A year in and I'm beginning to hate club soccer....

Discussion in 'SoCalScene' started by Grace T., Apr 11, 2018.

  1. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    So a year into club soccer I can see why so many people are jaded and hate club soccer. I've written about my dear niece's experience....how her team blew up and unraveled slowly despite their having a great coach that really believed in development but didn't win enough.

    My son is an '08 that started in Extras. We liked the Extras, and though it was a bit political, did it for a year. But I found I had to coach him way too much (which wasn't good for our relationship) because there were deficiencies in his training, and also I had just come up to the limit of my own expertise. So we drank the koolaid and hopped onto a small indie club. At first things were great...everyone got along, we hung out together, we talked like we were all a family, had parties, and we were even going to do a trip to France. My son was to be one of 2 keepers-- we didn't want him playing fulltime between the sticks because we felt his footskills would suffer and we made known from the start it was important for us to get him field time. But it turned out the other keeper was just a really good gifted player and our best striker too...my son wound up playing as a keeper basically full time because they needed the striker on the field. My son struggled at first (the jump from Extras to club was hard) but by the end of the fall he was doing amazing and turning even a few clean sheets. It was also difficult for him, because while the team's offense (under the leadership of the lead striker) was amazing, the defense was very leaky, and he was often put in difficult situations which nonetheless forged him into a great player. Wasn't happy either with the GK training...they had turnaround in the GK trainer slot...their methodology was old teaching the keepers to pick up ground balls with a bent knee....and they didn't believe in the backpass (requiring him to punt the ball). In the fall, a worldclass trainer agreed to take on my son too (despite his age) which also greatly improved his game, raising it to another level.

    At the end of the season we had a discussion with the coaches and said we nonetheless wanted to come back, but hoped they'd get another keeper to split the role (like most of the other teams in the area do). I should have known something was wrong first of all when the lead striker's twin angrily left the team after a big blow up (because he was sad having sat on the bench while his brother as a striker basically played entire games), but my son had made so much progress we thought they must be doing something right. Additionally, my son had kicked the tires at one of the large mega clubs during January tryouts. The coach was thinking of putting him on a silver team, but then my son turned in a disastrous performance in a scrimmage against some older silver boys (he wasn't used to that power of kicks, and at the time too it turned out he was diagnosed with a bit of inattentive ADHD)....to our surprise, rather than look at the entirety of his performance, the coach cut him. In fairness, if he had been given more time to evaluate my son, the result might have been different or he might have been placed on lower team, but the practices with the 2 teams conflicted, and he knew we were out of time because the old club was pestering us whether we were coming back. Besides, we still liked our old club.

    Well, old club during tryouts brings a new keeper, and we think great....exactly what we wanted, but they start leaking players from the old team, and the coaches suddenly get very defensive and weird with the old timers. Then the first tournament comes...first game the keepers each play a half...new keeper is talented but struggles letting in 7...my son comes in second half and has a clean sheet (despite that his team has given up and he takes about 7 shots) except for a PK which is a dream shot high and to the basket of the corner. My son has usually outplayed the new keeper in scrimmages and practices too (with a save rate of about 6/10 while the other kid has 4/10). Second game of the tournament comes...my son starts on the field but is taken out minute 2 and then doesn't play again...o.k. that's weird....this despite that they lose 6-1 and the game result isn't even at issue. Third game comes and he gets about a quarter on the field, no time in goal. We begin to suspect the coach may have made an arrangement with the new kid so we begin to look for a new team much more actively.

    He's been recruited from time to time by coaches that have seen him in camp, but my limitation is transport...my dad can't drive very far. We do find a team nearby though and go to tryouts and he gets an offer almost right out the bat. My son is happy and we do a little celebration dinner. They also have another keeper, but coach explains they'll split the time, and we are great with that. Love the new team. But when it comes to roster him, the coach delays giving us the paperwork and then starts ducking my calls. It turns out he is overrostered (having made too many promises to too many people) and is looking for ways to cut to make room for my son. Well that's great, and in the mean time my son has missed practices with his old club, which finds out we are trying out elsewhere, and angrily cuts him. We go to yet another team, which heavily recruits him, and makes him an offer knowing he is an '08, but we think it's weird that there are a couple of bigger kids on the team...when it comes time to sign him and make the payment they disclose because of those bigger kids, who are '07s...they will be playing up...which for a keeper at this age is disastrous (given the big legs they face with one year time difference).

