John Kessel forwarded us this article by US soccer coach John O’Sullivan, which is well worth the read:

We have seen firsthand our obsession with winning, which forces us to select the biggest, fastest kids at young ages to win now, instead of identifying kids that might evolve into future elite players. Why do we do this? Because, as the case of Simon Kjaer points out, talent identification is really, really hard!

Highly trained, professional coaches cannot say with certainty who will make it and who will not, even at 15 years old, as the Kjaer story points out. In our country, more often than not lightly-trained, part-time coaches are making that decision, usually at 8 to 10 years old!

This is insane!

Feel free to chime in with any comments from an Australian perspective. We’d love to hear your thoughts.