Choosing a club?

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by becomingasoccermom, Apr 7, 2019.

  1. becomingasoccermom

    becomingasoccermom New Member

    Arsenal
    India
    Sep 18, 2017
    My son (age 7) will be trying out for competitive teams for next year. Is there an advantage to getting into the top club in the area now (automatic NPL entry at U12, development academy opportunities later on)? The top club boasts AdTEC training for younger teams (can someone explain this to me?). It's not clear if the other club has a specific training philosophy or not. I would love to hear what I should be looking for in a club at this stage.
     
  2. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    IMO, there are a lot of factors that go into what club you should try out for, but what happens four years from now is not one of them.

    In no particular order:
    * Cost
    * Training Commitment
    * Game Commitment
    * Travel Commitment
    * How far away is the training

    Coaching style in theory is a good one to find out, but I don't know if you'd actually know who next year's coach is at this time.

    All of the above being equal, yes, I'd have my child try out for the top club.
     
  3. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Nothing matters i.e. ECNL, NPL, DA right now. Only thing that matters is that he's in an environment where he can have fun and develop some. You want a coach who is a good communicator, trainer and one who doesnt care about wins and losses. A LOT can and will change between now and when its time for ECNL/DA. That shouldn't even been on your radar. I would observe practices. Make sure the coach has control over the kids and its not a total s**t show. 7 year old boys are rough. They should be developing technical skills now via various avenues. If the kids are scrimmaging for the full time run dont walk to another program.
     
  4. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Go for a good coach - not a player pool or club.

    I've got two kids (20/13) and I would have stayed away from the ECNL and DA clubs until u12/u13 - they simply do not develop players - or at least that is my experience.
     
  5. Toe Poke

    Toe Poke Member

    Manchester United
    United States
    Dec 11, 2018
    The way you asked this you appear to think your son is pretty good but you are not sure how good so are looking for a challenge.

    Therefore at 7 I would look for a top team not top club IMO. The reason being is that it is probably a collection of kids and parents that are already doing extra with their kids outside of the club to improve (or soon will be) -- pick-up, private training, 3v3, futsal. It is the extras that will make your son better than he would have been if he relied on just the club.

    I generally agree with Volk, but I would not avoid the DA club necessarily. If they have a top team at 7 I would consider them. But at U12, if he is good enough, move in the DA direction. But there is an expectation by DA age that your kid has the technical skill required and there will be more focus on team play than individual skill, so continued individual training is needed.
     
  6. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    oops, misread.
     
  7. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    I'll digress from the boys side and go with TP on this one. On the girls side I would disagree as 80% (if not more), of the top DA players come over at u12/u13/u14. The 2004 teams at Sockers have 5 long standing players and the 2005 just 2. The rest all came in at u12 and up. That tells me there is little development (individual at least) at the younger ages on the girls side.

    I would say from what I know of Eclipse - that is the same deal as well.
     
  8. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Do kids actually develop with their clubs 2 a day practices or is extra training a must? My daughter has been doing extra trainings for a while and i cant imagine she would have the skill set she has if she just relied on team training.
     
  9. becomingasoccermom

    becomingasoccermom New Member

    Arsenal
    India
    Sep 18, 2017
    I didn't realize that extra training is a thing. I am very new to this all but haven't even heard any mention of this. At what age does this start? Is the extra training generally private lessons with the regular coaches? Or something else?
     
  10. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Find pick up games - open play if you can. Don't go an bust the bank at u7.
     
    bigredfutbol and CornfieldSoccer repped this.
  11. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    I'd second that. For us, u7 was way too early to jump into travel/club soccer. And they learn a ton from pickup and just playing the game.

    My youngest did rec soccer through the local park district through u9 (the point at which some of his teammates started jumping to clubs), moving over at u10. Rec coaching can all over the place -- I was part of a group of parents who coached him, most of us having played all or most of our lives, while other teams' coaches weren't soccer people at all. But the investment was low, he still plays and loves the game, and dad's coaching didn't scar him too badly (he's a 2005, starts high school in the fall).

