Curious About Your Thoughts and Opinions on Article

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by MonagHusker, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. notebook

    notebook Member

    Jun 25, 2002
    Really well stated - agree with just about everything you say here. Only one disagreement, I think the national organization, US Soccer, is a leading source of several of the attitudes and problems you cite.
     
  2. Terrier1966

    Terrier1966 Member

    Nov 19, 2016
    Club:
    Aston Villa FC
    I understand, but I don't see it. The money isn't for trophies etc. The money is to have good coaches, have good fields etc. At the younger ages the fees are much lower, travel is less etc. and they still have assistance from the clubs etc.

    For p2p to be significantly hurting us in the development situation there would have to be a lot of players who would have had a higher top-end but dropped out because of cost while those who stayed end up not reaching the same level of performance.

    The overall volume of soccer players may be impacted by lower costs but I don't think the tradeoff of more players playing at U16 but lesser coaching etc. up to that point is the tradeoff that soccer should make.
     
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  3. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    Can you give an example of "p2p is marketed to parents who will be more impressed by results"? Again, soccer costs money (detailed earlier in the thread). Better coaches = more money
    Better fields = more money
    Better tournaments/leagues = more money

    So if you do away with p2p, where does the money come from?

    Are there clubs that say "play with us and we'll get you wins/trophies/whatever"? Of course. But that doesn't have much to to p2p. Find ONE organized team sport that ISN'T p2p.
     
  4. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Yes, other organized team sports have elements of p2p, but I would argue not to the extent and exclusion that soccer does.

    Other organized team sports, or at least the ones I think soccer would like replicate in term of popularity, all run through High School in a meaningful way, which, while not always factually true, is regarded as free to play…the great equalizer where talent is the only thing that matters, not the size of your parents checking account…

    In soccer, the only path to college and beyond is the p2p club system, period, full stop…that is very different from other more mainstream organized team sports in this country…

    While p2p exists in other sports, its more as a way to gain an advantage, get a leg up; in soccer it’s the whole enchilada…

    I don’t have any better answers than anyone else, but I do think we need to at least acknowledge that the way soccer does p2p is vastly different then the way many other organized team sports do it…

    I would tend to agree that p2p in soccer is just the symptom, and not the disease…the disease, imho, is a lack of any real grassroots mainstream popularity for soccer, as compared to other sports that actually have it…those other sports, at the youth and community level, don’t look to some national organization on how to do shit, they just go out and do the shit that needs to get done…quite successfully overall, I might add…but I also understand we are a long way from that….
     
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  5. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, I do respect your experience. And I recognize that my own experience is somewhat limited--I was a travel team parent/volunteer for 12 years and did some reading and whatnot, but I don't presume to have either broad experience or an insider perspective.

    That's a fair point, but I'm more concerned with the win-trophies mentality at a young age.

    It's likely true that few if any elite players will get weeded out, but I still think we haven't grappled with the realities of a system which is driven largely by catering to parents COUPLED WITH a development model which focuses on too many games too early.

    Have you talked with parents? How many of them are patiently awaiting long-term results? How many of them are sitting on the sidelines of a U-11 tournament calmly discussing the progress the players are making in developing better passing or useful possession while losing the game 4-0 to a team of athletes playing one long ball after another and muscling defenders out of the way?

    I'm not advocating for getting rid of it as I recognize that the money isn't currently coming from somewhere else. I am saying that, as a parent, I've seen the negative side of youth sports in general and soccer in particular, and I think we often fail to see the forest for the trees.

    And again, I'm discussing problems which I think need to be addressed. I never advocated burning it all down.
     
  6. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Agree with your whole post, particularly this part.
     
