Originally Posted by Ken Urakawa
I won't speak to basketball (being almost 5'8"--in O-lifting shoes), but I'd have to disagree about soccer. The best players I know are the ones who play the game anytime and all the time. Individual ball skills and creativity are emphasized in more casual games. One of the problems with US Soccer (and a lot of other sports, IMHO) is the "professionalization" of youth sports. The players train year-round, always in a structured environment. We haven't produced a Pele or Ronaldinho, partly because our best athletes play money sports, but mostly because those players grew up playing in the streets constantly.
Anyway, I'll cut this short and get off my rant now, while I'm still welcome here...
I think that is a great insight. Luis Gutierrez of Straight Blast Gym talks a lot aobut "play as the way" whether its BJJ or jsut life. I think a highly regemented program like was the norm in eastern block countries obviously produces results but often at a high cost to the humanity of those involved.