    Side note: Depending on your tolerance for it (my wife is a saint), we've always left soccer balls laying around the house -- small training balls, mostly -- as well as tennis balls. My son has always wandered through our house with a ball on his foot, with only minimal damage done to the home.;)
     
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  12. becomingasoccermom

    becomingasoccermom New Member

    Arsenal
    India
    Sep 18, 2017
    #12 becomingasoccermom, Apr 9, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2019
    Haha -yes I completely agree with the ball kicking in the house! My son gets hours of practice in each week this way -and so far only one broken planter.

    To be clear, my son is currently 7 and will be in at least U9 next year (we go by school grades (rec) and birth year (comp) in my area so I'm a little unfamiliar with the other system). Currently he is playing what I think is U8 rec (1st grade) but we are looking for a new team for next year. He has little competition in rec at this point so we are looking for more of a challenge.
     
  13. Toe Poke

    Toe Poke Member

    Manchester United
    United States
    Dec 11, 2018
    I think extra training is a must. And by extra training it does not have to be formal, it can be pick-up, 3v3, etc. But I do believe that a little bit of technical training is helpful so their technique is right as a U-little so bad habits don't have to be broken.
     
  14. Terrier1966

    Terrier1966 Member

    Nov 19, 2016
    Club:
    Aston Villa FC
    I’ll agree with everything said and offer a few points...

    A good team can change quickly, good clubs tend to remain good clubs (up until they aren’t).

    Be careful what the definition of “good” is. A winning team may not be a good one.

    Players move, coaches change etc. I’d be more likely to recommend going to the best club and assume the changes will generally be favorable over time. I wouldn’t attach to a coach unless you know they will be there 2-3 years.

    Talk to some u10, u12 and u14 parents and ask them how the club is...do they develop players etc

    Also, try to ask somebody with no skin in the game...a local HS coach or referee or something.

    Assume success, what would the path be if your guy was a good player...would it be wiser to get into a club now that has a feeder to DA or other opportunities. This depends on a few things...if athleticism runs in the gene pool you might be more optimistic.

    Is this your only one? Are there 2 right behind him? Consider that when distance and commitment are in play.

    We had a local D1 college player come over and work with ours on the side...agree that extra work helps and agree that learning the right technique helps additionally.

    Consider putting a cinder block on the primary foot and requiring them to only use other foot for a month. ( kidding) But, if long term success is to be achieved they must have ability with both feet.

    Lastly, take all advice as directional...only you have that player, in that town and in your family...other folks, myself included, can only relate what worked in a different town, in a different family and with different kids.

    So, talk to people...even if they are “other sport” parents...they all have something you can learn from or avoid
     
  15. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    At the right age - the parent should pick 3-4 clubs with a good coach, program and pool of players. Have the player attend all 3/4 and then see where you and your player agree on all points. That may generally be the best environment for your player to thrive in.

    This approach will create a good diologue between you and your player that will help you understand what they are looking for - what triggers their passion and so on.

    In the end you may pick a coach that worked with your player more closely then a large club with more resources.

    Maintaining and building confidence and passion at the younger (u12 and down) ages is key. A good coach can help maintain that.

    That said - look too see how he/she treats the other players. Attend an additional training session to look for continuity. Make sure the player pool is appropriate.

    As your player gets older - they can move on to one of the finishing clubs if they chose to do so.
     
  16. jvgnj

    jvgnj Member

    Apr 22, 2015
    I started a similar thread a few years ago when my son was in the same boat and got some good advice. My 2 cents, for what it's worth. Based on a sample size of 1, so all caveats apply:

    If you're considering a few options, go into it knowing that there is no perfect solution. Like anything in life, there are tradeoffs. Figure out what your top priorities are and solve for that. sam_gordon provided a good list of some of the factors above for consideration. #1 priority is keeping it fun and having him want to keep playing.
     
