Beginning in September, Crossfire is offering a new, completely free street soccer program for club players ages 7 through 15. The program will be offered on Friday nights at Marymoor Park and is open to any registered player in the club.
WHAT IS CROSSFIRE STREET SOCCER?
Crossfire staff will set up four fields for small-sided games at Marymoor, provide colored bibs and supervise from the sideline, without coaching or assisting. Players are free to organize games and teams as they wish, determine rules and play. Player ages and genders may be mixed.
A street soccer schedule will be posted at www.CrossfireSoccer.org each month with days and times. For September, the first two street soccer offerings are as follows:
Friday, September 19 5 – 7 p.m. Marymoor Park #4
Friday, September 26 5 – 7 p.m. Marymoor Park #4
The schedule for October will be published a later date.
Players may arrive at anytime during the two hours and just join the play. A Crossfire staff coach will be in attendance throughout to provide adult supervision, but again, there will be no coaching.
WHY STREET SOCCER?
Organized team training with a professional coach is not the only place to learn to play soccer at the highest level—for example, Johan Cruyff and George Best didn’t hone their skills in a professional academy; they learned on the street. In fact, it’s well known that countries in which most children continue to play unstructured soccer in streets, parks, vacant fields or even beaches tend to develop the most gifted soccer players. This is because these players are allowed to experiment, take risks and be creative without outside influences. But cultural changes in Europe have seen street football decline for 30 years. In most of America, it’s never been big.
UEFA Coach of the Century Rinus Michels agrees wholeheartedly with the need to find ways to keep young players playing unstructured games. “My position is that street soccer is the most natural educational system that can be found. It is where youth players learn from their mistakes, unconscious of the technical, tactical, mental and physical qualities they are developing through the scrimmages being played.”
Soccer is a game that constantly changes, the ball is always moving and there are many contests, individual, group and team, all over the field. These myriad situations in each game compel players to make adjustments, and a player’s continuing development requires that he or she is given opportunities to explore solutions to the problems presented in a game. Crossfire Street Soccer is designed to provide that—a chance to play outside the team-training environment, without coach or parent interference, as players might in a park or vacant field if no one was watching. The coaching-free format is set up to encourage improvisation and taking risks with the ball, recreating an environment where there is more spontaneity and freedom of expression.