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.
     
    bigredfutbol repped this.
  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.
     
    bigredfutbol repped this.
  8. smontrose

    smontrose 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!
     
    ThePonchat repped this.
  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.
     
  13. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    “Development” is an overused term in soccer that simply means improvement.

    The biggest Improvement gains come from kids who spend an enormous amount of time on the ball all by themselves. Or have opportunities to play pick up constantly.

    Good clubs have great training, coaches and provide excellent culture and competitive environments that help good/great motivated players get better. But mostly it’s about guiding them. Sockers does this exceptionally well on boys side. And pretty well on girls side and getting better from the sane people I know in multiple age groups. These are people whose children are stars and not stars and just finding their way at the club.

    Everyone has an opinion on here. If I had a dime for each time a parent had a negative comment about a team, club, coach or another player or that players parents I’d have enough money to send my kids to college. Maybe enough to send your kids to college too.

    This narrative that Sockers favors the best players is just total crap. Completely false and misleading (wondering if some of it is intentional) Do best play more in a game? Absolutely. It’s club soccer and competitive club soccer at that...this is not favoring. If they break the rules they’re gone. If they violate curfew at a tournament they don’t play. THE BEST PLAYERS ba bye. Period. That’s Sockers.

    If your kid isn’t having fun you should take them out of a club. No matter how good that club is...And prepare for them to leave the sport bc if the fun ain’t there they won’t be around for long. You can be at a great club but on a crap team. And by crap I mean attitudes/behaviors of kids and parents. Just leave if you find yourself in that situation. RUN.

    This whining, hand wringing, gossip mongering is rife at every club because parents. So many suck the fun out. So many are so clueless as to the game. So many have never watched a professional game let alone put on a pair of cleats. But on message boards like these they’ve got it all figured out.

    You want your kid to “develop”? Encourage them to have a love for the ball and to play with it often. Most won’t. But if you have one that does get them to a club like Sockers. Whenever you feel the time is right for them and for you.

    Because ultimately the best clubs the world over “develop” a recurring treadmill that brings the best players to their club. Be it Ajax. Be it Sockers. Be it Eclipse (for girls).
     
    illinisoccer repped this.
  14. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Unfortunately there are parents who have spent more time at Sockers then you who disagree.

    Oh yeah... Why is this it's own thread. Shouldn't this be bumped to the current dev thread?
     
  15. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    I screwed up. New to this posting threads thing.

    And there are a ton of parents who have spent more time at sockers than you who love/loved it.
     
  16. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    2004 down - girls side... Only one family has been there longer... 2 DA girls.

    So not really.

    You need to seriously stop with the bs.
     
  17. Toe Poke

    Toe Poke Member

    Manchester United
    United States
    Dec 11, 2018
    I have a different view of the development path. I think the development path we have for the DA kids is good. It models Europe in the amount of year-round training from probably U12 up. And I agree with Ponchat that we need more than just the 4,000 DA kids getting this amount of play.

    When our DA academies play other academies from Europe or South America they do well up to U18/19. Our issue is what comes next...college mostly.

    The goal for 99% of even our DA kids is D1 college soccer (and College is a terrible training environment for crucial development years). We don’t provide a consistent professionalization path. We are seeing more kids every year elect to try MLS (typically not the first team right away), maybe USL, and some try the jump to Europe. But this is still few in number. The 18-22 age group, sending the majority to college, is where the biggest break-down in the US development cycle occurs IMO.
     
  18. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    It’s not bs..it is a 100% true statement knowing families that have sent their kids to boys/girls Sockers (Schaumburg) since u8 to college to those that now bring their kids to play there... You need to zoom out from the 2004-2006 girls program.

    I came here to learn and I post so that others who are doing the same can learn. Before coming to Sockers I was a "hater" on the club. That view was formed by people like yourself. Thankfully I had a unique circumstance that allowed me to get out of that rut in thinking and go check it out for myself. Once I did that the decision was elementary and we haven't looked back since.

