The critical elements of keen youngsters, plenty of opportunities to play, can WALK to a pitch, often small-sided – 5v5, 7v7, rarely full-sided, and accessible to any child. Players control their environment, not adults.
Often the pitches are asphalt or tarmac. This encourages skillful play. How often do you slide tackle on a hard surface?
A famous quote by one of my mentors, Dettmar Cramer– “When the ball bounces, it’s the melody of beginners.” So, it encourages skillful play, controlling the ball on the ground.
Why is it the best players come from Latin countries? They grew up learning the game on hard surfaces – Pele, Maradona, DiStefano, Didi, Garrincha, Messi, etc.
We need more places like (pictured) in D-7.
The importance of access and ease for youngsters to get to a pitch, especially for children. If parents have to drive their youngsters to a field, the players lose out from a soccer experience.
One of the critical learning moments is the discussions/arguments between players on the journey to and from a game.
The fewer adults are involved, the better both for the parent and the players.