Appearing at a 2013 Ted talk, Dr. John Cohn explained that he is at his most creative, influential, productive, and happy when he is playful at his work. With playful, he means being in a state of childlike innocence.

 

So playfulness is not just about enjoying your work, you are even more creative, as studies show. You can also reclaim that childlike state, by imagining you are still seven years old.

 

This talk has so many implications in the world of youth soccer.  Speak to any youth soccer coach and they all agree they want passionate and creative players.  But the question is how do we foster passion and creativity?

 

After all, we hear a lot in sports about the importance of deliberate practice: focused improvement through repetitive activity, continual feedback, and correction, and the delay of immediate gratification in pursuit of long-term goals.

 

What has gotten lost for so many children, especially with the demise of the neighborhood pickup game and the overscheduling of our children, is simple play.

 

Researcher Jean Cote calls this deliberate play, which he defines as “activities such as backyard soccer or street basketball that are regulated by age-adapted rules and are set up and monitored by the children or adults engaged in the activity.

 

These activities are intrinsically motivating, provide immediate gratification, and are specifically designed to maximize enjoyment.”

 

As a soccer dad, coach, and founder of Anytime Soccer Training, I believe that you don’t need a Ph.D. to know that;

 

Kids should play way more than they train. But how many clubs offer open free play days?

 

It has to be pure and unadulterated play with no hidden adult agendas.   That is one reason we include over 101 Fun Soccer Soccer Games in the Anytime Soccer Training program.   Each video is designed to get your child moving and having fun.

 

The videos are fun and the games are easy to follow – your child will beg you to play soccer with them in the backyard.

 

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