The Weak Kids

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by Cantona's Eyebrow, Sep 12, 2019 at 9:42 AM.

  1. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    All teams have one, no matter what level of youth football, there's always a player not quite at the level of the rest of the team. The Weak Player.

    At the lower end of the ability ladder these players are often made scapegoats for bad results. At what stage do you cut them loose, if in fact you do? Is it fair on the other players to persevere with a weak link.

    I understand that this is subjective to the level and aspiration of the club. However, the problem is universal at all levels. Unfortunately, someone has to be the worse player.
     
  2. pu.ma

    pu.ma Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    If the player is new to the team, I say you give them a full season. Otherwise, end of season. The problem I've seen are players kept on for a year or two too long and have to leave on their own because they're finally fed up with lack of playing time. I dont know for sure, but I would not be surprised if these players quit the game all together due to the poor experience.
     
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  3. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    How about having a better evaluation/tryout process so those kids get slotted appropriately and dont end up on higher level club teams.
     
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  4. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Like you say, there is always a weakest/worst kid; just as there always a best kid on the team…but in either case, such rankings can be subjective and subject to change from week to week, even game to game….but more importantly, I think we need to differentiate between being a weaker player who legitimately merits being on the team and someone who is genuinely in over their heads in over their heads…I think the former happens far more often than the latter and is neither a big deal nor particularly a problem. Blaming a loss or a bad record on a single "weak" kid is arrogant, typically delusional, and generally a shitty thing to do…says more about that coach/adult, then the player...

    Once a “weak kid” is place on a team (commitments made by all parties), then that coach ethically required to work this that kid as best he can to improve him AND play him…doesn’t necessarily mean equal play time and by all means play him in ways that lessens the damage, but play him you must…good enough to make the team (cash their parents check), good enough to play….

    If this weak player is truly in over his head, then it becomes the coach’s and/or club management’s responsibility find that player a new team/situation…simply cutting that player mid-season is unacceptable…

    Once the season is over, all bets are off…
     
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  5. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    You ask if it's fair to the other players to stay with a weak player. I ask if it's fair to the parents of that weak player, who you accepted money from, to cut him in the middle of the season?

    Barring extreme circumstances, the proper time to cut anyone is at the end of the season (actually the start of the next season when they don't make the team).

    I agree w/PP that the coach must have seen something during tryouts to select them to the team. Therefore, the coach (and team) has to put up with that player, AND play them as mwolf indicated.
     
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  6. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    It may work a little differently in the UK as money isn't really an issue, certainly by the time you get to club academy football as parents don't pay.

    I'd agree with all those points. However, I think a disservice is also done to the player by coaches who insist on equal game time for children who are well out of their depth.

    In answer to the point, something must have been seen in the player. Some players are inherited from earlier coaches, some have links to the club and earn a place that way and some the coach doesn't see how far out of their depth they are. I've seen kids confidence plummet as they're asked to step onto a pitch they're not ready for and receive criticism from coaches, players and parents for the duration of their game time. In these instances, there is a parental responsibility to address this and not follow unrealistic parental dreams of their kid being the next Messi.
     
  7. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Very different…outside of some very rare cases, we operate under a pay to play model…parents, beyond anything more than casual rec play, shell out big bucks for their kids to play soccer. However, that is no excuse for an “in over his head” kid to be placed on a team he shouldn’t be…and would still argue that actually happens very, very infrequently…

    Play time and equal play time are different and separate issues…equal play time is typical a rec league requirement and usually doesn’t exist at the club level (at least outside very young U-litttles)…but even in club soccer, play time (I would even go so far to say meaningful play time) is and should be a realistic expectation and objective. Once again, good enough to make the team; good enough to play…

    How did this get turned around on the parents of these kids? In the vast majority of these already rare cases, I struggle to believe these parents had any influence on the placement of their kids. Placing kids on teams they don’t belong on is entirely the fault and responsibility of club management and/or said coach…whether honest mistake, sheer incompetence or cynical money grab…

    But I do agree that many adults (parents, coaches, club leadership) involved in youth soccer have unrealistic expectations, delusions of grandeur, and generally create an unhealthy environment for a bunch of 10 year olds who just want to having fun and play soccer…
     
  8. pu.ma

    pu.ma Member

    Feb 8, 2018
    Just my experience. When my kid is the strong player, the coach approaches me once in a while to talk about the player. When my kid is stagnating, lacking confidence and possibly considered a weak player, I dont hear anything all season from the coach besides a mid-season report but saying none of that. After I communicate to the coach, then I find out he has similar thoughts as well. Granted, different coaches and volunteers (but IMO competent coaches) as well. But I find it's better to be proactive as a parent and dont assume the coach is on top of it.
     

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