Bruce Arena on coaching youth

“I think he’s a player’s coach,” Pope said. “I think most guys enjoy playing for him.”

That may be because he gives players the freedom to play and express themselves. Training sessions usually involve actual playing instead of technical work. It’s a philosophy Arena believes is important for developing younger players.

At an event Thursday, Arena was asked the best way to coach young players. He said it was important for youngsters to have fun and that only 13 coaches in the country should feel pressure to win–the 12 in MLS and himself.

I strive to coach my U-12 girls the same way. They are kids playing a game. This simple point is lost on many coaches and parents. Yes, one can learn a great deal about life through this complex game, but the kids should not feel the added pressure of a winning each and every time.

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