Is it possible to create an offseason team for bigger tournaments?

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by PTS21, Jan 27, 2020.

  1. PTS21

    PTS21 Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Long story short, we have a good group of U10/U11 families in the Charlotte area that are spread between multiple clubs. All the boys are playing top level for their age group (Pre-DA) but the lack of games is affecting all of us. Each club is preaching less games and more training. Kids simply want to play more meaninful games that aren't friendlies or showcases.

    To combat this, we are looking into the possibility of creating a team in our offseason (summer months) and entering a 2-3 tournaments. Most of the smaller local events are open to anyone but the bigger tournaments we would like to do require teams to be registered with USYS, US CLUB, SAY or AYSO Affiliates.

    I'm going to start researching how possible this would be but has anyone tried something like this before and have any advice?
     
  2. The Stig

    The Stig Member

    Jun 28, 2016
    What is the point of it?

    So you play in some small tourneys against low levels of competition. You have no coach, no prescribed training plan and no style of play.

    You would do better to take the break, have your kid sign up for some technical camps and work on their part of the game.

    You could get the kids to try out at a club that offers Super Y so that you would have a league, schedule of games and some coaching. Perhaps form some 3v3 teams and/or fine some summer futsal.
     
  3. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member

    Feb 27, 2017
    So what? It's more touches on the ball and in game situations. If the kids want to do and the parents want to pay for it, then I think it's worth pursuing. Let the kids have fun. Not everything has to be "for development".
     
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  4. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    I have had no involvement in starting nor running such a club, but we have been part of one for the last 3 years…it’s a regional team that operates off-season during the winter and early spring (early summer as well for Cup play). It brings in kids from multiple clubs that are looking for more training, playtime and exposure…between Dec and March, we hit 4-5 tournaments…it basically stated as a single team 5 or 6 years ago, and has been growing every year since (multiple teams, both boys and girls)…that initial team, has enjoy great success…which has helped “sell” the concept as a whole…

    So, long story short, yes it is possible….

    Our local clubs all card players under USYS…the regional club under US Club…I think that is big key to making it work/possible…
     
  5. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    To add on, while possible, it wouldn’t be easy… you or someone will need to be passionately all in, to make this work…and I agree with Stig, that playing just to play isn’t worth much and probably won’t last in the long run…you will need a coach and work to play good soccer against good competition…and expect negative blow back from your local clubs, coaches and parents not involved…you risk having your kids involvement held against them…and parents talk a good game, but when push comes to shove, you might not have as many committed parents as you think you do...
     
  6. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    I'd add onto what Wulf says (my son started playing in the same regional club this winter): The club here starts at (I think) U14, and my impression is it's easier to do this with older kids, particularly that commitment part. Even at U15, where my son is now, some families who've been doing travel soccer for a long time and know the drill will sign up, spend the money, then still decide as practices and tournament weekends in what would typically be the off season keep going that they'd just rather be at home (or wherever).

    That blowback from the local club is real, too, btw. In our experience, the winter team is usually made up the some of the strongest players from several clubs, and the clubs worry that you're stripping away their best players.
     
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  7. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Find a park field - split up the teams 7v7 and let them play - no refs. Leave it losely organized so that its not technically official. Start a facebook page to attract more players.

    We do this on my fields and call it open play. Generally we get 30-50 kids twice a week and we do not charge them a dime. Coaches bring pinnies and flags and we just let them play.

    If you do need to be covered reach out to your local state organization. For example ours is IYSA. They can provide insurance for around $5-$7 per player.

    This sort of play is way better then more competition and it is what is very much misseed in the American youth soccer experience.
     
  8. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    I would tend to agree with this strategy, especially at the age group we are talking about…and/or keep it casual with summer 3v3 or Super Y, if available…with the regional club I am talking about is definitely aimed at old kids, especially those looking to play in college…not that it doesn’t have value beyond that, but it is its main driving focus/mission…
     
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  9. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    The point of open play (forgot to mention) is to give players freedom to try new things in an environment where they do not feel as though they will be jammed by mates or coaches if they make a mistake. That does not exist in organized competitive play and it's a huge confidence boost for players.

    I've seen more players move forward and find a true love of the game in this format more then any other. In every case I've also see their confidence increase in competitive play as a direct result.

    Another reason why this is good is because it is un-organized to a large extent. This means less training and focus on winning. Less time as well. Kids need downtime to do other things - especially in the summer. We tried Super Y last summer - completely not worth carrying over 3 training sessions and 2 drive aways. We get more out of open play and a high school/college league we play in then Super Y. It also allows us to do other things like camping and more.
     
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  10. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    I have mixed feeling about Super Y as well…our experience wasn’t great either…but I know people who have had better/good experiences with it…it is a preexisting organization worth checking out for summer play (if that’s what you are looking for, which the OP is)…there might be other summer leagues in the OP’s area as well…
     
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  11. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    A dad I know did this for a couple of summers and drew anywhere from 10-20 or so kids a session just through word of mouth in our area (I think his was weekly). It was a lot of fun for kids in that U9-U12 range, my son included, and I still see most of those kids playing, whether that's club, high school games or indoor games over the winter.
     
