Single-Digit Soccer links

Here’s the raw form of all the links in Single Digit Soccer for easy click-through access:



[2] You’ll see Game On cited a few times in this book. Farrey also is the executive director of the Aspen Institute’s Sports & Society Program, which launched a program called Project Play to address many of the issues of accessibility.

[3] That’s the horrifying conclusion to the Game On chapter called “Age 9”

[4] Originally published in an ESPN piece I wrote from the convention on Jan. 27, 2011:

[5] As cited by John O’Sullivan:




[9] “Report on Youth Academies in Europe.” European Club Association, August 2012. PDF online.

[10] Quick-witted English soccer commentator


[12] SoccerTots handed out a fun brochure at NSCAA one year

[13] If you’re really curious, find the 1991 volume of the journal The Physician and Sports Medicine. Or just check the abstract

[14] Sure, I spoiled the ending, but check it out at

[15] … similar characteristics are given in U.S. Youth Soccer’s Player Development Model.

[16] One exception: U.S. Youth Soccer’s site has the slideshow from a 2012 presentation “Behavior modification during training,” by Chris Hershey. It addresses characteristics of autism, Down syndrome, ADHD and more. Go to and search “behavior.”

[17] Feb. 15, 2014 LAT column by Kevin Baxter on Christen Press and Whitney Engen; online at

[18] Changing the Game

[19] 2015 NSCAA Convention

[20] Gridiron tools can be used in soccer training as well. Washington Spirit goalkeeper coach Lloyd Yaxley once gave Ashlyn Harris and Chantel Jones a blocking dummy so they could knock into each other while collecting crosses, simulating the bumps they would get in a game. The keepers eventually decided to ditch the pads to have more realistic collisions. Do not attempt this with youth players.

[21] Snow did a February 2014 webinar for the NSCAA.

[22] Again from Snow’s February 2014 webinar

[23] One of the funniest videos on YouTube is a semi-fictional account of a conversation between a beleaguered coach and an overbearing parent:

[24] The link:

[25] I caught up with Fraser at NSCAA 2014, specifically seeking out the cerebral coach as someone whose input I wanted.

[26] 2015 NSCAA convention

[27] Look around and find any study you want. One of the better roundups is from Slate writer and youth soccer coach Stefan Fatsis:

[28] One such teaching resource:

[29] — Pugh draws heavily from the book Coaching Outside the Box by Paul S.A. Mairs and Richard E. Shaw

[30] Founder Scott Leben explains the video game-to-soccer connection at

[31] Sept. 27, 2007 column for Soccer America:

[32] David Leon Moore, “Q&A with Jürgen Klinsmann: ‘I Am Honored’ to Coach U.S. Team,” World Cup 2014, USA TODAY Sports, p. 20

[33] Changing the Game

[34] Article 18.4 of the youth club standards as of February 2012. See

[35] Jack McCallum’s “Chaos Theory” story in the Feb. 25, 2013, issue of Sports Illustrated. In the SI vault at


[37] Club Champions League:


[39] This is the same face-to-face interview mentioned in previous chapters, and it’s important to note that I wasn’t asking Fraser about any specific program.

[40] — Same story also says teens in Germany academies get 34 hours a week of actual school, which English counterparts who were used to nine hours a week found astounding.

[41] This quote was widely distributed. One instance is from the Guardian Sports Network:

[42] Start at for the 2013 version; also see the U.S. Youth Soccer Player Development Model.




[46] The paper is “Intensive Training and Sports Specialization in Young Athletes,” in the journal Pediatrics, Vol. 106, No. 1, July 1, 2000, pp. 154-157. The policy was reaffirmed in October 2014.

[47] This is in the “Age 2” chapter.

[48] Start with Salon at




[52] Also from the “Rethinking early player development” post

[53] 101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent: Making Athletics a Positive Experience for Your Child

[54] Check the July 8, 2013, ESPN magazine story “Miracle on Ice” or check



[57] Find a bit called “Tommy Salami” on Spotify or Comedy Central’s site. You can start at the 50-second mark at Comedy Central — — but the Spotify rendition is more apt.

