Only train tall kids for goalie

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by NewDadaCoach, Oct 31, 2022.

  1. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member+

    Feb 27, 2017
    And the short guy may not care. That's what you're not getting. And you don't know if that "short guy" at U10 will end up at 6'1"+ by U17-U18. Sure, you can "look at his parents", but that may not tell you anything. Do they have tall grandparents? Other family members?
     
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  2. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    Yeah but the kid doesn't know anything. The adults need to guide. C'mon you know if a kid is gonna be short.
     
  3. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member+

    Feb 27, 2017
    No. You don't.

    "Look at the parents"... I'm 5'9. DW is 5'8. DS turned into 6'0. Granted he was tall young, but that doesn't mean anything.

    Now, unless you're really going to start looking at multiple generations and have the parents present the x-rays from the doctor that show how their growth plates are going, you really don't "know" if a kid is going to be short.

    And again, if a kid is happy playing goalie, why take that away from him? Because it might affect what he does in college, much less pro? At what? U10? Heck, even U13? You sir REALLY need to get your priorities in order.
     
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  4. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    So you're about avg height, wife is above avg. Son is slightly above avg. If I had seen him as a kid I would have projected him to be about 6'0. Perhaps I'm just good at this stuff.

    I'm talking about a kid who is say on the 10%-tile of height, and who's parents also are. Very little chance he'll become tall later. And vice versa - a kid at 90%-tile with tall parents, will most likely be tall.

    Again, I'm going on real experiences where I see kids depressed because they were wrongly directed into goalkeeping. If anything I'm helping put kids where they most likely will succeed.
     
  5. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member+

    Feb 27, 2017
    What's the definition of "success"? Playing professionally in the position they want? Playing in college in the position they want? Playing in HS? Playing in MS?

    And if kids are "depressed" because they're not "successful", I would say that's more because they had too many people (parents, coaches, friends, whoever) blowing smoke up their ass of where they'll end up.
     
  6. kinznk

    kinznk Member

    Feb 11, 2007
    Deleted post. My bad.
     
  7. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    Playing in college.
    Yes that could be. Or they had people tell them they can make it as goalie. By the time they realize they can't they realize they picked the wrong position. Field players can move around positions, but very hard for goalie to become field player at 17. He's too behind.
     
  8. jmnva

    jmnva Member

    Feb 10, 2007
    Arlington, VA
    Club:
    DC United
    Had an interesting conversation yesterday with a college kid that was "that tall kid" at U11. His coach wanted him to play keeper and him mom said no. This kid is now a D1 Midfielder in college and playing USL in the summer.

    My view is you train at keeper anyone that is interested in doing it.

    Oh and if the measure of success is college then 95% of all youth soccer players fail.
     
  9. Benny Dargle

    Benny Dargle Member+

    Jul 23, 2008
    LA
    There are plenty of really small GKs at youth ages in Southern California, in part because there are a number of communities where certain ethnic groups cluster in which the members of those groups, on average, are shorter than the population at large. Many of those kids are elite with their feet AND are fearless and great on 1 v. 1s. They love diving and throwing their bodies around. Later on, they tend to be great futsal and/or beach soccer goalkeepers. Eduardo Macias, for example, is a GK on the US Men's Nat'l Futsal Team and is 5'9" and Estaban Sapetnitzky is a GK on the US Men's Nat'l Beach Soccer Team and is 5'10". You are obviously thinking about even shorter kids (who, by the way, also will have trouble playing college soccer because so many coaches prioritize big, physical, players), but this is an indication that the standard height is far lower than the average for GKs in full field outdoor soccer. Most really tall GKs are not good at either futsal or beach because the goals and surfaces don't give tall GKs much of an advantage and they are left with the things they aren't very good at doing.

    If you see a kid who is depressed because they love GK, but are having trouble on full field goals, help them find a futsal alternative rather than discouraging new players from doing what they love. Futsal exists in tons of places now because of the growth of indoor facilities and there are futsal.beach soccer camps you can send your kids to as well. Plus, futsal GKs HAVE to learn to play with their feet too in order to be successful at the position, so you definitely can use it as a way to hedge your kids' bets for outdoor soccer.