    mwulf67 repped this.
  17. smontrose

    smontrose Member

    Real Madrid
    Italy
    Aug 30, 2017
    Illinois, NW Suburb
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    To the OP, where will your kid have the most fun, develop and nurture a love for the game, sport, and fitness?
    I don't think putting a kid this age in a big program is a problem as I think kids react well to the discipline and regimentation. But coaches must be POSITIVE.
    Can you check out a few games of each club at his age to see interaction of kids and coaches? Parents will all be psycho so don't let that discourage you...
    I coached many many age group swimmers who were easily headed for major college programs. Their parents thought their early success equated to love for the sport. Probably half these kids quit the sport at the time they entered H.S.
    I'm surprised at what I see on the parents sideline at these lil kids games...
    Let him have fun, be a positive parent, and just make sure he gets his touches every day. When he's older he'll be able to manage this all on his own and you can kick back and enjoy watching!
    From my own experience, almost everything I do in life is based on behaviors I learned as an athlete and I would say the most influential person in my life, after my parents, was my H.S. swim coach. I'm sure many lont term athletes might say the same. So think about that.
    Love for the game!
     
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  18. IPlayedBasketball

    IPlayedBasketball New Member

    Apr 16, 2019
    Can someone tell me about the girls side at Elite SC?

    We have a 2005 daughter whose experience this season at her current club has been sort of all over the place. We did not get many games in the fall and only one tournament. Players have moved up from lower ages and it looks like few games again.
     
  19. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    When at Sockers, we played them twice and if I recall correctly we won one and lost one. Agressive play beat the Sockers style of play but that was 2017/18 season. I think they had 2-3 decent players but who knows if they have moved on to other teams by now.

    Doesn't look like the coach has deep experience.

    Where do you live?
     
  20. volleymom77

    volleymom77 New Member

    Salvo
    United States
    Mar 31, 2019
    Interesting thread. How would you all approach try outs for an older child? My 2005 daughter started soccer at age 10. She has worked hard on her foot skills, trains individually and is a great athlete. We live in the Midwest where soccer is growing but quality clubs are hard to find. She did great at try outs but ended up on the 2nd team for her club. We heard several times afterwards from other parents that the coaches had their teams set prior to tryouts and it was just a formality. She is currently one of the best players on her team (per her coach) but I feel her options to move up to a higher quality team are limited if coaches who are not familiar with her won't give her a second look. What would you do to help her grow?
     
  21. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    2005 is an older age for sure - your options are not only limited because of that but also, they could be limited to where you live.

    Has she played travel since 10 - if not when did she start? Did she recently change clubs - if so why?

    Where is she at now - or where are you located? For some people they are just not well off due to location.

    Hard too say without more information.
     
  22. pu.ma

    pu.ma Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    I think you really have to be proactive about reaching out to a club or team about getting your daughter a chance to be seen by the coach. In our area, girls start quitting the sport around 14/15 years (boys too but the player pool for boys is much larger), so coaches are finding a shortage of players who can play at higher levels. Also it's been our experience that once a coach likes a certain player that is not on their roster, he will invite the player to practices with the intention of adding the player the following year.
     
  23. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    I would have your DD be upfront with her current coach. Let him (her?) know she enjoys the team and his coaching, but is interested in possibly making the top team. Then ask what she needs to do. My guess is the 1st team coach talks to the 2nd team coach for players to watch out for and will probably even attend a couple games.

    I agree coaches have a pretty good idea before tryouts who they want on their team (especially at the older ages). But they're "scouting" during the season. At tournaments, home games, practices, whatever.

    One of my coworkers has twin 03 girls who spent years on the 2nd team. They had a chance to jump last year but didn't take it. They did this year.
     
    bigredfutbol repped this.
  24. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    The answer to this is very simple.

    If the child is talented and wants to develop they must be allowed to play at the very highest level their talent allows. This will ensure qualified coach instruction and more challenging opposition. These elite players should not settle for second best.

    If the child wants to have fun and is less bothered about development, let them play in a team with their friends.
     
    becomingasoccermom repped this.
  25. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This is very true in my experience. Tryouts are not necessarily mere formalities, but at the same time they're not a blank slate, either.
     

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