A youth soccer organization in Los Angeles is offering weekly soccer classes for kids as young as 18 months, reports Chris Erskine of the Los Angeles Times.
Play 2 Grow, which is affiliated with Launch Soccer Inc., was created by “English youth star” Stewart Cunningham who says,
“You have to start playing as young as possible because the competition is so severe … I’ve got 30 kids in the development league,” Cunningham said of his 6-and-under classes. “I’ve got five or six 18-month-olds.”
Said Jordan Fliegel, who created CoachUp in Boston which works with young players and youth coaches across the country:
“Oh, my God,” [he] exclaimed “Eighteen months?”
“At that age, it should be entirely about having fun,” Fliegel says. “The wrong approach as a parent is to look at [youth sports] as a way to get a 6-year-old into college.”
Erskine of the Times summed things up nicely:
For a country that doesn’t make anything anymore, we sure produce a lot of coaches, an industry preying on ridiculous expectations.