    Of course, if a kid is pushed into goal because they are taller than other kids, or can't run because of their weight etc, and they don't want to be there, then by all means their parents should find a place where they can play where they want to play.

    It sounds like you don't really understand how a real GK ends up as a GK as a kid because you have no experience with that. Most kids who stick with GK long-term are passionate about it from the get-go and they beg to play it when they are young. They are the type of kid who wants players to shoot on them before practice starts even before they are goalkeepers. If a kid loves playing it and doesn't have the body type to do it long term, help them plot a course where they can play as long as possible rather than not letting them do what they love, which usually means they quit at an earlier age than if they had played until their height was an impediment.

    It's also really old fashioned to define success as college soccer by the way. Most boys now view pro soccer as the goal and college soccer as the backup plan at best. Tons of kids sneer at HS soccer because it means you're not good enough to be on an MLS Next team where HS soccer is prohibited except in certain circumstances. I don't necessarily agree with either perspective, but it would be pretty odd to define success in soccer as playing on a college team these days when so many strong players skip HS and college soccer. It's nice, but just as a way to extend your playing days a few years, not as the end all be all goal.
     
  10. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    It's extremely rare to go pro at the top level. Much less than 1% do. So not that's no a realistic goal. Something to aim for but you shouldn't be upset if you don't make it because most don't. College though, many more spots, much more achievable and a sign of success in America in any sport.

    "Most boys now view pro soccer as the goal" you just sound silly. First off, kids have always dreamt of going pro, it's nothing new. 2nd, its still super rare, near impossible. USL, not so rare, but MLS or above yeah super hard, there just aren't many open spots.
     
  11. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member+

    Feb 27, 2017
    So any player who doesn't play in college (let's ignore those who are able to go straight to pro) is "unsuccessful"?

    So what about those who decide to pick up another sport before HS? Or decide they like band, theater, academics, or decide working part time (or even full time) is necessary? They're "unsuccessful"?
     
  12. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member+

    Feb 27, 2017
    Just over 7% of HIGH SCHOOL athletes make it onto a college roster. Sure, a college roster slot is "something to aim for", but just because you don't get on one doesn't mean you're "unsuccessful".

    Now, if you want to take that 10, 11, 12 year old who has enjoyed playing GK, takes extra training whenever they can, gets friends and teammates to shoot on them, and say "sorry, you can't do what you like because you're too short", you will turn more of them away from the game than trying to convince them of whatever you think you should convince them of.
     
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  13. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    Not sure how we got hung up on what "success" means.

    HS - very easy to play. Some HS's have trouble getting kids and will take just about anybody, depends on the HS.
    So yeah, college is a much higher level usually than HS.

    I'm talking about soccer not about other activities.
     
  14. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    sorry i disagree :D
     
  15. Benny Dargle

    Benny Dargle Member+

    Jul 23, 2008
    LA
    You apparently have had no exposure to players at strong MLS Next clubs, which is fine, but then you're really talking about rec level and basic club. At that level, why in the world would you focus on height? Just let the kids play since it's all just for fun.

    If they are on a college soccer roster, that's great, but it's no more of a sign of success than the trophies and medals hundreds of thousands of parents have gathering dust from their kids' victories in U10 tournaments ten years ago.
    That whole 7% stat for HS kids playing college soccer is not actually an indication that 93% wanted to play college soccer and failed. Vast majority of kids don't have any interest or don't seriously try to get on a college soccer program. Believe me, there are college soccer programs that need players (even more in girls' soccer than boys) and there are colleges that have huge rosters where they let tons of average players on because it helps drive enrollment. Tons of struggling colleges in the midwest use athletics to get more tuition paying students these days.

    But, again, if you really want to help those short kids with short parents who love playing GK, mention futsal to their parents or form a futsal team and ask them to join.
     
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  16. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    saltysoccer and NewDadaCoach repped this.
  17. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    You make a lot of assumptions, and you know what they say about assumptions.
    I know players and coaches at MLS Next clubs, and at just about every level.
    Seems you're just on here to flex. There's always someone smarter and with more connections than you.
     
