The Downsides of America’s Extremely Competitive Youth Soccer Scene

Just several decades ago, if you wanted to play soccer in the US, you could do it for free or for as little as $20 a month. Soccer was not that popular and usually only boys played it. Things like bet365 nj bonus code did not even exist. They did it out of love for the sport, and solely as a hobby. Soccer was a means of staying healthy and spending some quality time outside.

Soccer in the US has come a long way since then. Today, it is a much more popular and much more competitive sport. Millions of boys and girls play it, hoping to become elite players one day and do it professionally. Their parents hope for that to happen as well. 

However, this change has come with a price. America’s extremely competitive youth soccer scene has many downsides.

High Risk of Injury

The biggest problem experts have regarding this change is the high risk of serious injury. Coaches and parents push children above their physical limits to achieve better results and progress more quickly. 

As a result, kids decide to focus on just one sport, soccer, and avoid any cross-training. This leads to an increase in overtraining, burnout, and overuse injuries. 

Ideally, kids should be kids and do different types of activities. They should walk, run, climb, swim, play soccer, basketball, volleyball, and other types of physical activities. This would help them develop all aspects of their body and their mind, instead of focusing on just one of them.

Wrong Priorities: Soccer or Family?

Elite youth soccer players in the US often have to choose between spending time with their families and traveling to a game with their team. The same goes for the parents. They have to drive their kids to training sessions, take them to neighboring cities, or accompany them on long soccer-related travels. 

By doing this, parents teach their children wrong lessons and set wrong priorities. Kids are led to believe that family comes second and that adulthood is a time in life during which grownups spend their days in passivity and boredom.

Another downside of competitive youth soccer players is the fact that soccer clubs often take children away from their school communities. Those who play for elite soccer teams are prohibited from playing for school teams. Consequently, they spend less time with their peers, build fewer meaningful relationships, and have a more homogenous social life.

High Mental Pressure

Naturally, all these downsides lead to increased mental and psychological pressure in the American soccer youth. They are under pressure from their coaches, their parents, and their community. They have to succeed and become the best at what they do; otherwise, they’ll be considered failures. The only thing that matters is results. 

That’s not how children and teenagers should build their personalities and their self-confidence. So much pressure leads to a lot of stress which people should not experience at such a young age. The American elite soccer youth is not exempt from school obligations, so they have a lot more on their plate to deal with than the majority of their peers. 


Parents should recognize these downsides and take a stance that will allow their children to have a meaningful and fulfilled childhood. If things do not change now, they could only get worse in the future.