    By now it's also too late to put him into Extras tryouts. He's now trying out with 2 other teams, both of which want him, and which we like a lot, but neither of which have enough players yet. So, he may not have a team for next year. So I get now why so many of your are jaded and hate the experience....after a year out I'm already exhausted. I also know some people have great experiences and are lucky to find coaches that nurture and care about the kids...guess we haven't been so fortunate. I made a lot of mistakes...drinking the koolaid, not seeing the warning signs, trusting too many people and showing loyalty, and not being more ruthless in lying and moving him around. Lesson learned. But it's a shame a 9 year old boy needs to learn the harshness of the sport so early, and I only hope at this point he finds a good team so his love of this beautiful sport doesn't die.
     
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  2. Socal United

    Socal United Bronze

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    Congrats, you have already been through what I would say 90% of people in youth sports go through at one time or another. I am preparing for my last kid's last year and it has been an exhausting, annoying, frustrating, journey. Sounds a bit like life.... :) Don't let it get you down, you just get to be like all of us.
     
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  3. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    This actually makes me feel better. The other old timers on our team had easier transitions (not all smooth...but easier). It makes me feel better knowing we aren't alone. It's also probably harder because he's a keeper so it's harder to move him around (if you have 2 good ones on a team already, it's hard to bring a 3rd) if there aren't open spots (lots of '07s looking, not many 08s, near us).
     
  4. soccerobserver

    soccerobserver Silver

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    GT I always enjoy reading your posts as they are always so thoughtful and well composed. This time I was sad to hear of the challenges but I wish for the best for you and your son. As a word of encouragement he is only 9 and has so many other gloriously fun things ahead of him. Just curious however, what does your son think of all this?
     
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  5. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    He''s crushed. Cried himself to sleep a few nights. No longer the same happy go lucky kid. Likes the new kids of this 4th team we're trying out and the DOC seems really nice and kind...if it doesn't work out I think he will come to hate soccer...
     
  6. gauchosean

    gauchosean Bronze

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    There will always be team to play on, it is never too late to find one. Went through a team blowing up many years ago with my oldest son when he was 10. It was after tryouts and I thought we were screwed. That is when I stumbled onto something, coaches were not adding players but they were always willing to let my son come train with them if I asked. Many were playing in spring and were often short players so he got to play on several teams as a guest during the spring. He trained with 6 different teams that spring and eventually got offers from 4 of them. Just because coaches say there are no spots doesn't mean things won't change. I learned over the years as team manager things change during the summer and seems like there was always a player or two leaving and new players being added. If you don't find the right fit now, just keep looking for teams to train with. Someone will like your son and need a player. Ask a keeper he could probably play as a guest with a team every single weekend summer. Get a pool player card from CalSouth so he is registered to play and ready to be added to a team whenever you find the right spot.

    My son is now 20 a sophomore in college, not a soccer player, I remember the stress of this way more than he does.
     
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  7. Simisoccerfan

    Simisoccerfan Silver

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    I am stunned that this story is about 9 year olds. Way too much drama especially for that age. Just find a team where he can have fun.
     
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  8. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Thank you for this. If it doesn't work out with the 2 other teams this is exactly what we will do. Can you point me please how I get a pool player card from CalSouth just in case?
     