    Yes my experience *at the club* is limited. My experience with others who have been there and Eclipse and Elite and FCX and and and and...is anything but limited. And all I can say is even in the age group you define there are people who know the game, played the game and their kids are happy and they are not world beaters....they aren't the stars of the team.

    All I know is in the most recent U17 USWYNT call up there wasn't an Eclipse girl in sight, but there was one from Sockers (yes I believe she was a girl who left Eclipse..).

    All I know is the amount of kids (boys and girls) that go on to play at college (boys & girls) at Sockers is a ridiculously large number. I'm not saying the girls program is as good as the boys program. It's not. You can be the average parent and make decisions on wins all day long and you will know Sockers girls is not uber competitive as Eclipse top teams are... not yet anyway. I wouldn't bet that lasts long.

    As I say each time we get into this..I'm speaking to others. Others who might be on the fence..("should I finally make the leap to Sockers? I'm not sure b/c I hear this and that...") Others who don't know anything about the club other than the rumors they hear and the kids who leave their community clubs wanting bigger/better things.

    To those people I say absolutely positively DO NOT LISTEN to you and your opinion...your axe to grind that permeates so many posts on this board for months (years?)

    To those people I sayGO CHECK IT OUT FOR YOURSELF and see how your kid likes it, what you think of how the practice is run, the kids interactions, etc. You may love it, it might not be for you but get actively involved in the process if you have a child who loves the game and can't get enough of it. Do not rely on oipionons from this board...VolkLP19's or mine for that matter.

    The bottom line is in context of American soccer if you can get your kid to Sockers FC you're a very lucky individual...in my opinion. This place sticks by it's principals in a style of play and a code of ethics that if you violate it, no matter how amazing you are, you're asked to leave. All I can say is I really wish more youth clubs were like that...

    Good luck to you VolklP19...good luck. I'm an expert in your opinon and you're an expert in my opinion. Let's agree to disagree and leave it at that..
     
  19. Niko Frenette

    Niko Frenette New Member

    May 9, 2015
    DA Sockers teams are constructed by players who were developed by other clubs. They become a collection of highly skilled players that are forced to play a certain style. The players individual creativity becomes completely stymied. The argument of “favoring of the best players” comes up when a player (who has been with them for years and obeys all of the rules) spot is easily replaced by a brand new better player. The Sockers are a very successful business and club. They sell their very recognizable brand at a very steep price tag and could care less about individual players. With that being said, I will always respect a parents choice of doing what they think is best for their child.
     
  20. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    This developed by other clubs thing is largely inaccurate. But yes clubs like Sockers and Eclipse attract the best players

    And they do so, in Sockers case especially, bc they are well run businesses that take the long term view over short term results.

    I love that amazing kids keep coming over (in consistent waves that from what I hear only get more powerful as the age groups get older). I want my kids to be around the best possible. To learn from them. To see what it takes. That’s why you go to the best clubs. Best kids should play on best teams. Period. No one should be owed anything (but many seem to think if they go to a club at u-little it will increase your odds). Doesn’t happen that way and rightly so imo.
     
  21. ThePonchat

    ThePonchat Member+

    Columbus Crew SC
    United States
    Jan 10, 2013
    NKY
    Club:
    Columbus Crew
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Actually, this is where the issue is. Yes, our DAs may compete at the similar age levels. But, the best U18/19 players abroad aren't playing with academy anymore. They are now playing U21, U23, or first team with their respective clubs. This is where US will continue to fail.

    Without a legitimate opportunity to play against BETTER at the earlier ages -- i.e., outside of the traditional age groupings -- then the US players haven't truly been pushed. How often are U16-U18 players within a first-team, or even a U21/23, setting? Minimal to non-existent.

    In the end, professionals don't care how players perform with their own age groups. Compete across multiple age groups and do it consistently. Do it against higher ages/levels. Shoot, do away with age groups at every year anyway. Keep them at every two years. I'd love to see more "open division" clubs exist. They do it at the high school level, why doesn't it happen more at club?
     