  18. Benny Dargle

    Benny Dargle Member+

    Jul 23, 2008
    LA
    I actually haven't had to assume much about you. Your own words have done the work. You've chosen to portray yourself in this thread in a very particular, absolutist, all-knowing, kind of way and you are now hiding behind claims of "expertise" to avoid defending the broad claims you originally used to troll this thread - which is that shorter kids should not play GK, even if they like playing GK, because then they will have to quit playing soccer and will have failed to achieve success which you claim is measured by playing college soccer.

    You feel attacked because people are pointing out the logical fallacies in your absolutism. If you had stated your positions with the kind of reserve that acknowledges you understand the assumptions you are making and the nuance of this topic - e.g, "if you want your kid to play college soccer and they are short (and unlikely to grow tall because you are short), you might think about nudging them toward at least playing on the field too to hedge their bets because most keepers who make it to higher levels are taller," -- you would have gotten a lot of agreement. You also wouldn't have generated 4 pages of responses because that would have been pretty uncontroversial, so it may have been less fun for you. I noticed that you never responded to my suggestion that you recommend futsal GK for those shorter GKs, which suggests you actually weren't here to generate productive conversations about how to deal with what you perceive as a problem.

    You then got into trouble because you asserted college soccer was the only metric for success, not that it was one metric, so I and others called you on that. I pointed out that top MLS Next players view the pros as the measure of success and college soccer as the backup plan. Now, that's kind of irrelevant to the GK height debate since there's plenty of reasons for short kids to stay in goal, such as having fun, being part of a team, challenging yourself, that aren't about pro or college soccer and those can be indicia of success in life. But, since you like to troll to keep the thread going, you decided to claim that college is actually the only realistic measure of success. I don't disagree with whether that is "realistic" for most kids. It's hardly realistic to expect kids will make it to the pros. My point was that college soccer is looked down on by tons of people in soccer and certainly by kids who think they have a chance at making the pros (which is not all MLS Next players to be sure - most of them are fringe players who help fill the rosters and leagues for the best players to have someone to play against). I can guarantee that even if you are from a rich community like Bethesda, Maryland, which sends tons of MLS Next players to top colleges, the players know the difference between the players who go to college and the ones who go pro and they know that the best players - i.e. the ones who have been most successful on the field - are the ones getting USYNT callups and going pro, and going to college means you are not as good as those players (or to put in your terms as "successful" as those players) and they eventually adjust their objectives accordingly. In fubol rich communities in LA, by contrast, they aren't even thinking about MLS, let alone college soccer. They all want to play in LigaMX and those clubs regularly run tryout camps and bring back kids for tryouts. We had one kid leave for Cruz Azul last year, just had one go back for second round tryouts with Club America and over the summer had six who were invited for tryouts at Xolos in Tijuana.

    I'm totally excited for those kids who get to play college soccer - whether D1, DII, DIII, NAIA, NCCAA, Juco - but I don't think it should be the only factors in guiding a kids' youth soccer career, especially given the really high transfer and dropout rate in college soccer.

    And I don't have to "flex" about my soccer credentials (or parent credentials, which are just as important in this conversation). I'm saying things that make sense to people and that are not controversial.
     
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  19. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    #94 NewDadaCoach, Nov 30, 2022
    Last edited: Nov 30, 2022
    I don't feel attacked, lol.
    I literally said in the initial post that I know this will be an unpopular or controversial opinion. Hence obviously I was not only open to but expecting much disagreement.

    You make a lot of assumptions about me. You state things as fact which are not true, which is really annoying.
    Eg, you said "It sounds like you don't really understand how a real GK ends up as a GK as a kid because you have no experience with that."

    How the hell would you know that I have no experience with that? You don't know.
    My kid plays competitively so yes I see it with my own eyes.

    And then you said I don't know anyone at MLS Next clubs. My kid literally goes to an MLS Next club, though he's not old enough yet for MLS Next. But I know players and parents at that level. I'm very involved in the soccer community here. I play soccer with some of those MLS Next parents, and former college players, and current college players even off season. So yeah your assumptions are false.

