I know nothing about soccer. Absolutely nothing. But I can imagine that if my daughter wanted to play soccer she would only want to play at a recreational level for fun. She isn't a soccer fanatic, doesn't want to play soccer on a high school or college team, and wouldn't dream of trying to make a career of it. I think that's true for a lot of kids. They enjoy a sport enough to join a team but don't want to be hounded about being the best and spending every free second practicing. I think it is sad if coaches are discouraging kids from playing just because winning isn't their main priority.
That being said, some kids are very serious about soccer (and other sports/hobbies) and the competition aspect is no doubt important to them. Those kids belong on a more competitive team and they would likely welcome the pressure. I know that's how my oldest daughter feels about dance. She would be offended if I told her dance was just for fun, because for her it is a very serious thing and she is always striving to be the best.
I'm rather sick so my thoughts aren't coming out too clearly I'm afraid, lol. To sum it up, I think there should be different levels for different kids. If this coach is so focused on winning and being the best at a rec level and it is discouraging kids from playing a sport they enjoy I think that's sad.
I totally missed where you said your daughter has asthma. WTF does that coach expect, that she's going to be able to run all over the field? She sounds like a perfect goalie to me. Our best goalie -- besides Tiven who has wicked-fast reactions and hands of glue, LOL -- is an overweight girl with asthma. And our two best defenders are tiny little girls, as in really super-small for their ages; they simply can't run around as much or stand up to the bigger kids, but they do a damned good job of kicking the ball away whenever it comes close to our goal! We've had only one goal scored against us all season. Of course, we've also tied two games 0-0 but that's OK because they were really good games.
Tiven is already talking about getting a soccer scholarship to USF. I told her if that's where she wants to go to college, she's going to need a scholarship!
That is totally lousy for a coach with 8 year olds!!
Sports at that age should totally be fun. There should be some competition, that increases as you get older. But for 8 year olds? I think mostly fun.
I like the way it's set up at my kids school. They have one team that's for competition and you try out and everything. Then they have another that's for the kids that aren't dying to go win, and want to have fun. They still compete, but it's not the major pressure, and it's more for fun. It's nice too, because the kids that are dying to win don't have to be upset with the ones that are just out for fun.