Field conditions Youth Soccer....

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by ppierce34, Apr 18, 2019.

  1. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Seems like an epidemic from where i sit in NE Ohio. Grass is either too long or the field is bumpy with holes in it making it very difficult to dribble, control the ball, pass and perform footskills, not to mention dangerous. I think this is a very underrated and neglected part of the youth game. We/they spend so much time focused on youth development and it seems like field conditions never get addressed.
     
    bigredfutbol repped this.
  2. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    My fields look terrible but I just run a rec league so it's not as though I have a ton of money to make them look pristine.

    Here is a funny story though... When we were at Sockers and played ELA - they would always play us at their crapiest fields - and I mean bad. It made the Green & White field look like a world cup venue! I always felt it was because they know we trained on turf.

    U12 rolls around and one parent who's kid came over from ELA to Sockers tells me that I am exactly correct!
     
  3. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    seems like a simple lawn mower and heavy roller on a tractor is an easy fix. not sure why thats so hard to do.
     
    Cantona's Eyebrow repped this.
  4. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Sometimes it's not the property of the club and they have no say.
     
    bigredfutbol and sam_gordon repped this.
  5. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I remember driving to the next state so my son's club team could play on a "field" that was bumpy, unmown, and the lines were a squiggly mess obviously laid down by someone who was running out of paint and rushed to finish the job.

    Another time when they were U-9 we showed up and the young referee clearly didn't feel like reffing the game, so she ordered a forfeit for our team (the home team) because the lines weren't clear enough. The other team's coach begged her not to do it, both coaches promised they wouldn't complain about a bad throw-in call due to the sidelines being faded (seriously all that was wrong) but she wasn't having it.

    The two teams ended up scrimmaging without her and the asst. refs, but that was a weird incident from the other end of the spectrum.
     
  6. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Yeah our game was already cancelled for tomorrow at 2:30. It’s raining today but jeez not to the point where u cancel a game 24 hours in advance. But the fields are trash to begin with and I can only imagine what they look like. To my point fields here suck.
     
  7. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    By the sounds of it, spoiled US kids and their parents complain if the pitch is anything but a putting green.

    Get on with the game, no matter the state of the pitch. It's the same for both sides.
     
  8. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Boy you should do well over here. Find anyone to sponsor you yet?
     
    bigredfutbol repped this.
  9. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yeah, no.

    The argument isn't that ONE team suffers. It's that the money going into youth soccer is not resulting in good facilities and infrastructure.

    But by all means, explain how playing on a rutted field with 6" grass and random weeds will facilitate the develop of good possession and crisp passing.
     
    shoplifter and diablodelsol repped this.
  10. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    #10 ppierce34, Apr 26, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 26, 2019
    Ding ding ding. The whiny spoiled American argument is completely irrelevant in my discussion but keep using it whenever possible. Why do you want to come here and coach so badly if you hate it so much?

    Youth sports was a $15 billion industry in 2017. I'm sure its up to $20 billion by now and i'd imagine a good portion of that is from soccer. Why are we playing on fields that cant hold a .5 inch of rain the day before matches (games have been cancelled already this Spring for light rain 24 hours in advance)? Why are we playing on fields that have 6 inches of grass, weeds and divots that make passing, using footskills and simple dribbling nearly impossible? How are we supposed to preach and teach those things when a simple pass just starts hopping away from player X because the field is full of lumps, bumps and weeds.

    I'm not asking for Camp Nou but cut the damn grass to 1-1.5 inches and roll the damn fields with a tractor. Both very low cost.
     
    shoplifter and bigredfutbol repped this.
  11. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Exactly.

    I'm all for kids playing soccer wherever they can whenever they can. My son grew up playing lots of pick up once he made friends through school soccer (huge immigrant population in our neck of Northern VA) and that's great. Find a patch of open ground, use some backpacks to create goals, and get to it.

    When you're talking about club soccer, though, there's time and money being devoted to what's supposed to be developmental. When the fields are crap and the coaches are subpar, you gotta wonder why we bother.
     
  12. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    When I read statements like that I wonder why you bother.
     
  13. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What is your point?

    I was stating that paying money into our current youth soccer system often seems like a waste of time--neither the coaching nor the facilities are worth the money paid. You seem to think throwing money at pointless tournaments, and the trappings of "competition" at the expense of real player development is some sort of virtue. I think it's dumb, and produces a lot of two-dimensional players who are mentally weak.

    In the end, I think my son learned more as a player outside of the youth soccer club system. Friends made through school teams led to pick up games, which led to contacts he never would have made in the club system. He played on a college team for a scholarship thanks to his HS coach. He played semi-pro soccer and trained with a semipro futsal club. As a teenager he got hooked up an after-hours indoor league where sponsors were betting money on games. He'd be out on weekends until 3 in the morning playing competitions with and against working-class Hispanic dudes who needed the extra few bucks the sponsors would slip them if they won. How much money, I didn't want to know as back then I was worried about him losing his amateur status with the NCAA.