  7. lncolnpk

    lncolnpk Member+

    Mar 5, 2012
    Club:
    Chicago Fire
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    That describes last fall between me and wife. My wife discussing it calmly while I fume at long balls to the opponents fast Forward straddling the midfield stripe
     
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  8. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    I disagree. Now, granted, I haven't had a child go through a recruiting season yet, so maybe I'm off base. But let's look at the "mainstream" team sports...
    Football (American style)
    Yes, Ok, I think the HS experience is the path to college. I'm not sure if there even are many "club" football programs once you get to middle school age.

    Basketball
    If someone only plays school ball, they are NOT getting an athletic scholarship in college (my opinion). The more talented kids are playing AAU (or some kind of travel). It might not be a "club", but I know they're traveling with organizations out side of school.

    Baseball/Softball
    Same with basketball. There are travel teams all over the place. If you're not playing travel, you're going to find a tough road to college.

    I don't think it's much different in basketball & baseball/softball.

    I'll bite. HOW is it different? I get soccer "clubs" would have different age groups all associated under the club banner vs. the individual teams seen in other sports, but other than that, what's the big differences you see?

    I think soccer is, albeit slowly, growing it's audience base. When I was growing up there were no soccer teams, club or school. Everyone played baseball, football, or basketball. Obviously if a parent was good at a sport and enjoyed playing it, they're probably going to pass that interest in a sport to their kids.

    I don't see a problem with a national organization in any sport to keep everything the same. My DD played travel softball in middle school. There was no national organization (except those that did the "rules", and there were multiple rules sets). Anyone could host a tournament and call it a "World Series" or "National Championship". For the most part, any team can sign up for those tournaments.

    What I don't like is MULTIPLE national organizations (which we have in soccer). But again, that's not related to P2P.

    And again I ask, if you think P2P is a problem, how do you fix it?
     
  9. MonagHusker

    MonagHusker Member

    Liverpool FC
    United States
    Feb 25, 2016
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I do not know enough to know what I should be expecting to see, though it isn't a patient, ball control game often. I do know we ooh and ahhh when a GK drop kicks it really far, though I can't recall any that ended up with us being in possession of the ball.
     
  10. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    um, yes. My kids teams have been on the receiving end of drubbings plenty of time. But I can see whether they've progressed (from the past week, earlier in the season, or from past seasons). I've had conversations with parents about the development of our kids/teams. I've also seen and talked to parents who care more about the outcome than development. But I think you're going to see that in ANY sport.

    Oh, I totally agree there's a negative side to youth sports. My point is it isn't limited to just soccer.
     
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  11. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Well, you're obviously one of the good coaches. Which is great, and I commend you. The problem is that you're not the standard, in my experience. Most talk a good game regarding development, but game day management shows otherwise.

    I believe many college basketball coaches are concerned about the influence of AAU on player development as well.
     
  12. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    As I said, I don’t disagree that p2p club or travel exists in those sports, just not to the extent as soccer…travel Basketball and Baseball kids still play on their High School teams, and to best of my knowledge, nobody in those communities claims playing HS ball is detrimental to their development. As a result, there is no stigma attached to playing HS ball and I fully believe if someone did just play HS ball in those sports, scouts would indeed seek out and find them, without hesitation…

    I would suggest that one of the reasons those other sports are so popular in this country is, in part, because kids who are destined to play college and beyond, are allowed to play with HS kids who will never play beyond HS…this creates a grassroots connection to these sports that soccer still struggles to achieve…soccer, on the other hand, IDs their “future stars” as early as possible and puts them on an isolated p2p pathway, where HS and even college ball are seen as failures, or at least consolations…

    Once again, it’s not that p2p exists in soccer, it’s the totally segregated and isolated nature of p2p youth soccer, especially at the HS age group that’s the problem imo…

    So to directly answer your question of how to fix it, you open it up and allow DA kids to play HS ball…just like those other sports do…this will create a greater connection, buzz, interest, passion for the sport overall, which will lead to a greater popularity and grassroots development….
     
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  13. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    Not a coach, just a parent.
     
