All-Purpose Soccer Parents Thread

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by becomingasoccermom, Apr 15, 2020.

  1. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member+

    Feb 27, 2017
    I know you've talked about this before, but I still don't understand how it makes things any easier. There's still a finite limit on facility availability and 'x' number of teams that need to practice. The number of teams will determine how busy/available the facility is. And what about the kid who is taking musical lessons? Or is in theater? Or dance?

    Do I like the idea of having somewhere that can handle multiple sports? Yes. Do I think that will make scheduling any easier? Nope.

    I do like this place... https://www.sportzoneindy.com/. Oldest DD did a softball tourney there a number of years ago. Everything indoor: soccer (with walls), weightroom, multiple basketball courts, another indoor turf area that can be used for softball, baseball, football, and soccer.
     
  2. kinznk

    kinznk Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    We had those all sports clubs when I was a kid. In fact my middle sized city had at least 4 of them. They were called the boys club. There were leagues for basketball, baseball, football, and soccer. Baseball and basketball had leagues that ran our of just one club. Other sports played in the city league. I believe there are 2 left in the city but I doubt they run leagues or sports teams now. Their websites make it appear that they are more community centers now. They were inexpensive and offered everything. The problem today is many parents would think the levels of play are too low.
     
  3. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    That's absolutely right. When my youngest was about 8, he did winter indoor soccer at the local Y (alongside kids' basketball, swimming, ..., happening at the same time). It was a ton of fun for him, but it was parent-coached (including me) and the level of play was really low. The next year, when he started local club soccer (including indoor) the difference was glaring. I doubt many parents or kids would have opted to head back to the Y unless finances forced the issue.

    I like the idea of the one-stop shop for kids' sports, but better coaching usually means paid coaches and facilities cost money, all of which means the idea of this being low cost is off the table (unless you live in a community with people willing to subsidize it heavily through taxes; I do not). And, as was pointed out, there are still only so many hours in a week for facilities or the kids.
     
    bigredfutbol repped this.
  4. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    I took my kid to meet another kid at a park at night. They had lights!
    Its the only park I know of that is open to public that has lights at night.
    There is a lot of space. Other kids were there an we formed a pickup game with them and that was refreshing. I plan to go back often. I think pickup games are very beneficial; more than regular games actually. In regular games the parents are far too invested, screaming and worrying about the score and the standings. You don't have to worry about that in pickup games. All the kids play and no ones on the bench. Its great.
     
    bigredfutbol and CornfieldSoccer repped this.
  5. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    The addition of lights on the local park district fields was big when my son was still doing local club soccer was a huge plus for club and rec soccer (the club helped finance them).

    Unfortunately, the biggest park district where we live and the local school districts don't give kids any kind of unorganized access to their fields, whether grass or turf. I get the rationale (preventing damage, extending the life of artificial turf where it exists, liability, ...), but it's aggravating.
     
    bigredfutbol, Fuegofan and NewDadaCoach repped this.
  6. jmnva

    jmnva Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Arlington, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Thought about some of you when I heard this story over the weekend. Parent emails rec league "I want to move my child from coach X's team to Coach Y's because they win more games." Coach Y replies "Parent is nuts, its not about winning, its about development and Coach X is a MUCH better coach than me."
     
    saltysoccer, Fuegofan, CoachP365 and 3 others repped this.
  7. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    yikes
     
  8. Hefty CB

    Hefty CB Member

    Liverpool FC
    United States
    Jun 24, 2022
    Boston-ish
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Do I dare ask what age group this was for? I’m guessing it’s probably a U10 or lower?
     
  9. jmnva

    jmnva Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Arlington, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    U11
     
