Paul et al,
Sorry to let the thread hang for a day but we had pressing franchise and club tasks that took precedence.
First, in how many games do you suppose Ghana, Nigeria and Brazil have a speed advantage? I'll bet more times than not. I'd guess if you were to take the starting 11 from those teams, and put them in a 30 yard race against the starting 11 from their opponents, the players from Ghana, Nigeria and Brazil come out on top most of the time.
Here's a cross section of theories I found on the internet regarding speed in black people.
"In the world class sprints I only see blacks racing in the sprints. It seems the ratio of caucasion to backs is very disproportionate on a world wide bases. Don't people in Europe and Australia like to compete in track. Is it just me seeing it this way?"
"Actually, they are also faster at long distance races! Most male marathon runners are from Kenya or other African countries and so are a lot of the female marathon runners. It does appear to be genetic."
"The quickness of muscle reaction cannot be taught. In addition I think there is some truth and relevance to the slave breeding that did happen. After all ranchers don't breed animals just for fun. This is not meant to be mean spirited but as a matter of fact. Products of environment."
I'd like to add that African athletes don't appear very often in the Olympic sprint medal count. This is dominated by blacks from countries that historically imported slaves.
Indigenous africans win more olympic medals in endurance events than they do in the sprints.
Is the black speed phenomenom a product of the slave trade and plantation owner breeding or is it a genetic racial component?
Olympic records seem to suggest that your theory about Ghanaians being faster is at least slightly flawed.
Furthermore, their success, relative to other nations, at the U17 level has been incredible. The Dutch have obviously done a great job beyond the youth level. Their system from the U17 age group onward has possibly been the most productive in the world. However, it is easy to argue that the Ghanaians, (relative to the size of their population), have had he world's greatest success at the U17 level. This was especially true during the era that I studied their training methods.
Second, those countries are pretty low on the affluency scale. Ask the Brits over on the WCC board why they don't dominate internationally, and you'll eventually come to a universal answer not completely dissimilar to our biggest problem here in the States. The kids don't play much outside of practice. The countries with populations that tend to grow up with computer games in the home are falling behind the countries that don't, in terms of soccer.
Couldn't agree more. That's why the Legends method is essential. If our kids aren't spending the same amount of time with a ball as Africans or Brazilians we have to create a system like the Legends one that forces them to maximize ball touches and artificially subjects them to far greater pressures in training then in the real game, to compensate for the luxury and distractions that take kids in America (and Britain) away from physical pursuits.
Isn't this a solid justification for the "Soccer on Amphetamines" approach we use in the Legends club?
Well, I don't know that Ghana really does 2v2 that much. But let's assume for the sake of argument they do. Can any country claim to have more success over larger population national sides than the Dutch?
I covered this above but it's worth repeating in a different way. The Dutch have had little success at the U17 level. Therefore, it's fair to assume that their system is better at ages older than U17. The Ghanaians have had incredible relative success at the U17 level so it s sensible to assume that their system is better at the younger ages.
Another question I have is why isn't Ghana able to convert all this success at U17 level - success they've enjoyed for years - into success at the adult level?
This one is easy. Ghana has a terrible adult infrastructure. They have poor pro leagues and an embryonic coaching system. While some European pro clubs have started academies in Ghana these are primarily to identify and recruit the best talent. The best coaches stay in Europe at the home club. How can Ghana compete with Asenal, Chelsea, Man Utd, Liverpool? Simple answer...they can't!
Conclusion...the best overall youth training method, up till age 17, should focus on the skills and tactical speed taught by the Ghanaian environment and national youth program.
This method should be adapted to take into account the different social conditions and distractins in the country or society in which it is adopted (in this case America).
The Legends club has the only written curriculum that has done this and tested it for over two decades. We have proven that despite a relatively poor level of commitment and practice attendance we have been able to compensate by getting more out of (and into our players) than other, more traditional coaching methods.
As an added bonus our methods also develop brave, creative, leadership character for life.