Correct environment for learning and development by Mark Simpson, Director of Soccer
I believe as a Director that the best environment for learning occurs when the brain is pushed slightly beyond its comfort zone. However, in an overly pressured, competitive environment that many youth soccer games become, tension and anxiety builds to the point that performance, fun and learning suffer.
In youth soccer, children need to have the freedom to be courageous and try new skills they have not yet mastered, they should not fear mistakes . They need to use the part of their brain that allows them to think creatively and develop their on-field problem solving. Instead, the pressure placed on them by adults to win causes a way of playing that avoids mistakes as the primary goal rather than accomplishing difficult and new skills.
I always hope we can help to create an environment that is beneficial for all involved but most importantly the players.