    Hefty CB repped this.
  10. BirdLiker

    BirdLiker New Member

    Fulham
    United States
    Apr 23, 2024
    Hi,

    I'm a new coach and need some advice. My kid is 5 and this is his first season of U6. I love the game, but became a fan of it as an adult. I'd prefer that he be coached by someone who knows what they are doing. The local rec league is constantly pleading for coaches so I volunteered. The games are on a different field than the ones my son used in the past and it's extremely poor. The ball hardly rolls. Grass is far too tall and there are clumps of different weeds all over the place. As poor as our surface was, other teams areas seemed even worse: same tall grass, but maybe 10'x10' "field" on the downslope behind a baseball field. As much as possible I've tried to get my kid to use small touches and keep the ball close. I worry that playing on this very poor surface will ruin the good (for a little guy) dribbling that he's developed. Am I being unreasonable?
    The league is incredibly disorganized. I have twelve players assigned to my team. I showed up to the practice 30 minutes early and had a bag of ten flat balls and three pennies set out for me. Our field was supposed to have been set up by the earlier group, but it wasn't. My co-coach had apparently done no preparation; hadn't read the material the league sent out; hadn't attended any of the training. I'm reticent to show up and start ordering another adult around. I tried suggesting things for him. I left him to assign players to teams for the scrimmage portion of our practice while I ran to the restroom for a minute. I came back and the teams were the five girls vs the four boys. A few of the parents were loudly complaining. He'd evidently let kids pick their own teams to some extent. During the game, which the co-coach stood on the sideline taking a phone call during, players on the "pennies" team would periodically run up to me and hand me their penny saying "I want to switch teams". It was pretty much chaos. I'm kind of at a loss about how to handle this going forward. I had difficulty conducting the game and wasn't able to follow my son to the extent that I wanted to. There was a lot of wild kicking at the ball and my son was kicked pretty hard in the knee once. A couple of the kids just wanted to chat. I don't know how to deal with this without being rude.
    I've been given a number of conflicting directives from the "directors" of the league. For example, they stressed on multiple occasions that they don't want any "lines, lectures, or laps". The first practice plan included two activities that involved lining the kids up. They say not to give instructions during a game. They want kids to think for themselves and learn through playing. The only interaction I had with anyone from the league aside from my co-coach was one of the directors harshly telling me that "There are no goalkeepers for U6". I told him "I've not assigned anyone to goalkeep". He responded "They're not getting any touches on the ball. Tell them to move away from the goal". For some reason U6 is given these tiny pop up goals that a single 5 or 6 year old can pretty much cover the entire width of. The U5 team my kid played on previously from this same league used significantly larger goals. I don't get it. At the same time, I don't know what is realistic to expect from little kids in a rec league. Recognizing to get behind the ball when defending seemed like at least a decent start. There is more, but I'm going to end this book here. Tried to post a thread, but I'm not allowed for some reason. Any advice is welcome. I'll take whatever you've got. Roast me, anything. I've got no where else to turn.
     
  11. Fuegofan

    Fuegofan Member+

    Feb 17, 2001
    Chicago
    Take a breath. It's U6 soccer. Remember that most of the kids are there because their parents suggested it. Everyone just wants to have fun, and if they learn how to play a little soccer in the process, so much the better. I recommend reading "Single-Digit Soccer" by Beau Dure to get some perspective. At that age I remember my son's coach doing a lot of silly games that developed skills (e.g., everyone had a ball at their feet, and he would stroll around the field while they dribbled within a 15' x 15' square and they had to make sure they didn't run into each other, but they also had to try to hit him with the ball and he would make a scene "Ow ow ow!" when they succeeded in hitting him with the ball. They loved it.). Yep, there was a lot of magnet ball, but there were others who would just dribble the field and score. They all had fun.
     
    bigredfutbol and BirdLiker repped this.
  12. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member+

    Feb 27, 2017
    There's a lot to unpack there. A couple of things that jumped out at me...
    * Can you volunteer to mow the fields once a week? Or, find out who is supposed to be doing it and find why they're not. If they are, but aren't mowing it short enough, volunteer to do it yourself. Get a little push mower, go out 1-2 evenings a week and mow.
    * I know it's tough, but you shouldn't be focused on your son. If you're going to coach the team, you're the coach, not his dad.
    * See if your co-coach will meet you for coffee or drinks one night and discuss how you want to split up duties. It's very possible he's never coached before, so has no ideas how to set up teams.
    * Instead of doing two teams, give everyone a number 1-4. In the first game (like 10 minutes) 1&2 v 3&4. Second game, 1&3 v 2&4, Third game 1&4 v 2&3.
    * If it's really an issue with kids "camped out" in front of goals, get some short cones and mark out an area "you can run through this area, but you can never stop".
    * Look up (online, in books, wherever) soccer drills/games for kids.
    * As far as "no instruction during games", I would ask for clarification and make sure that extends to the U6. I think when my kids were that age, the coaches were literally on the field and instructing/reffing.
     
    bigredfutbol and BirdLiker repped this.
  13. BirdLiker

    BirdLiker New Member

    Fulham
    United States
    Apr 23, 2024
    I get that. I just don't want to be a reason someone decides not to play, or screw up their development. I am a little bothered after doing a quick calculation based on the fee they charge to play and the number of players they had sign up for the league that they couldn't do better than that for a playing surface. Appreciate the book rec. I'll check it out. I'll ask them about mowing my little patch of the field at the very least. My son got to work with someone who seemed like a very good coach before and his main emphasis was "Don't kick and chase". Kick and chase is about all you can do when the ball won't roll.
     
