I think that we sometimes overlook the appeal of soccer. It can remain a game to young people longer than almost any other sport.
I raised eight children, and all of them played soccer at one time or another. I coached children for years. We did baseball, softball, basketball, football, swimming, track and field, cross country, volleyball, soccer, wrestling, tennis, etc.
Soccer was, far and away, the best sport for children.
Remember, these sports are all "games." Even when we go to professional sporting events, like an Atlanta Brave's game, we are going to a "game." More accurately, we are going to watch adults "at work."
When it's a game, it's fun for people. This includes children. That's the reason that you have such a high retention rate in youth soccer. A good coach can find a place on the field for everyone, regardless of their skills. That is not true in many other sports.
In baseball for example, if you can't hit the ball or field the ball, it's apparent to everyone. That turns many kids off to baseball. Parents rationalize this by saying that their six-year-old (who quit baseball) "Just started too late" at six-years-old. Ditto for basketball.
Well, where does that child go to learn a group game, get some exercise, and make some friends? That's the worldwide appeal of soccer.
Adults want to take the "game" out of games at a very early age.
Steve Daugherty Sr.