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  14. bigredfutbol

    bigredfutbol Moderator
    Staff Member

    Sep 5, 2000
    Woodbridge, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    This. And I think the problem goes two ways--it not only isolates the elite players, it also cuts off non-elite players from a deeper connection to the sport. Our soccer culture is far too sterile and anemic as a result.
     
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  15. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    Maybe I'm looking at the literal definition of p2p, but it sounds like what you're talking about here is an issue with DA rules, NOT with p2p.

    Around here, there is no club ball during the HS season. So all of the club players are playing HS. There are kids from DS's club that have signed with every college level (we don't know them, but the club puts out tweets).

    The DoC of our local club (who used to coach my kids) and the current coach both dislike the kids playing middle school soccer (again, not an issue with HS, because there is no club during the HS season).

    The reason they have a problem with school ball (and it's hard to knock their beliefs) is A) it's too much to do club and school. You're basically looking at soccer 7 days a week, with possible multiple games on weekend days. There's no chance for the body to recover. B) The non-club kids who play school ball don't know the proper way to play. So not only do you play with kids who don't help your development, it can lead to a more physical game with kids who don't know how to use their physical size "correctly" or who use it too much.

    I'm guessing the DA believes the same thing but applies it to HS.
     
  16. MonagHusker

    MonagHusker Member

    Liverpool FC
    United States
    Feb 25, 2016
    Omaha, Nebraska
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I think where I am the player may have to choose between club and HS during the HS season, which is spring here. I know the school my oldest goes to (but doesn't play soccer) doesn't allow a player to compete in the same sport for school and club during that season for the school (seems to mostly affect volleyball and soccer).

    I feel bad for the non club players per the coach's thoughts you noted above. It isn't always there fault to not be club, which seems to wash out some kids too soon even if cost isn't an issue.
     
  17. jvgnj

    jvgnj Member

    Apr 22, 2015
    I realize that this will vary from area to area but there are 2 related ways in which I've noticed that club soccer is different from most other club sports in my area. The first is that they push the "need" for professional coaching at a much younger age. It's the only sport I see where volunteer parent coaches are viewed as a negative thing. Related to that point, soccer clubs conduct tryouts at a much younger age, which means they cut and sort kids earlier than just about every other sport. Based on the school cutoff by me (Oct. 1), older kindergartners will be trying out in the spring for a spot on the U8 team for next fall. Most of the other club sports by me (baseball, basketball, lacrosse, etc.) don't really get going until around 4th grade. And while it's true that recruiting for all of these other sports is also club-centric, all of these kids play for their high school teams. I realize that's more of a DA point than a club soccer issue, but it's another way in which soccer, as a sport, seems to isolate itself rather than weaving itself into the mainstream sports culture.
     
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  18. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    Wouldn't "older kindergartners" be 6, meaning they would be going into U7? Although there are tryouts, my local club doesn't do "cuts" until U10. Those would be 9 year olds, which would be around 4th grade. I was an assistant coach for DD's rec softball team when she was 9. They had tryouts then. No one was cut, but the coaches got to see the talent available and then draft. The local soccer club does random assignments (aside from coach's kids).

    The other sport travel teams I've seen never even did tryouts. They found who were the better players by watching the rec (or YMCA, or at recess, or just friends of the family) leagues and then invited who they wanted. Everyone of them however limited how many were on the team.

    To your point about "professional coaches". I actually like that soccer has a ratings structure for coaches. That they take classes and need to show their knowledge to attain the next rank. Why is that a bad thing?

    Would using parent volunteers be "better" for club soccer in your opinion? Don't get me wrong, some parents make good coaches. Others, not so much.
     
  19. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    I get your point re the soccer community stigmatizing and looking down on high school soccer, but having spent some time around DI college basketball over the past decade, very, very few of those kids play only on school teams in middle and high school. You have to be a really special talent (and athlete) to have the ability required to play at that level and not work at basketball most of if not all year during your teens. If you did, you'd no doubt get noticed -- college coaches do scout high school games -- but, again, very few would be good enough to get that attention if weren't playing a lot of basketball outside the school season.

