In an interview with Soccer America Kristine Lilly, world record holder for national team appearances and veteran of five World Cups and three Olympic Games, talks about her experience as a youth player and what she sees now in the youth game.
SA: How different do you imagine your soccer experience was from today’s youth soccer environment?
KRISTINE LILLY: If you’re talking 8, 9 to 12, I hope it’s not much different but I have a feeling it might be. Because I hear so much about clubs that are recruiting 10-year-olds and that’s really not what was going on when I was younger.
You played for your town team. Maybe if you were good you made the A team and they had a B team. So you represented your community and played within your area and for your state and moved on from there.
Nowadays I think it’s a little more consuming for the kids, which I think is a little bit unfortunate. What I hear is that kids are getting burned out early and that’s sad, because you shouldn’t be burned out at 12 years old.
The entire Part 1 interview from Soccer America is here: http://www.socceramerica.com/article/47290/kristine-lilly-good-coaches-create-good-memories.html