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  12. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    My problem was training. We had our coach pulled and got a new coach. The sessions were all various forms of give and go - 40+ players and one coach. Lines of players standing - doing nothing. The last 30 minutes was World Cup - a fun little game for u8 and u10 rec players. I guess the club wanted to just have fun and did not care about developing players. At 2 hours in the car each session it was a complete waste of time.
     
  13. ppierce34

    ppierce34 Member

    Aug 29, 2016
    Fort Wayne, IN
    Isnt this called Super Y?
     
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  14. TheKraken

    TheKraken Member

    United States
    Jun 21, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    No, I think the parents want more games, so they can feel better about their little Johnny. U10/11 kids don't need more games. They also don't need more training. What they need is better training. You think in Spain they are looking for more tournaments and meaningless games to take part in? No, they are teaching their kids how to actually play the game in training at an earlier age. Their U9 players are already past the level of your U11s in terms of tactics, shape, and movement off the ball and it's not from playing more games.
     
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  15. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    While perhaps a gain of truth (I too question if it’s really the kids or the parents driving this), but be that as it may be, that’s a lot to lay on a parent just trying to muddle through as best they can…we are not going to be like Spain anytime soon and nothing is fundamentally going to change in youth soccer before the OP’s kid hits college…the OP didn’t invent more is better, year round, no off-season, FOMO soccer….which a lot of us are probably all guilty of at some point…
     
  16. PTS21

    PTS21 Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Thank you.
    You sound just like the technical director at the club my son played for. As I told him, this isn't Spain. Our kids don't play soccer for fun 1-3 hours a day after school with their mates.

    So no, I don't want to play more games to feel better about my little Johnny, I want my little Johnny to feel better about the game. To enjoy it more. To love it like he did when it didn't feel like a job.

    As another poster said above, not everything needs to be about development. I don't care how good the development/training is if the kid quits the sport because it's no longer fun ... which is already happening with some of my son's friends.
     
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  17. PTS21

    PTS21 Member

    Sep 1, 2005
    Charlotte, NC
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    I will add that this idea gained more traction recently because we did this last summer on a smaller scale. We got a half a dozen of our boys and played them in the local summer leagues/events, typically 5v5 settings.

    We made it very player driven. No coaches, I was just there to make sure they were subbing when they should. The kids did well on their own figuring out positions and what needed to be done. The kids loved it and many of us believe it improved their confidence coming into the club season.

    As of now, we plan to do the same this summer but now more families want in which sparked the talks of doing a bigger tournament or two in the offseason.
     
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  18. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Understandable…my son has had for many years an informal, independent “team” that mostly plays winter indoor and occasionally summer leagues and small-sized tournaments…it’s, by far, the most fun he has playing…not that he doesn’t love playing with his other more official teams, but it’s just different…

    Over the years, this particular group (of parents) has talked about going official and playing bigger, sanctioned tournaments….but, its never got pass the “talk” part…
     
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  19. TheKraken

    TheKraken Member

    United States
    Jun 21, 2017
    Nat'l Team:
    United States
    Those small sided tournaments are much better to do offseason than full sided, full time tournaments. Regular American tournaments are nothing more than a battle of attrition. Four (hour plus) games in two days proves nothing more than your team may have the best athletes. Not necessarily the best players. They are simply ways for the clubs to make money, nothing more. Look into how they run the youth MIC or Gen Adidas tournaments. Seven a side, smaller field and short game duration. This is how these competitions should be for younger athletes. Much more realistic expectations on the body for 10 year olds.
     
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  20. CoachP365

    CoachP365 Member

    Business Metrics SC
    Apr 26, 2012
    It's way too much work to quote all the relevant parts but...

    My impression is that the "fewer games more training" solution was put in place to counteract what still exists in HS soccer - cramming 3 games a week in to fit home and away matches into an 8 week season before winter comes in the states withfall seasons or school ends in the states with a spring season. I hear there used to be league games during the week so that clubs could get to the weekend tourneys.

    On twitter everyone is talking about how to introduce "Free play" days, to try to reproduce the aforementioned "in Spain they play 1-3 hours every day".

    Trust me, the kids play many more "games" in spain. I guarantee you they play WC finals, derbies, el classicos, every day on any flat space that doesn't have constant automobile traffic or headstones. But they aren't the 8 full games in 2 days with an adult driven by performance metrics (trophies, wins). You get tired, you drop back and defend for a while, maybe you ask to keep, or you just walk without a coach screaming to recover/run through it/get on the end of that.

    So, if I were in the OP shoes, I'd stay with what they have - a solid group of players enjoying themselves playing the game, relatively unstructured beyond what they choose to bring from their respective Pre-DA coaches. I'd be really concerned that once the money of hotel/airfare/food/entry fees are introduced, some parent is going to feel the need to start "managing" things - "not in the middle/clear that/RUN!" - "we really need you for this weekend, the beach will always be there..." etc etc...

    If they're steamrolling the local tourneys at u11, move up to u12 or u13. Invite a good u12 or u13 team to come scrimmage.

    You've found your solution to highly organized soccer devoid of fun, why go down that same path?
     
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