  14. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    The fact that you're even concerned about this probably means you won't be the coach who turns a kid off on the sport.

    At that age--and for a few more years, IMHO--the single most important thing is to make it fun. They will be much more likely to stick with the sport later when it gets a bit harder if they had a great time playing it when they were little.
     
    Fuegofan, sam_gordon and Hefty CB repped this.
  15. Hefty CB

    Hefty CB Member

    Liverpool FC
    United States
    Jun 24, 2022
    Boston-ish
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Exactly this. “I’m playing with my friends” is the USSF description of this level. Keep it fun and they will keep coming back.
     
    CoachP365, Fuegofan and bigredfutbol repped this.
  16. jmnva

    jmnva Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Arlington, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    U6 should all be games with the ball at their feet and no lines.
    re: camping out. This is takes active coaching to encourage the player to move up.
    re: crappy fields-- TBH this is part of U6 soccer, we always got the worst fields.
    re: co-coaching. TBH-- in U6 you should both be on the field running around the entire time (I typically got 3-4K of steps a practice
    re: in game coaching. We did serve as "game managers" but you can do it without joysticking the players.

    Feel free to DM with more questions. I love this age group
     
    CoachP365, Fuegofan, BirdLiker and 3 others repped this.
  17. CoachP365

    CoachP365 Member+

    Money Grab FC
    Apr 26, 2012
    You fell for that too? Welcome to the club...

    If the kid can develop good close control/ability to run with the ball on a poor field, it will help them when they finally do get to the good fields. Whereas the kids who learn on turf struggle when they go to play on grass fields, especially lower quality ones.

    Fantastic, if everyone shows you run side by side 3v3 games for scrimmage. Get creative without the pinnies, Gen-X grew up playing huge 20v20 american football games in street clothes and never lost track of who was on what team. Play light vs dar, reds vs blues, if they go to different schools, school x vs school y. I used to split public vs private school, etc.

    Seems like if you show up organized with ideas, at worst he'll go along and be checked-out. Also, ou're the coach, email the parents with a "hi, i'm the coach. here's what we're trying to do. Here's how you can help me do it"
    They're 6. Actually they're probably 5 if it's u6. The goals seems to be to have the talkers still be friends by the end of the season and maybe be participating in activities, vs just talking at the first practice.

    So, 12 kids standing in a line, dribbling up to a spot and kicking the ball at the goal is the "bad" kind of line. 4 groups of 3 doing something where the line is 1 or 2 deep is an ok line.

    So, there's a book called Inverting the Pyramid. It covers the history of soccer, from when it was rich well fed english aristocrats who would take turns dribbling head down in a 2-3-5 system, to when the scottish invented passing, up through that barca/spain 2010 era. It's entirely possible that if we let the kids figure it out for themselves in 120 years those kids will also play beautiful soccer from a 4-3-3 with the deep mid dropping between the centerbacks to make more of a 3-4-3 when in attack...

    Aint nobody got time for that. You can have like 3 simple "principles" that you teach them. Seems like your son already learned one - don't boot it. If it's just back and forth bootball, maybe you teach them that if you say "simple" or "settle" they dribble or pass instead of just kick.

    Another one might be "we always want to be in a triangle shape with the point at the ball" (I'm assuming games are 3v3 or 4v4 to the small pugg goals). And you tell them, if I say "shape", look at your teammates and get back into a triangle.

    So now, when the other parent coaches are yelling "run, send it, not in the middle, " you're calmly watching and every once in a while saying one or two words.

    Maybe the last one, to help with the natural goalkeepers, is "we all need to be in the half of the field that the ball is in." Play your 3v3 games and give bonus points, like never disallow a goa. but if everyone is in the attacking half, make it worth 2. Or make it worth however many people ar ein the attacking half. You see what I'm saying?

    If you really want out, the next time the director says "tell them to move away from the goal" you cuold say "but director, I can't give instructions during the game".

    "Just let them play and figure it out. No, not like that."

    Youre going to have kids who prefer staying back and protecting the goal. usually they aren't as "good" (actually good with the ball, or fast, or strong, or coordinated). Give them lots of chances to get comfortable with the ball, do activities with lots of goal scoring, recognize when they display their more attacking sides.
     
    bigredfutbol repped this.
  18. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    Hello, can I ask for your input. Should we try out at a 2nd club? (well its this week, so kinda late to ask but anywho...)

    First - they have tryouts of 4 days in a row (Mon-Thurs), which I'm not saying is a big deal per se... BUT... none of the other peer clubs have 4 days. One club has 2 days (Mon/Tue) and the rest have 3 days (Mon-Wed). And all of these clubs have (had) the tryouts on the same days / times.