[58] — at NSCAA 2015, he cited numbers in detail: 62% of players sought social skills, 23% soccer skills

[59] The curriculum is getting hard to find online. For now, try

[60] Originally published in my piece on the matter at



[63] Seriously — it’s a registered trademark. Also notable on AYSO: Though its philosophies make it sound like a rec league, it has produced some strong national team talent, including Landon Donovan, Julie Foudy, Eric Wynalda, Alex Morgan, and Brian Ching. See

[64] See



[67] Gratuitous Romeo Void reference. Look it up, though the song is PG-13.

[68] Email


[70] See

[71] David Newbery presentation on characteristics of good clubs at

[72] See

[73] Email


[75] Like the Arena quotes, this is from my ESPN story off the 2011 NSCAA convention and the curriculum unveiling:

[76] Parenting Young Athletes the Ripken Way: Ensuring the Best Experience for Your Kids in Any Sport, by Cal Ripken Jr. and Rick Wolff (chairman, Center for Sports Parenting).

[77] Email interview. Learn more about Rick Wolff (a very busy guy!) at his site:

[78] The PDF is at – skip to p. 66-67 for this bit.

[79] From Snow’s blog:

[80] Game On

[81] Boston Globe magazine, May 4, 2014: “How parents are ruining youth sports.” The awkward URL:

[82] Forbes online columnist Bob Cook cited this on his blog Feb. 3, 2014:

[83] Check out the roster at

[84] Email interview

[85] The O’Sullivan piece is at — for background on Barnsley and his research, he links to

[86] A different O’Sullivan piece:


[88] The Georgia Soccer “Academy” program:

[89] See Michael Calvin’s book, The Nowhere Men

[90] Found on the D.C. Urban Moms’ message boards. No point in citing beyond that — everyone’s anonymous. “DS” is a common abbreviation for “Dear Son.”

[91] Just search YouTube. You’ll find plenty of versions of the speech, including some “remixes.” People on the Internet are clever.

[92] NSCAA webinar

[93] Email


[95] The Current keeps up a wonderful archive, but when I did my final footnote check, I found this discussion was no longer there. If you’re able to search some other way, look for the episode of March 6, 2013.

[96] … and yes, I’ve voted for MacMillan for the Hall of Fame.

[97] interview with Reyna:


[99] Mike Woitalla, Soccer America, Feb. 6, 2007, My View:Youth Soccer Turf War –

[100] Email interviews with Lavers and Snow account for this and the next few paragraphs.


[102] — two disclaimers are necessary here. First, Hummer’s site also produces youth soccer rankings, though not down to this level. Second, I’ve written for Soccer Wire as a freelancer.

[103] How Children Succeed talks little about sports — it’s mostly an education book. But it’s an interesting read for those who want to see which lessons apply to sports. Or if you just want to learn about parenting.

[104] The quote is from the book Changing the Game. O’Sullivan goes into detail on the two mindsets as they apply to soccer at

[105] Some historians think Vince Lombardi, the legendary NFL coach to whom this quote is attributed, actually said something about “the will to win” or “making the effort to win.” Some say UCLA football coach Red Sanders should get credit for the quote. And some say Lombardi’s comment was taken out of context, anyway, and that he goes on to talk about sportsmanship.



[108] 2015 NSCAA convention

[109] Interview at 2014 NSCAA convention


[111] See “Relative Age Effect” in Chapter 8.








[119] 2015 NSCAA Convention: “Honest Answers for Soccer Parents”


[121] 2015 NSCAA Convention panel


[123] Email interview

[124] The NSCAA’s David Newbery encourages mixed-age groups in his 20 Common Characteristics of Successful Youth Soccer Clubs. See

[125] Both quotes in this section are from Changing the Game

[126] What? See or Google “Swiss system” to find an explanation you like.


[128] Changing the Game, again


[130] On author Tom Farrey is the executive director.


[132] Mike Woitalla at a 2015 NSCAA panel: Don’t be frustrated if these fancy things you see at the NSCAA Convention don’t work with your kids

[133] 2014 NSCAA webinar

[134] 2014 NSCAA webinar

[135] (p. 12)


[137] Email interview

[138] Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Soccer; Lindsey Blom and Tim Blom, 2009, Human Kinetics.




