Does Playing Indoors Help or Hurt Young Players?

In England the climate really didn't make a difference or give one team an advantage over another.  Usually if the weather was good or bad in one part of the country it was similar in the other parts.  Sure, there were times when it snowed in Birmingham but not in London.  But no team had consistently better weather than any other team that it allowed them to train better for instance.

But here in the U.S. there are a number of different climates.  Michigan can be cold and snowbound for weeks in the winter.  Florida and the south can be oppressively humid in the summer.  The desert of Arizona and Nevada can get to ridiculous temperatures and so on.

So teams in the San Diego area for instance, can train year round in a balmy climate with temperatures ranging from 60-80F.  Teams in Florida, Arizona, Nevada and other southern states can train outdoors most of the time during the winter.

My question is, does this give them an advantage?

Let's take a look at what happens here in the Midwest...and I'm talking youth teams here, not the pro's.  Teams here in Kansas City start the fall season practices early to mid August.  There are usually a few weeks of really hot temps of 90F+, which when combined with the high humidity, makes practicing in the heat of the afternoon really difficult.  But although this can eat into their training time, it's what happens in the winter that I would like to discuss.

With a lack of daylight and cold temperatures, it is impossible to continue to train outdoors in the evenings from late October onwards.  Some are lucky to have lighted fields but they are only a small percentage.  So here in Kansas City and most other Midwest towns, we move to practice indoors.  This can mean practicing in a school gym (pretty tight for space) or in other indoor soccer facilities.  Usually, a team will have half of an indoor field to practice on or a smaller "practice field".

It's the same with games.  Most teams will play indoors during the winter on the type of fields with walls.

I have often wondered if teams that live in warmer climates have an advantage because they can practice and play outdoors all or most of the year?  Or, do the teams that move to indoor practices and games in the winter have an advantage because playing indoors gives a player more touches, shots, tighter spaces, etc.

What do you think?

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