In this week’s edition of the Soccer Fitness Gols Video Blog, I discuss what I learned in my recent trip to Buenos Aires, Argentina. There, professional youth academy players – some as young as 12 years of age – are already training 5 days per week. In spite of the fact that one of the main tenets of Long Term Athlete Development model is a recommendation to avoid this type of “early specialisation” in youth soccer, in Argentina the players seem to be thriving in this environment. They are not burning out, they are not experiencing over-use injuries, and their on-field performance is second to none in the world of soccer. Here, I suggest that the higher standard of coach education in Argentina may be one of the reasons why early specialisation works so well there, and discuss what we as Canadians may be able to learn and apply from the Argentinian model.
I hope you like the video and as always, please feel free to post your thoughts and comments!