  9. timbuck

    timbuck

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    Were you showing up blindly to tryouts? Or did you know someone in advance? (Another player on the team. Or make contact with the coach prior to showing up).
    You are 100% correct in not wanting your kid to be a full time keeper at this age. I wonder what would have happened if he tried out without a specific position being told to the coach.
    I've found that there are lots of kids at 9/10 years old that want to be a keeper, but a year or 2 later - they don't want to play in the net any longer. So if he shows up to a tryout with a team that already has 2 keepers, there's a likely chance that at some point during the season, 1 of those 2 kids will only want to play on the field.
    And if you are at a club with multiple teams in the same age group - There is a really good chance that one of the other teams will need a keeper at some point. Keepers can play 2 games per day during the Fall season. So if he's on the field for his 1st game, he could play in goal for another team for the 2nd game.
     
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  10. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Wish I could. I'm not looking to place him on silver elite team or pre DA team at this age. Most of these are all flight 3. Would have been fine with him going back to Extras/United too. Can't go back to AYSO Core, though...the yelling and the drama was worse than club soccer...he'll get bored with the lack of a challenge....and it's like a box of chocolate that you never know what you are going to get (and I don't want to coach him again). But you are right....way too much drama for a 9 year old....in my mind, he might be better off without soccer at this point.
     
  11. outside!

    outside! Silver

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    Get your son into Futsal for foot skills. Do not mention he is a goal keeper. If he needs time in goal, have him play indoor soccer.
     
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  12. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Yeah, at the mega club and the 07s playing up we knew people in advance, and yes I took the advice from this forum...I did reach out to coach prior to showing up and yes I didn't do the turkey shoot outs. Two other limitations: in our area there's only 1 mega club in our area for boys and he washed out in the first tryout because of the bad scrimmage and conflicting practice times, and he's a mediocre field player (on our old team not the worst but definately an off the bencher) whose field skills weren't nurtured all year (though I did put him into winter futsal...he did o.k....not great...as a field player) but has talent as a keeper.
     
  13. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    I did! There aren't any competitive programs in our area (would love to get him to Tocque) but have him in a weekend pickup thing. It helped. Wish the futsal season had gone a little longer.
     
  14. gauchosean

    gauchosean Bronze

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    http://www.calsouth.com/en/release-transfer/faq-parents/

    You request a release from current club and contact your district commissioner.
     
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  15. MyDaughtersAKeeper

    MyDaughtersAKeeper

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    I am sorry to hear about this situation. Very frustrating indeed. Don’t be afraid to have your kid play on a club team full time in net, just supplement that. Play arena soccer for fun. Get onto a futsal team (start your own team with just his friends if you can’t find one). Have him train with his friends. Offer the local coaches for your kid to go in net when they are doing privates so that the other kids have an actual keeper to shot on. There will be spots. Keep training and trying different clubs/teams/coaches, he will find one.

    And I HIGHLY recommend that you (and him) take over planning his development. Clubs are great, but if that is the end of his soccer exposure then it will have limitations. Good luck.
     
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  16. mirage

    mirage Silver

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    Sorry to read GraceT...

    You've fallen into the parent trap in all youth sports. Its not just soccer or just boys. Its all things competitive with children when parents are involved. Money/paying really doesn't seem to make any difference.

    My perspective, after living through/still in club soccer for 10 years between two kids.

    1) Make a decision to stay or move based on what's best for your kid.

    2) Once decision is made, don't look back or second guess - you can always change it again later. If plan A fails, go find plan B.

    3) Always ask how many on the roster currently and how many does the coach plan to carry before committing. Also make sure your kid is on the top 1/3 of the team to ensure playing time. Kids HATE sitting on the bench.

    4) Unless you are willing to send your '08 10yrs old son to foreign academy to become a professional player, IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER what team you're on, as long as its within the competitive range of your son's ability - nobody cares what team he played for at younger or the win-loss record is (only matters to parents and players but no college coach or scout is going to say what was your record pre-puberty).

    5) Plan with end in mind so don't react just to the current situation - what is the big picture? College soccer? Just keep him busy through teen years? Get on high school team? What?

    6) You can always find a team to get on. Neither of my kids ever made a new team by going to the official tryout. Both of my kids just went to the training session where the coach can look at them with their regular team. Just contact the coach and tell him/her you're looking for a new team and want to come out to workout with the team. I have never heard of a coach turning a potential player away.

