American High School Coaches And American Soccer

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by osage, Jul 6, 2005.

  1. osage

    osage New Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    We have a wealth of talented American players, but too many American coaches lack the ability to "recognize" soccer talent, the knowledge to "develop" soccer talent and the personal integrity to select players based on their soccer playing abilities alone. The ignorance and self-serving politics of high school soccer coaches is seriously undermining the development of America's soccer youth. I have no idea how or why American high school coaches select one player over another. It's hard for me to understand how so many hockey and football players find themselves wearing soccer uniforms on high school soccer fields. The only thing I know for certain is that the player selections of American high school coaches have nothing whatsover to do with soccer skill, soccer intelligence or an individuals abilitly to play soccer. While the following is an extreme example of what I mean, it is nonetheless true. I personally know an American high school soccer coach who cut a deal with a club coach to select his club's players no matter how much more capable and deserving players from other clubs might be. In return, the club coach selects the high school coach's players no matter how much more capable and deserving players from other high schools are. As a result, more capable and deserving players are deliberately being left on the bench or off the roster. Not because they are inferior soccer players, but because they don't play on the RIGHT club or RIGHT high school team. Player selections aren't based on player performance. They're pre-determined by an agreement between two unscrupulous American soccer coaches. Before anyone accuses me of sour grapes or having a personal axe to grind, I'm not a parent or ex-employee. I know coaches and players and parents on both the club and high school teams I'm referencing.

    I'd like to hear about the experiences others have had with American high school soccer coaches, both positive and negative. I believe the worst thing about American soccer is American coaches. The second worst thing is American referees. What do you think?
  2. beautifulgame11

    beautifulgame11 New Member

    May 16, 2005
    That is a gross overexageration....not ALL coaches are like the one you describe, some are quality coaches who develop teams and players quite nicely...

    However, situations like the one u described are insane! The high school coach should not be employed if he continues such partnerships...thats pathetic.
  3. pokerjoe

    pokerjoe BigSoccer Yellow Card

    Mar 24, 2001
    Deals like that are everywhere in SoCal. Most HS coaches ARE club coaches, and straight out give preference to their club's players. Fortunately, HS soccer is irrelevant to college scholarships, where it's all in the club show.
  4. osage

    osage New Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    Does anyone know if an Illinois high school soccer coach is allowed to also be a club coach?
  5. Gary V

    Gary V Member+

    Feb 4, 2003
    SE Mich.
    M(ichigan)HSAA allows coaches to have both club and school teams. However, only a limited number of their school players can be on their club team - I don't recall the exact number, something like 3 or 5. That's because MSHAA has a set season for practices (for all sports, not just soccer), and if too many of the HS team get together on the club, it's considered an out-of-season practice session. The coach/school is then sanctioned.
  6. spartanpele

    spartanpele New Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    Hey, osage: Speaking as a HS coach, your assumptions that everyone is unable to recognize talent and develop talent, blah, blah, blah.. is idiotic. And there may be cases in certain states, cities, villages, etc, that have bad coaches and bad scenarios happen, but to lump all us HS coaches together like that makes you sound like a fool!

    Before you start whining about all the HS coaches, perhaps you should spend a day in the life of a HS coach.

    Deal with the players, who first of all must be selected from your school district, which is different then clubside where you can draw from all over. Plus deal with the parents who expect their star child to not only start but get heavy playing time to impress the college scouts. Add in the administration who is on you about not only maintaining kids grades, but also avoiding code violations of drugs, alcohol, vandalism, etc. You can also add in the fun of dealing with budget cuts to athletics due to tax imposed state mandates, the never ending meetings with conf officials, referees, state officials, parents booster groups, etc, etc.

    By the time you're done with all that crud, you can then go onto worrying about putting together a quality team that enforces sporstmanship while trying to win enough games to guarantee your job for the next season. Given that not all kids who play HS soccer have played before, you have your work cut out for you as you start to teach advanced technical and tactical aspects.

    And somewhere along the line you have to balance out the good of the team vs the good of the player when it comes to playing time to not only win games, but keep your players happy...and their parents too.

    Oh and I almost forgot, in quite a few districts the games are played on small HS football fields, which are not meant for soccer games. Lots of bumps, divots and scheduling headaches because you compete with the football program when it comes to retaining players.

    So, please...give us HS coaches a break. Some us give countless hours and sweat to try and help the HS players out.