    There is one other club that has tryouts Mon, Tues and Thurs (today) and I'm wondering if we should go there just for good measure.

    One big concern is - how will the coach feel about my kid playing baseball at the same time as soccer? Some clubs are cool with it and even tout it as a reason kids should join their club. They recommend kids play multiple sports and are flexible. Our club - it seems to depend on the coach, but I can feel things getting more serious now even though its only U11.

    I also want to be getting fair value for my money. If club A charges 40% more than club B but your kid will develop the same at both, should you go to club B? (assuming all else equal like driving distance, etc).
     
  19. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member+

    Feb 27, 2017
    I see nothing wrong with trying out at multiple clubs.

    BUT, ask yourself WHY you want to go to another club. Are you not happy with the coaches, the environment, the cost, the travel, the facilities, or what at your current club? If you "just want to see what's available", a tryout isn't really going to tell you.

    As far as the "two sport" thing, yes, that's going to be up to the coach. A club may "allow" it, but that doesn't necessarily mean a coach is as agreeable. He may even allow it, but still hold it against the player (primarily in playing time). Why should someone who misses practices for a second sport get more playing time than someone who's at every practice? Hard to argue with that logic.

    Regarding the cost thing, sure, I'd save 40% if everything else is equal. I don't think you can now how much your child will develop at a certain club though. The coach has a LOT to do with a child's development. I've seen players excel under one coach and just be "meh" under another.

    Chasing the "perfect" club is a fools game in my opinion.
     
  20. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    Thanks for the reply.
    Ikd... it may be just me being nit picky.
    One thing is... the offer email did not come until the 4th day. And that had me thinking if you don't want my player just say so, but don't drag it out. The past years my kid got an offer on the 1st day. And my kid has been at this club for 5 years so they know him.
    But it kind of irk'd me... partly because I think its wrong to keep a kid coming to the tryout if you don't want him because then he's missing tryouts at the other club because they fall on the same time. So some kids who put their eggs in one basket might be left dry in the fall.

    New coaches this year, and they were going through a lot of kids so it seems they were just busy.
    I guess, with the increase in fees (due to going up to a bigger field), I just expected better communication.

    Before I got the offer (but on same day) I registered late at the other club, even though their tryouts had ended. The head coach there texted me a few minutes later. I call him and he said to bring my kid over anytime (as he already knows my kid from playing against him) and he wouldn't even have to try out because he knows his qualities already.
    I guess, you've been somewhere for so long, you don't want to feel disrespected esp with the money you're paying.
     
  21. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member+

    Feb 27, 2017
    But, a different coach may have a different policy. Maybe this coach waits until he's seen all of tryouts and then sends offer letters out in a bunch. And while the "club" might know him, does the coach for his age group?

    One thing to find out ahead of time is if attendance at every night of try out is mandatory. Or reach out to other clubs/coaches ahead of time and see if he can jump into a practice or two.

    Tryouts really suck for a number of reasons. In my ideal world, some 3rd party would come in and assign tryout times for all clubs and age group, spread over two weeks. For this year, let's say May 13 - May 24. No team could post or otherwise notify prospective team members until 12:01A on May 25. Parents and players than have a week to "sign".

    I've seen situations where the tryout for club A is Monday and Tuesday, and the tryout for Club B is Thursday and Friday (example). Club B being the "desired" club, and club A being the "backup". BUT, Club A announces their teams on Wednesday, and players have 24 hours to commit. And by commit, I'm talking putting down a couple hundred dollars (that goes to team fees of course).
     
    bigredfutbol and NewDadaCoach repped this.
  22. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    Ques, as we embark on the new season with new coaches (but at the same club), do you think there is any value in sharing the goal scoring stats from the past 3 season? Will they like to see this info or they don't care and will not find value in it in assessing talent and they just want to take a completely fresh look?
    (these coaches are slightly familiar with this new group of kids, being at the same club, but haven't seen them play much)
     
  23. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member+

    Feb 27, 2017
    If they want it, they'll ask the other coaches for it. Stats really don't mean much at the age your son is.
     
    Fuegofan and tobu repped this.
  24. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't think there's any value in it at all.
     
  25. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    @sam_gordon @bigredfutbol
    even if he was the top scorer by 10 goals over the next highest scorer?
    this would not provide any insight? hard to believe.

    there's only so much you can gleen if you are assessing kids over a short period of time (eg tryouts). i personally would like to know some of the history of each player. that is a lot of information so i make the best decision.
    A kid can not show well because he is having a bad hair day. And another kid can have a good day. That doesn't exactly tell you the facts.
     
    bigredfutbol repped this.

Share This Page