    7) Don't take it too seriously and enjoy the ride.

    Hope you've vented enough and feel bit better. Now go do something about it, differently.

    Cheers!
     
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  17. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Sorry to read GraceT...

    You've fallen into the parent trap in all youth sports. Its not just soccer or just boys. Its all things competitive with children when parents are involved. Money/paying really doesn't seem to make any difference.

    My perspective, after living through/still in club soccer for 10 years between two kids.

    1) Make a decision to stay or move based on what's best for your kid.

    >>>>>>yeah, at first I thought I had. I didn't want to push him into silver and he wanted to stay with his friends before the coaches at old club got weird. Didn't wake up to what was happening until the first tournie....I figured it might get back to them and they'd get mad we were looking and missing a bunch of practices so I wasn't surprised when they cut him...o.k. it did surprise me they did it so angrily.

    2) Once decision is made, don't look back or second guess - you can always change it again later. If plan A fails, go find plan B.

    >>>>yup, though I'm on plan D now.

    3) Always ask how many on the roster currently and how many does the coach plan to carry before committing. Also make sure your kid is on the top 1/3 of the team to ensure playing time. Kids HATE sitting on the bench.

    >>>>>lesson learned on this one. I'll add if you see some big kids add the question....they aren't playing up, right and these are all '08s. Finally, as a keeper, you don't want a great disparity between the skill level of the 2 if they are 2, but your control of this is limited, since you never know who might walk on.

    4) Unless you are willing to send your '08 10yrs old son to foreign academy to become a professional player, IT REALLY DOESN'T MATTER what team you're on, as long as its within the competitive range of your son's ability - nobody cares what team he played for at younger or the win-loss record is (only matters to parents and players but no college coach or scout is going to say what was your record pre-puberty).

    >>>>yup.

    5) Plan with end in mind so don't react just to the current situation - what is the big picture? College soccer? Just keep him busy through teen years? Get on high school team? What?


    >>>>for him high school soccer....beyond that, if he develops well maybe look at college, but the academic route is also a possibility for him if he can overcome his ADHD issues.

    6) You can always find a team to get on. Neither of my kids ever made a new team by going to the official tryout. Both of my kids just went to the training session where the coach can look at them with their regular team. Just contact the coach and tell him/her you're looking for a new team and want to come out to workout with the team. I have never heard of a coach turning a potential player away.

    >>>>yes, took your advice re the official turkey shoot tryouts. The problem in my area is it's retiree heavy with only one mega club and my father can't drive him....he's had many offers to come down from teams in the city proper.

    7) Don't take it too seriously and enjoy the ride.


    >>>>>hard not to when your kid is crying himself to sleep.

    Hope you've vented enough and feel bit better. Now go do something about it, differently.

    >>>>>trying. all great advice. thanks.

    Cheers!
     
  18. GKDad65

    GKDad65 Bronze

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    Relax, be happy...he's only 9yo.
     
  19. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    His age actually makes this more difficult. As some else said, no 9 year old should have this much drama. Seriously it's like dating almost...complete with the comeons, blind dates, indecisiveness, lies, anticipation, infatuation and rejection. There's time enough for that in high school, and if he were in high school, I wouldn't be complaining...it is what it is....but at 9 for freaking flight three seems a bit much.
     
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  20. outside!

    outside! Silver

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    My son had a difficult first 3 years of club. In 3 years, the teams he was on won 3 games. There were some tears at times, especially around tryout season when he did not make it onto the team with his buddies. If it were me, I would have given up, but my son loved the game and recently told me he also did not want to be seen as someone who gives up. He kept his head down, worked hard and is now on a good team with a great group players (including some of his buddies from back then) and an excellent coach. Keep it fun, keep up the futsal so that he can be a keeper with good foot skills, keep up the GK training and the day will come when he will find the right team (and they will be ecstatic to have him).
     
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