As we approach the Fall season, I have been thinking about the importance of the players ability to enjoy the game. It seems every year that soccer gets a little more serious and competitive, even for many of the younger teams.
The push for winning at every age and level, focus on team and individual development at every training session, hearing from every coach (sometimes too many on a sideline), player and parent when you make a mistake can become very tiresome.
I am constantly speaking about how soccer should be fun at every level. I played both collegiately and in the professional levels and believe at every level, once the love of the game and enjoyment are not there, a players level of play will leave with it. At some point a player may choose to stop playing and focus on other things.
This does not mean it has to be all fun and games. There needs to be a proper balance to keep the players interest while maintaining a high level of training.
We have to remember no matter how good a player may be, if they lose the passion/love for the game they will never reach the levels that those around them aspire for them to succeed too.