    Sorry, I'll come down off my soapbox now...
  7. osage

    osage New Member

    Mar 20, 2005
    I don't believe I said EVERYONE. I believe I said TOO MANY, which I stand by. Someone entrusted with coaching soccer should at least apply him/herself to learn and understand the game BEFORE he/she starts coaching it. Sounds to me that your being a high school SOCCER coach is an unpleasant experience for you. If it's not, why are YOU doing so much whinning? Coaches of other high school sports have the same problems you described, but most of them are competent in their sport. However, TOO MANY high school soccer coaches are not. Why is it acceptable for a high school SOCCER coach to be OBVIOUSLY less than competent when it's not acceptable for coaches of other high school sports to be anything but competent? That's my point. People not competent in soccer shouldn't be coaching high school soccer players. If you are a competent soccer coach, I wasn't talking about you. Based on how much you protested how difficult being a high school soccer coach was, I'd have to take a wild guess and say you might be in over your head. On the otherhand, if you do indeed give countless hours and sweat to try and help high school players out, I hope you are successful at doing so. I also hope that you actually know what you're doing. If you don't, your time and sweat are irrelevant. I once asked a high school soccer coach to name the eleven player positions on the pitch. Guess how many he couldn't properly name.
  8. CCTX SoccerFreak

    CCTX SoccerFreak New Member

    Jan 5, 2005
    Corpus Christi,TX
    TOO OFTEN....this does happen and is in existence whether some would like to admit it or believe it. If it's not happening in your're fortunate to say the least.

    In Texas, UIL rules state that a High School Coach cannot train/coach his/her team outside of normal school day hours as a team. In addition, a coach cannot train/coach players that are from 7th grade on up whom are in their school's attendance zone.

    Most HS coaches in Texas will coach HS soccer and then train/coach U11 and U12 teams to avoid this rule and steer clear from violations. It's the safest route. Unfortunately, there are sometimes agreements between clubs and schools...usually with an exchange of a nice donation to the team's funds for travel/uniforms/general expenses.

    One thing that you're missing in addition to the horrible referees, sometimes corrupt coaching/organizations is also the parents fault in a lot of this also.....SOMETIMES mind you...

    A lot of the times these same club's or reps of the clubs are also parents of a player who is underskilled or what not and is trying to pave the way for their don't forget another ingredient in this....

    Good luck...
  9. soccerdude_200

    soccerdude_200 New Member

    Jul 3, 2005
    yes ur right my high school coach is the coach for summer clubs and he always takes his roster from those who play for his club in the summer.
  10. joxash

    joxash New Member

    Apr 29, 2005
    I have got to disagree in large measure with Osage. I'm in Texas, and as has been pointed out already some of the more egregious conflicts of interest have been weeded out. But I will say that I have more respect for my kid's high school coach than almost any select club coach I have dealt with. He takes kids from widely varying backgrounds and skill levels and melds a team that has been to the state playoffs 21 out of 22 years.

    If anything, it has been the so-called professional coaches I have run into that have left a distaste in my mouth. Three times when my son's team was just beginning to come together and play competitively one of the "elite" teams has come in and made the coach and his son an offer they could not refuse. That in itself would not be so bad but the way it was done stunk. Any idea how a team feels when they show up for the first day of practice and find out the coach has left and has taken three of the best players off the team with him? That little move killed an age group in my community. How about ODP tryouts and after you are selected you find out the practices will be 150 miles away three nights a week during school? Open select tryouts and then you find out all but one place on the team has already been given out.

    I am ranting too long but you hit a nerve with me. If you want to see what is holding back the development of American youth soccer, don't look at the high schools. Takea good long look at the cronyism that goes on in the club organization.
  11. ButlerBob

    ButlerBob Moderator
    Staff Member

    Nov 13, 2001
    Evanston, IL
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think your making a lot of broad generalization with your comments. Are all of the HS coaches in this country great, no, are they as bad as you generalize, no. Also, what is the purpose of high school soccer and sports in general in this country. That to a certain extent is going to vary from not only school district to district but also state to state. But I think your going to be hard pressed to find a HS AD who views the goal of soccer at their school to improve the overall level of the game in this country. Also, by and far HS coaches in this country are also teachers in that school district. For the most part schools are going to first go with people that are already teachers before going out to find coaches.
  12. spartanpele

    spartanpele New Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    Osage... I'm not whining about coaching at the HS level...I'm whining about people like you who don't give the HS coaches enough credit. In over my head...hehe...not hardly. I've passed on college opportunites because I enjoy the developmental stage of HS soccer.

    I played when I was young, played through HS and college, and got into coaching when my kids were small frys. I coached through the club ranks from the small K-1s up through the premier U18s and every stage in between. My kids are off at college, and I still coach because of my love of the game and wanting to teach the kids. btw: I'm not a teacher by trade either.

    IMHO, theres too many people who complain about the problems we have in society, yet do nothing about it. There are lots of people who can see the different things that are wrong, but stay silent. If you know of problems in your HS setting, then I would ask you to get involved. If you know the game, if you can coach the game, then please, become a HS coach and help clean up some of that crud that you mentioned. Believe me the reward is not in the pay, its in knowing that you're making a difference.

