Youth Soccer Development

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by ThePonchat, Jan 31, 2019.

  1. Specializing sounds to me like a serious effort to become very good in a certain sport. That might be an American trait, striving to become the best in something.
    Over here in the Netherlands that's not, with the occasional exception, the case. Most of the times it's the kid that decides which sports (plural!) it will practice in an organized setting. My nieces play soccer and ride horses. My little brother used to play soccer and practice Kempo martial arts. Me and my brothers before that played soccer and practiced Taekwon do and Kempo. The son of my late friend played soccer and practiced kick boxing. Other kids I know ride horse and play field hockey.
    Not out of a choice to specialize, but merely as the sports they liked most and thus wanted to spend most time on.
     
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  2. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    My son used to do basketball, soccer, and karate. My daughter used to do soccer and karate. The problem is the time commitment. The clubs my kids play for only practice two days a week, but that's enough to interfere with ORGANIZED other sports/activities.
     
    bigredfutbol repped this.
  3. jvgnj

    jvgnj Member

    Apr 22, 2015
    The time and money involved play a big role. You know you're in for a fall and spring season and, at least by me, we're seeing an increase in winter and summer programming. Even if the club says it doesn't mind if the kids play other sports, it may be a moot point because you're effectively committing all your time (and dollars) to soccer. I realize that the kid will have to make this sort of commitment at some point if they want to play at a high level, but don't think that point is in 3rd or 4th grade.
     
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  4. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    I agree with everything... including young kids should be allowed to play multiple sports. The time and money commitment for 8 and 9 year olds should not be that large.
     
    bigredfutbol repped this.
  5. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    When my son first started playing "all star" and then travel club soccer, we went all-in immediately. I regret that a bit; I wish we'd saved Winter for rec-league basketball and at least part of Summer for other outdoor activities--including more family camping, hiking, etc. At least until later in grade school.

    It worked out in the long run, but that mostly dumb luck--our kid turned out to be pretty focused on soccer when he got older but even so it might have helped his athletic and personal development to have played more sports when he was young.

    It will be interesting to see what he does with HIS kids someday!
     
  6. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think you're right. It's a real problem IMHO, and not just with soccer. It's a problem with prioritization--parents move their kids around looking for whatever activity they can "excel" at rather than accepting that you can love doing something--playing a sport, playing a musical instrument, acting, whatever--without having to be exceptional at it. It's OK to just decide "I want to do this for the sake of doing it" and working at it even though you don't show any particular promise or aptitude early on.
     
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  7. jvgnj

    jvgnj Member

    Apr 22, 2015
    Starting last summer we've done a better job of bowing out of the optional activities. Didn't do the July tournament circuit because of baseball and opting out of most of the one day indoor tournaments until mid-March for basketball. Fortunately his club is good about this stuff. Something we always think about when tryout season rolls around and everyone is kicking the tires elsewhere.
     
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  8. smontrose

    smontrose New Member

    Real Madrid
    Italy
    Aug 30, 2017
    Illinois, NS Suburb
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    thx to the ponchat regarding a bit more detail on Euro clubs and facilities.
    We live very close to Olympic Park, turns out it is a "permit only" facility. Kid has been kicked out many times. I'm having a hard time understanding how a park district facility, paid for with taxpayers money and operating at a profit(I think) can be off limits to its residents!
    Lots of parks but grass always too deep but builds character I guess.. Someone needs to crowdfund/invent theft deterrent goal nets!
     
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  9. What's that?
     
  10. ThePonchat

    ThePonchat Member+

    Columbus Crew SC
    United States
    Jan 10, 2013
    NKY
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The one who started this thread. Me.
     
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  11. Whoops:oops:
     
    ThePonchat repped this.
  12. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    I miss the days of my 2005 son doing other sports. He played a year or two of basketball when he was 8 or 9, baseball ended when he was about 11, and last fall was his last season of middle school cross country. I'm glad he did all of that but, heading into high school, my sense is that focusing primarily on soccer will give him a better chance of being a regular starter on what are crowded rosters. He's already wishing he could do track in high school (which his older brother has always done), too, but I'm not sure how the crowded schedule that comes with that fits alongside spring club soccer.
     

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