[142] Search “hockey canada psa” at YouTube. They’re all good. My favorite is the Pin the Tail on the Donkey Mom:

[143] Changing the Game

[144] O’Sullivan moderated this forum, called “Youth Soccer in the Real World.” Thompson is director of coaching for Maryland Youth Soccer.

[145] 101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent

[146] Changing the Game



[149] One good take along the same lines:

[150] The episode is “Bart Star” from Season 9, guest-starring Joe Namath

[151] This is No. 53 of the 101 ways in 101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent

[152] 2015 NSCAA convention

[153] How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity and the Hidden Power of Character

[154] Dweck wrote the book Mindset and sums up her ideas along with some interesting interactive tools at


[156] Changing the Game



Blom, Lindsey, and Tim Blom. Survival Guide for Coaching Youth Soccer. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, 2009.

Calvin, Mike. The Nowhere Men. N.p.: Random House UK, 2014.

Epstein, David J. The Sports Gene. N.p.: Current, 2014. Print.

Farrey, Tom. Game On: The All-American Race to Make Champions of Our Children. New York: ESPN, 2008.

Fish, Joel, and Susan Magee. 101 Ways to Be a Terrific Sports Parent: Making Athletics a Positive Experience for Your Child. New York: Simon & Schuster, 2003.

Hyman, Mark. Until It Hurts: America’s Obsession with Youth Sports and How It Harms Our Kids. Boston: Beacon, 2009.

O’Sullivan, John. Changing the Game: The Parent’s Guide to Raising Happy, High Performing Athletes, and Giving Youth Sports Back to Our Kids. N.p.: Morgan James, 2013.

Parr, Robert, Terry Eguaoje, Tom Condone, and Matt Fansher. Developing a Model Soccer Club. N.p.: SoccerROM LLC, 2012.

Ripken, Cal, and Rick Wolff. Parenting Young Athletes the Ripken Way: Ensuring the Best Experience for Your Kids in Any Sport. New York: Gotham, 2006.

Tough, Paul. How Children Succeed: Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. N.p.: Mariner, 2013.


In person: Robin Fraser

By email: Julie Foudy, Garth Lagerwey, Alexi Lalas, Christian Lavers, Sam Snow, Tiffany Weimer, Rick Wolff

Via the Houston Dynamo communications staff: Bobby Boswell, Mike Chabala, Andrew Driver, Kofi Sarkodie


From U.S. Soccer:

From U.S. Youth Soccer:

From the NSCAA:

From U.S. Club Soccer:

From AYSO:

Other general resources mentioned in this book:

The European Club Association’s Report on Youth Academies in Europe was released August 2012, though you can feel free to check for an updated version. The 2012 edition:

The U.S. Olympic Committee has devised an American Development Model:

Project Play:

NSCAA Convention sessions

“Understanding Players with Disabilities,” Mike Barr

“Coalescing the USSF, USYS, and NSCAA Curricula for U8-U10: Can it be done?” Mike Singleton
“How Can We Improve Our Recreation Program?” Lee Smith
“Kindersoccer,” Ron Quinn
“Implementing a Curriculum for Player Development,” Robert Parr, Terry Eguaoje, Ryan Lakin
“Better Player Development Option: High School or Development Academy/Elite Clubs National League,” Kevin Sims

“0.0017% vs. 100%: Sharing Player Development,” Ceri Bowley
“Project Play – Re-Imaging Youth Sports in America with an 8 Point Plan,” Tom Farrey
“Honest Answers for Soccer Parents,” Mike Barr
“Parent Coaches: What They Are, What They Should Be,” Eric Redder
“Building Champions: German Player Development,” Bernd Stoeber, Anouschka Bernhard, Frank Tschan
“Get Real: A Realistic Approach to Player Development,” Scott Snyder
“Changing the Game: Building a High-Performing State of Mind in Your Players,” John O’Sullivan
“Youth Soccer in the Real World: A Discussion of the Issues Faced by a Modern Day Club DOC,” John O’Sullivan, Brett Jacobs, Charlie Slagle, Karla Thompson, Mike Woitalla, Sam Snow
“TOPSoccer-Overcoming Barriers to Participation,” Libby Anderl
“How to Incorporate Recreation and Academy Programs – Steps for Success,” Eric Landon