn points and the higher rankings that go with them for focusing on winning at the exact ages when that should be the least of your worries as a coach and as a parent. It is a terrible message being sent by an influential voice.

I am not naive enough to think that this does not happen already. We all know that youth soccer has stopped focusing on children competing against other children. We all know it’s often focused on adults competing against other adults through their children. A hyper-competitive, win-at-all costs mentality has already taken over youth soccer down to the U9 age group in many places. It is causing many talented, developmentally focused coaches to quit rather than make sure their U10 team wins all its games.

It is causing many parents to have their 7-year-old specialize in only soccer so they can make the travel team at 9 and be a star, only to burn out by age 13. This environment is driving far too many kids to quit the most beautiful game in the world. It is causing them to hate soccer!

We all should know better!

Gavin Owen-Thomas states on his bio that he has a USSF and a UEFA A License. He states that they have had many requests for 9- and 10-year-old rankings. From whom? The USSF, U.S. Youth Soccer, or perhaps the NSCAA? Of course not. The requests come from mis-guided parents who are living out their unfulfilled athletic dreams through their children. The rankings serve these parents; they do not serve the best interests of the children!

I do not know Mr. Owen-Thomas, but hopefully this message will reach him. Sir, please reconsider your decision to start ranking 3rd and 4th grade soccer teams. If you are really a person who is concerned with the future and growth of the game in the United States, please do right by the kids, and stop this nonsense.

You have a choice. Your legacy can be one of a good soccer man who made a mistake and fixed it, or you can be the guy who enabled little Johnny’s dad to proudly proclaim “My son plays on the No. 1 ranked 3rd grade soccer team in the whole USA.”

Choose wisely Mr. Owen-Thomas, for our kids’ sake.