    He's playing in an adult amateur league now and he's a really good player. He might play semi-pro again this Summer and he's got a couple of opportunities to try out for some lower-division foreign teams he might pursue. He's passionate about the game, he's a pretty street-smart player who knows how to get stuck in and compete...and he developed into that player largely outside of the youth club system his Mother and I signed him up for as a kid and doggedly paid for season after season, year after year, until he finished High school.

    Anyway, he learned a lot about the game and developed a lot as a player OUTSIDE of the youth club system. Inside? He mostly learned that rich kids and their parents are massively entitled, and most coaches focus on winning youth tournaments to burnish their credentials, and getting players hooked up with college coaches so they can play four more years of technically inept, tactically limited soccer.

    So, yeah, I wonder what the money went for. The coaches were very rarely worth it, and when the fields we were supposedly paying to support were in poor condition. The uniforms and backpacks were nice, but hell we usually paid extra for that stuff.
     
  14. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Whoa
     
  15. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    There are some very good youth coaches out there. My son actually played one year for one. And the problem with many of the others was more systematic than anything about their skill sets--there's pressure from both clubs and parents to put together a "competitive team" rather than to develop individual players.

    And of the three different clubs he played for over the course of 13 years, two of them had very good fields, including at least one turf field for poor weather conditions; the third did the best it could in a very crowded suburban area where open real estate for soccer fields was often at a premium.

    But man, some of the fields we drove an hour or two to play at were terrible. I felt really bad for the clubs that were stuck with them--how do you play good soccer on a bumpy field?--but given that the coaching was already often subpar and not development focused, and the playing conditions mitigated against good play, I had to wonder--Where is the money going?

    And of course, all of this is expensive. Fields cost money. Coaches, trainers, and referees deserve to get paid. I just don't think the money was being spent efficiently if player development is the goal; nor do I think our club scene is really mission-focused.
     
  16. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    #16 bigredfutbol, Apr 29, 2019
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2019
    One of the main clubs in my county in Virginia was formed when two smaller clubs merged--the smaller of the two only served the City of Manassas more or less. Their only fields (that I knew of) were at a park called "Ben Lomond" which was notorious for flooding a lot. The field conditions were predictably bad. I played adult rec soccer there, and the players used to joke about the "Ben Lomond Bounce" from balls bouncing away from you while you were trying to dribble.

    That was funny for us adult rec players, but I'm sure for coaches trying to teach their teams how to create good passing triangles it was a nightmare. Unsurprisingly, once that club merged with the other, those fields were abandoned.
     
  17. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    It seems like you have all the answers. You must be a great coach.

    Sorry, but I've never mentioned anything about tournament football, so don't understand where you get your idea that I prefer that to developmental football.

    For the record, other than a couple of tournaments a year, my squad ONLY play developmental football. No results are ever recorded. I am a volunteer coach and never receive any other incentive for coaching other than a love for the game and to see dedicated players develop.

    My point is, good pitch or not, stop griping and get on with the game.
     
  18. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    What is wrong with you? Why do you insist on making this about yourself and your own ego?

    We were talking about the youth soccer system here. Not your precious little ego.

    And again--wasn't talking about you.

    We are talking about the current youth club system in the United States.

    I hope you're celebrating your victory over the straw men you constructed.

    The rest of us have spent many years in the system we have here in the States, and have opinions based on experience on what could be better. This isn't a Cantona's Eyebrow Appreciation Society.
     
  19. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    This is an open football forum, Kemosabe. Not your own private chatroom.

    So lets stick to talking football. It's not rocket science.
     
  20. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Yes. It is, in fact, an open forum.

    So quit making it about yourself. We were talking about structural problems with youth soccer. You know why? Because we care, because we're invested in it, and because we've devoted time and resources to it.

    You seem interested in proving something to yourself. Nobody else cares. We talk about the state of coaching and infrastructure, and you either say something sarcastic about American parenting, or get defensive about your coaching.
     
  21. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    Dry your eyes princess. Football is a game of opinions, yours may differ from mine, but that's ok.

    I've taken a lot of stick on here from upstarts like yourself, but I can continue to talk football, unlike yourself with your petty vendetta. Obviously, I've done something to upset you, personally I don't care, but for your sake I'd start to wise up and get with the program: this is football we're talking here not knitting.
     
  22. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    And then proceed to ask for a host family to set you up as you spread your joy across the US.
     
  23. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    Fixed that for you.
     
  24. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I'm not sure who didn't give you enough hugs when you were a wee lad, but take it up with someone else. It's getting more than tiresome to have your fragile ego be the subtext to every conversation.

    You weren't getting any stick from me because I wasn't talking about you. You're a youth coach who seems to think every discussion here is about you. One more time, for the peanut gallery--we were talking about structural shortcomings in the club soccer system here in the USA. We care about that because we care about the sport. We don't care about you.

    If you want to participate in these discussions, fine. If you want to offer your perspective as an experienced coach--great. If you want to validate some narrative you've dreamed up about thin-skinned American parents who don't understand the sport...not so fine. We're not here to boost your self-esteem.
     
  25. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    I think this is what BRF is getting at.

    If you cannot see how that is condescending, then you're going to have a hard time here.
     

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