  22. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    #72 VolklP19, May 4, 2019
    Last edited: May 4, 2019
    So your problem here is that you admit you have limited experience at Sockers and that you only have been there 1 year. You neglected to answer another posters question as to where your player participates in terms of gender and DA vs PDA. And then you just generally come out with sweeping comments about how great Sockers is.

    Lets take a look...


    Time to provide more details - I mean how can you make such a statement with limited experience at Sockers? Please provide your data that proves this...

    As for me... I can speak to the 2004/05/06 teams and say that only 4 players on the 2004 DA team are long standing players. Only 2 players from the 2005 DA team are long standing players. Do the math - those are not good numbers.

    As for the future 06 DA team, 4 maybe 5 if they don't lose one (which I think they may - even 2 possibly), will make it on the top team. The rest they are actively recruiting from outside the club.

    How in the world is that development? That's not even good!

    They do because they have a reputation of having the best teams in the state.... But lets take another look. In the case of Sockers that may not be so.

    Using YSR (Far better then GS)

    Top 2004 Teams in Illinois
    1. Eclipse
    2. Libertyville
    3. SLSG
    4. Team Chicago
    5. SFV
    6. NCU
    7. Pegasus
    8. Northwind
    9. FC United
    10. Galaxy

    Now these sites have a variance of cours. but the 2004 girls Sockers come in at 17 and that is the DA team! Now I will say they are improving however - they were once 44 in the state. I hope they can improve more.

    Top 2005 Teams in Illinois
    1. Eclipse
    2. SLSG
    3. Chicago Inter
    4. Team Chicago
    5. FC United
    6. SASA
    7. FC United
    8. Eclipse
    9. Galaxy
    10. KIXX

    Sockers come in at 20 and again - that is the DA team.

    Top 2006 Teams in Illinois
    1. Chicago Fire Jr
    2. SLSG
    3. FC United
    4. FC Lake County (Heard many of these players are looking at the new Eclipse North).
    5. CSA
    6. Galaxy
    7. Chicago Inter
    8. KIXX
    9. KIXX
    10. FC Lake County (see comments on #4 above).

    Sockers come in at #24.

    So parents looking at clubs do not need to take my word - just do some homework.

    Again - its your 1st year there - are you the accountant for the Richardsons?

    Other then throwing out some ridiculous US National player BS, you have been proven wrong on this point by a few members here now.

    This makes no sense at all.

    When you bring a young player to a club that promotes heavily, a development approach in their marketing, the expectation is that you should get what you have paid for. If your player is at every game - participates in all additional programming and has a good attitude, why should one expect any different?

    Families chose Sockers for this reason. Now they are not because they know it's nothing more then a place for top payers to get a style of play that brings everything together. I don't jam them for it. They got my cash and I kept paying - that's 100% my own fault.

    Here is a bit of advise. Your posting here has brought many members out from hibernation to counter and even jam Sockers more. You are not doing them any favors. In fact it's looking worse. Just stop and we'll promise to talk about something else like State Cup.

    I wish Sockers the best - I hope someone pulls out and ahead as a decent club with good resources in the area. I won't tip my hat to Eclipse or FCU because they have their issues as well. This is about providing a better experience for players. Part of that is looking inward and accepting short comings and doing something about that. Hopefully they can figure that out.
     
  23. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    Do you know where those “9 regular starters came from?” Have a link? I’m curious. Agree no way we should just limit our pool with DA players. The truly special ones could well be outside of it.
     
  24. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    Well said, couldn’t agree more.
     
  25. Ryan7852

    Ryan7852 Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Mar 24, 2019
    A good point. In my experience where it breaks down is 16. Our best youth is very good, but the competitive cauldron that is Europe (for the serious player) has no equivalent here in the US. It’s not quite a matter of life and death over there but it’s a notch just below. We simply don’t have that culture (yet) and the mls pathway has been pathetic but hopefully will improve with our best talent choosing Europe and not giving it a second thought.
     

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