    And no I never claimed to be an expert on anything. Where did I say that?
     
  20. The Stig

    The Stig Member

    Jun 28, 2016
    Your kid isn’t old enough for MLS Next. You really should stop with any projections.

    You don’t need to worry about kids making it as a pro keeper. They are pretty good at figuring it out later.

    It is also ludicrous that you are worrying about selecting keepers at such a young age. If anything, there shouldn’t be much keeper training at younger ages because they all need to worry about foot skills and learning how to play the game first and foremost.

    Your posts over the years have generally been overly focused on fast tracking your kid or your kids team. For the love of god, just relax. Yes, size will determine a pool of keepers. You’ll see lots of kids converting to keeper in HS with great success and you’ll also see kids who you thought would be tall wash out and then no longer be able to play the field because some dad, like yourself, pushed them into a position based on believing you picked some genetic lottery.
     
  21. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    I literally said he's not old enough for MLS Next. Read again.
    His club plays in MLS Next at U13-U19. So we are around the players and the coaches and parents, some are friends of mine. And some of the MLS Next coaches also coach youth (ie pre-U13)
     
  22. NewDadaCoach

    NewDadaCoach Member

    Tottenham Hotspur
    United States
    Sep 28, 2019
    Making this assertion was not something that came out of nowhere.
    There were two things I noticed, over a period of time.

    1) the shortest kids with the shortest parents were playing a lot of goalie, while the tallest kids with the tallest parents were not.

    2) I was reading posts from teenage goalkeepers asking if what they should do with their lives since they were getting push back from college level programs. One even said they took the tall guys with little experience over the short guys with high experience and athletic ability.

    So, put these two facts together and maybe you can see how this idea crept up. It just didn't make sense to me to be training kids in goal who will likely not have a future in it, while the kids who will likely have a future are not being trained in goal.
    Sure, in most cases at youth level it doesn't matter. But in the cases where kids are obviously aiming for a competitive path I think it's logical.

    I didn't just pull this idea out of thin air to rile people up. It was based on my observations of actually going to many youth games and practices. I even train some kids in gk position myself.

    Sure, for the kids in the middle 80% range of the height spectrum it probably doesn't matter as yes, it's not possible to tell where they will end up. I'm talking more about the cases on the low/top 10%.
     
  23. Fuegofan

    Fuegofan Member

    Feb 17, 2001
    Chicago
    Playing goalkeeper is not just about preparing kids to be goalkeepers when they're older. It's also a way to help kids develop as the get to see the field from a different perspective. My son has had two or three coaches who have rotated the players through. It's frustrated the parents to no end because they want to win games and we inevitably lose games because we don't have dedicated goalkeepers. But the point is to make them better players in two years or more, not to win games now. Having the perspective of the goalkeeper and seeing the game develop, seeing plays develop and unravel, is something that when play gets more specialized, most kids won't get that opportunity again. So I can appreciate a perspective where the coaches are less interested in having specialists before high school. (BTW, one coach allowed a couple players to platoon and specialize for a half at GK, and have tho others cycle through the other half. ) It was also neat to see the team get more serious about defense when they wanted to protect the non-specialist in goal.
     
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  24. sam_gordon

    sam_gordon Member+

    Feb 27, 2017
    To point #1... so?
    To point #2... you tell them to look at other colleges. I still say there's a roster spot for everyone who wants one, but you have to work at it.
    My point #3... I still say YOU need to adjust what your definition of "successful" means.
    My point #4... you want to "help" the "smaller" goalies? Encourage them to work on their footskills more. They need to be comfortable with the ball at their feet. A team that takes advantage of using the keeper in passing the ball is one I like to see. So tell then if they get decent footskills, it will give their teammates confidence to pass the ball back to them.
     
  25. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Also the footwork specific to goalkeeping itself. The smaller college keeper I've referenced earlier in the thread has a major edge in terms of his footwork as he anticipates a shot and then moves to save shots. This seems to be an underappreciated aspect of good goalkeeping.
     

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