    Sorry, didn't mean for this to sound like a United Way commercial! LOL!

    If you see corrupt things going on, report them. If you want to make a difference, jump into the fire and coach.
  13. fashion

    fashion New Member

    Apr 12, 2005
    They must allow it St. Viator has Rory Dames of the Eclipse and I believe his team won the Class A championship.
  14. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    20 years ago when high school soccer started in Iowa, there weren't many teachers/coaches that had played much soccer and had coaching certificates - necessary to coach in Iowa.

    Our local high school, Urbandale, has four former players who are now competing high school head coaches. It takes time to generate coaches who love and know soccer. We're getting closer every year. As well as teachers, central Iowa has numerous club and college coaches who have gotten certificates to coach high school. (Or high school coaches who have been promoted to college coaches.) Club soccer disappears for high school kids in the spring and high school soccer not only gets the players, coaches, and referees, but it gets newspaper and TV coverage. The media covers the regular season and the state playoffs.
  15. RegionIIFutbolr

    Jul 4, 2005
    Region 2
    Club soccer disappears for high school kids in the spring and high school soccer not only gets the players, coaches, and referees, but it gets newspaper and TV coverage. The media covers the regular season and the state playoffs.[/QUOTE]Oh Boy, here we go. I beg to differ Jay-Hawk, but Club soccer does NOT disappear. It does not go away for the dedicated player, the player that declines to play HS. Its funny that most of ASC's U18 girls did not play HS till they were Sr's in high school. Guess what, MN, FL, IA are just some of the D-1 schools these DEDICATED girls are going to play for. It was a JOKE watching the Iowa High School All Stars play in Waukee a few weeks back. The 2 best players were the 2 who never played HS till there SR yr after they knew where they were going to school to play. I do not see many if any D1 schools coming out to watch Fort Dodge take on SEP. I was sad to watch girls just wack it out of bounds etc etc. Iowa HS hurts club, but HS also hurts the players as well. Its funny, all these HS age kids who won state cup this past fall, guess what, the all went 0-notthing at Regionals a few weeks ago. They should of been playing Club prepping for Regionals if you ask me. And oh yea, one more thing, injuries. 1/2 these HS players (speaking of girls only) do not know the proper way of defending, Lets just go up and wack the kid with the ball. How many knees got blown out prior to regionals. Just ask WDM U16's. They went up there with only 1 sub due to HS injuries. So yea, I guess you can say the HS players get the papers. But the club players get the D1, D2, NAIA contracts. Sad but true....Futbolr
  16. MenaceFanatic

    MenaceFanatic New Member

    Oct 5, 2004
    I agree with you wholeheartedly, and am really quite unsure what to do when my daughter gets to HS age. However, if none of the quality players plays for their high school then it seems to me that the popularity of the sport doesn't grow. For those of us with kids serious about soccer it is almost like club soccer is a secret world. People from the communities don't really travel to see the club teams play in tournaments and such. But, they do go out and support thier community by watching the HS teams. That in turn may get them hooked on the "soccer heroin" and that is how you get more kids involved. Sure, it is better for your kid and my kid to not risk anything and never play HS--but how can we expect to take the game to the next level without community support? I live in a small town without a HS soccer program, the community hates what they call "Communist ball". Exposure is the only way to get into thier small minds. How do we do that?
  17. saabrian

    saabrian Member

    Mar 25, 2002
    Upstate NY
    Leicester City FC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Can you be a little more broad in your generalizations? There's probably a group or two you didn't offend.

    Do those things happen in HS soccer? Yes. Are there HS coaches like that? Sure. Does politics play a role in some clubs too? Of course.

    Some HS coaches who don't know much about soccer coach because it's a nice bump to the paycheck. But some club coaches who don't know much about soccer coach simply because their son or daughter is playing.

    But guess what: a lot coach because they know the game and love the game and like working with the kids.

    Here in upstate NY, club soccer generally disappears in the fall because that's when the HS season is. A great many HS (and middle school) coaches in this area are also club coaches. They do so for the same reason players play club soccer: they love the game and want to get better at what they do.

