US Soccer: Offline failures, Online Solutions (part 2)
Part 2: Climate
In about half of the country it is impossible to play outdoor year-round. This forces training indoor, restricts availability of facilities thereby increasing the cost of participation, and forces players and teams from northern climates to travel further for competition during winter months. iSoccer was built to be accessible in small spaces with minimal equipment or facility requirements. Nearly all of the skill training exercises are performed within a 5×5 meter grid, easily replicable in a gym, basement, indoor or outdoor field, making it possible to get concentrated, repetitive, and targeted technical training and compete virtually no matter where a player is located or what level of access they have to equipment, fields, and transportation.
The same principles discussed in part 1 with regards to geography, online vs. in person player interaction and observation, apply here as well. Competition motivates players to train and improve. When competition is able to take place without in-person interaction the benefits of the resulting motivation can be reaped without the costly and time consuming travel required to facilitate in-person competition. Of course there is no replacement for the game itself, but online technology allows us to supplement traditional training and competition by making some of the same elements available while removing the physical barriers that limit off-line interactions.