    Baseball I'm not sure about, but I have heard a number parents whose kids don't play travel ball complain that they have no realistic chance when they get to high school tryouts.
     
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  20. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Yes, for sure…I didn’t mean to say out of season play/practice/hard work wasn’t required as well…I was more referring specifically to high level, p2p, scout-centric, club play wasn’t necessarily required…
     
  21. jvgnj

    jvgnj Member

    Apr 22, 2015
    At my son's club, this year's U8 team is 2010 birth year. With our school cutoff, this is mostly 2nd graders and the 1st graders born between Oct-Dec. So when they tried out last spring, they were 1st graders and Kindergartners. Same process will repeat this spring. It's good that your club doesn't cut at this age, but there are clubs that do. By me, it's a mix.

    I don't have an issue with professional coaches, just the perception that they're uniquely necessary for youth soccer. I'm all for continuing education for coaches and from what I understand, the D license and above is pretty rigorous. But how many coaches are at that level as opposed to the F and E level? The leagues by me only require the coach have the F license, which doesn't require a whole lot of work or knowledge to acquire. Certainly not any more work or knowledge than the training required by many youth football organizations for their parent volunteers. I mean, my neighbor has the F license and the first soccer game he ever saw was when his daughter signed up for Kindergarten rec. He jokes about his "license" all the time. But in the grand scheme of things, he's the type of guy you need if you want to grow interest in the sport and he doesn't really have an avenue to help coach once his kid enters a club. Soccer has the participation numbers of a major sport but carries itself like a niche sport. I think that poses a challenge for it to compete with more established mainstream sports.
     
  22. SpiceBoy

    SpiceBoy Member

    Barcelona
    United States
    Aug 2, 2017
    On the "need" for professional coaching I see that as a reflection of the (years past) lack of grassroots mainstream popularity for soccer. More specifically the small number of parent coaches who really know the game. For my children, I have seen rec basketball coaches and rec football coaches who played in college while I see rec soccer coaches who never even played highschool (i.e never played at all). Hopefully, as the popularity of soccer increases the current generations will make better rec level coaches which will put less pressure on moving to professional coaches as soon as possible.
     
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  23. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    My son is an 8th grader at U15 (there are some 9th graders on the team also). If you back that all the way up to U8, he would have been a 1st grader. Wow, seems like a long time ago.

    As far as the coaching licenses... as I said before, I think it's a good thing. I honestly don't know what clubs around here require, I know the coaches DS has had over the last couple of years range from C to A.

    My local club (DD plays for the local, DS plays for one one county away) actually has more kids on the rec side than baseball has on theirs. I don't know how it compares if you count all the travel kids.

    I think one thing that will help grow the sport is getting rid of the "stigma" of playing soccer... the players flop, it's boring, they don't move (just kick the ball), games shouldn't be allowed to end in a tie, etc. I'll admit until my kids participated, I thought all those things. I think this is going to change as this generation of soccer players grow up and have kids of their own.

    I think expanding MLS will help.
     
  24. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Soccer is also viewed as an elitist sport in this country, where “requiring” professional, licensed coaches to teach 8-year olds how to kick a ball, quite frankly, doesn’t help….

    I do agree generational change is the only real hope this sport has in this country; at this point everything else is just window dressing…
     
  25. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Not sure if this might be best asked in its own thread, but I'm curious what the cost breakdown is at other clubs for those who know the numbers. I mentioned earlier in this thread that about 60 percent of my son's club's expenses are personnel -- primarily DOC, ADOC salaries and the pay for the other (all PT) coaches. The single largest expense beyond that is facilities -- fields, indoor space in the winter, ... (though off the top of my head I don't recall what the percentage devoted to that is). Any idea if these are typical?

    We're not a super high-cost club and, knowing what our paid personnel are being paid, they are definitely not getting rich.
     

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