    I don't think there's any question that the level of coaching in this country is improving. Is it improving as fast as we might like? Perhaps not. Is it skyrocketing uniformly? No. But you're starting to see the result of the 70s and 80s soccer boom: the wave of kids who started playing the game then are now becoming coaches. Instead of having well-intentioned but not very soccer knowledgable dads tell kids to kick the ball really far, you've getting coaches who've played the game and actually know things like technique, strategy and, just as importantly, the little subtleties that only the game itself can teach.
  18. RegionIIFutbolr

    Jul 4, 2005
    Region 2
    Good Question, before we moved, we too lived in a smaller town. And everyone then was telling us how crazy we were when we were doing all the camps, playing for the select teams etc, but now they are all doing the same after yrs of doing just the rec thing (Which is fine). At least they are doing futbol. Im just saying HS in IA will not prep the SERIOUS player, and help them advance is all. Im not knocking HS. Just dont treat HS like its the training grounds for World Cup....Futbolr
  19. spartanpele

    spartanpele New Member

    Feb 17, 2005
    I don't think anyone confuses HS soccer with high quality premier or ODP soccer. My son used to consider his HS season the offseason for his club team because the talent level was lower. However, he also said he enjoyed the HS season as well because it gave him a chance to play with his HS friends vs simply playing with his competitive team.

    Don't get me wrong, HS is still competitive, I just think it ends up being more physical then skillful. Since I've played both HS/college, and played clubside as well, plus coached HS and club, I've seen all sides of the situation. There are benefits to playing both, provided the politics are removed and the kids can truly work on (3) things: development, competition, and most important...enjoyment.

    Here in Wisconsin the HS aged players typically play fall HS and spring club for the boys; and the girls are the opposite with fall club and spring HS. The very serious players play both seasons. The HS coaches typically coach just HS (boys-fall, girls-spring), however, some coaches will stick with just a sex and coach HS boys-fall, club boys-fall. But...and its a big but, the HS coaches can't coach their same HS kids in the offseason or it would be a major state HS violation...with penalties to the schools, coaches, and players. So those coaches coach a different age level or in a different community different from their HS players.
  20. Law5

    Law5 Member+

    Mar 24, 2005
    Beaverton OR
    I don't mean to sound like one of those "I've seen it all" guys, but I'm recognizing a lot of what I'm reading on this subject. In Oregon, high school coaches range all over the lot. In public schools, the union contract says that members of the bargaining unit get first crack at coaching assignments, whether they know anything about the sport or not. Two years ago, the largest high school in the state had the campus security guard coaching the girls varsity. Some private schools have very high power coaches. One went directly from high school to a Pac 10 college head coach. Small schools frankly struggle to find anyone from their staff or outside to coach who knows whether the ball is pumped or stuffed and at the subvarsity level, forget it.
    A very small number of high school players will go on to play in college. A few years ago, I read a survey that asked high school graduates who had played as a senior in high school whether they were playing for their college team. Of those responding, about 1% of the girls and 0.5% of the boys were playing in college. If that's the way a player wants to go, however, club soccer is the only way they're going to get there, whether they are scouted or they self-recruit themselves.
    Some club coaches here also coach high school. The high end competitive clubs pay their coaches more than the high schools pay, even for the U-11 to 14 age groups during the fall. When high school coaches also coach club soccer during the rest of the year, they may switch genders (of the players they coach, not their own!) or work across town to avoid the state high school associations rules about coaching more than two of their school's players out of (high school) season. A few years ago, we had a club coach who was forced to resign as a high school coach because he had coached too many of his school's players during the club season. The school then brought in the mother of one of the boys on the team to be the nominal coach, with mr. club coach as unofficial, unpaid adviser. They won the state championship, mom retired after the season with an undefeated record and the son is now playing in MLS.
  21. justakid

    justakid Member

    Jun 20, 2005
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I would like to see more club coaches coach h.s. soccer. It would be better for the game overall. Most school Districts in Illinois are required to "1st" offer the job to a teacher. If the teacher accepts it thats it experience required. The club coach is out. When the job is offered..or posted the unions say that teachers have to get the 1st shot at the job.As a result you end up with some English teacher who needs the extra money coaching a sport he never played. If hes lucky he'll end up with some club players that know what they are doing and save his butt.
    It can also lead to some cheating on the other side. A club coach may end up coaching his players at club and high school. A good high school coach will work with the local clubs, camps, etc. I think its important to experience both high school and club soccer.
  22. IASocFan

    IASocFan Moderator
    Staff Member

    Aug 13, 2000
    Sporting Kansas City
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I don't know what high school district you live in or how old your daughter is, but more and more schools are adding soccer since the first high schools started in 1985. If the local high school doesn't offer soccer when your daughter gets there, check with the AD about what is required to join other schools' programs. I know that many smaller and larger schools share teams in sports where participation is low. I assume your daughter is playing club soccer with girls from bigger schools with established soccer programs. Schools are usually willing or eager to accomodate home schoolers or players from schools without teams - particularly when they have something to contribute.

    School soccer is a lot of fun for the players - more recognition and usually a competive environment. There are outstanding players in locations like Centerville and Albia that have gotten recognition and scholarships while playing with their local teams. Heck, players from Waukee get drafted by MLS and getting real playing time! (Congrats to Matt Nickel!)

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