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

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

  1. soccerobserver

    soccerobserver Silver

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    Ok wow...so sorry to hear...if this door closes other better doors will open!!!! For what it's worth my youngest "retired" from soccer after her sophomore year becuase she did nto click with the varsity HS coach...she found track and field and has been running happily ever since...hopefully it will work out but if it doesn't there are so many other fun things to do...best wishes to you and your excellent son :)
     
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  2. Mystery Train

    Mystery Train Silver

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    I feel for you and your son. I've followed a lot of your posts with interest because my kid is a keeper as well. We need a GK Parent Union!

    Like SoCal United said, this just basically puts you into good company with all the rest of us. I don't know anyone who just had a sweetheart walk all the way through club soccer. Most people suffer the drama early and have it smooth out over time. It's actually better this way than to have an easy ride early and then have this sort of drama later. I know kids who are Jr/Sr in HS whose club teams disintegrated at the last moment and that is very disruptive, especially if the player is looking for college opportunities.

    We had our disillusionment come in our 2nd to 3rd year. After first year on the B team, got moved to the A team, did ok but not great, was promised a spot verbally for the next year, then got cut via online roster posting (no email, no phone call, no conversation) day after tryouts where she was the only keeper in attendance. Utterly devastated. Went through the process of shopping other clubs and had very similar experiences as you did. She found an awesome team one age group up that wanted her, practiced for a few weeks with them, they loved her. She did a showcase with them had one great game. Coaches were over the moon about her. Second game, gave up a real howler. Coaches were like, "It's ok. It happens." Third game, it happened again. "Thanks for coming out, here's her player card."

    Like you, I worried that all this crap was going to ruin soccer for her. I don't know why, but it didn't. She kept her desire through it all and even through puberty and the sudden awareness of the opposite sex. I don't think I can take any credit for that. She just kept persevering. Maybe your son will, maybe he won't, and either outcome is totally fine as long as he's doing it on his own determinism.

    I can't really offer you much new advice that you either don't already know or haven't already been told here. I will say this however, about keepers: The experience of getting cut because of poor performance did get in my daughter's head. As a youngster, she played with abandon and aggression and that almighty superpower of great goalkeepers: confidence. That was because she was usually one of the top 2-3 players on the team. She had a coach that didn't punish her for mistakes, and she was the only keeper on the team (we also wanted her to play in the field some, but that never really happened...a topic we can discuss in DM if you want) so she always had the comfort of knowing her starting GK spot was secure. As a result, she played great. In the situations where it was known that her spot was questionable or that she had to "earn" her place, she played tighter. Once she had the hammer put down on her, she started tightening up in every new situation or in every big game, fearing that a gaffe or a soft goal would get her cut. It has taken a long, long time to build that confidence back. Whatever you do, you need a coach that is going to let your son screw up, let him lay an egg, get megged on a break-away, have a slow roller go right through his mitts. Every keeper needs a coach who will let that happen, work on constant improvement, and build their confidence up. I know you want him to play in the field and split time, but honestly, my daughter's best experiences have come when the coach is committed to her as his/her #1 keeper and not constantly shopping around for the next best thing. I highly recommend B teams and lower Silver or flight 2/3 teams for goalkeepers. If your team regularly gives up a couple goals, but the keeper saves 7-10 shots a game, everyone on the team is highly appreciative and the GK feels like a hero. On the flip side, if he plays for a great team and only faces a couple shots a game, but gives up one out of 2, the looks of resentment and pressure to be perfect can really break a kid.
     
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  3. Speed

    Speed Bronze

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    Very sorry to hear your experience. We have been in for 4 years now. 2 kids. We moved over at u12...a little late but I had heard horror stories and wanted my daughter to be really ready. Frankly it was ok, we needed to catch up a little but played one year flight 2 then moved to flight 1. We have had good experiences with all of our coaches and have moved every single year(!) due to coach changes at each club. We followed our current coach to our club we are at now (and leaving) as not one promise was kept. I didn't really feel there was koolaid being served but I guess there was. No hard feelings on our part to either the coach and the club just time for us to move on. Daughter isn't developing and we care more about that more then wins. I Kind of look at it like looking for a new job: I am sad to have employees leave but know it's ultimately their choice and wish them well. I know if my employees leave for greener and bigger pastures kudos to me for doing my job well and setting them up for success. Well our coach will not respond to emails, speak to us, etc. By doing he has validated all of our reasons for leaving. I also agree with what others said, I was willing to do trainings, futsal,guest play until we found the right spot with the right coach. We weren't willing to take a spot just to take a spot.

    I have always done a lot of coach homework up front. Talked with coaches and parents on the team before taking kids out. It has helped to weed coaches out. If I don't think their coach strategy, personality is a good fit for my kid I am not even taking them out. I think it makes it easier on my kids. Finally, not that I would do this,but I want someone that I might invite them over for dinner. They spend too much time with my kid and I spend too much money on the sport for them to be a AHole. There are good coaches out there that are trying to do the right thing. Once you find the good coach keep that relationship strong and healthy. I have stayed in touch with our original coach and he has helped us navigate the clubs and coaches. It has really been helpful.

    Hang in there.
     
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  4. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Wonderful advice. Thanks. My son is the same way. With the mega club, he played awesome in practices....coach ravved....absolutely have a place for him maybe even silver but definitely on my top bronze if he doesn't cut it (wasn't looking to place him on silver)....he got nervous going into his first scrimmage with the team....my dad told me to ease up on the pressure before the game (which was ultimately a mistake....we didn't know he used that pressure to switch off the inattentive ADD....we've since corrected by giving him a diet coke before the game...but then we hadn't received the diagnosis yet)...more nervous when he saw how hard the 07s kick and the pace of the game....struggled with the backpass which he had learned in futsal and his old club didn't let him do but held in there....had a really great save and quick turnaround throw leading to a goal.....then a howler, then another howler and it was over.

    I'm o.k. with him being a FT keeper if he plays with a team that let's him build out the back....one that just let's him shot stop and forces him to punt is an entirely different story....new keeper for the old club is a very good punter....it's the first thing they mentioned about him in their introduction email....he sometimes can even score with one....another warning sign I should have seen.
     
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  5. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Thanks for this. Hasn't been my approach since we don't have a lot of choices in our areas and he just really wants a team, but if we don't get one, yes I'll take a lot of this advice. The only thing I'd caution with the friendship thing is that I thought I was friends with the coaches....my dad and their dad hung out....I used my triple AAA card once to help get into her car....I was their biggest booster...they even took my son out bowling. Things still went sour quickly...I guess it started towards the end of the season when both lead striker and my son went out on injury (the tenor of everything really began to change)...then when the twin left at the last 2 games, and lead striker left right at the beginning of tryouts (leading for us to not go into state cup), things began to go south much faster. Like I said, when they found out we were looking and cut us, I wasn't really surprised.
     
  6. Nutmeg

    Nutmeg

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    Here’s my opinion of which no one asked but it’s a slow day around here. Club soccer no matter where you are sucks. It 100% sucks. Now wait before everyone freaks out on me, hold on. I love watching my players, love the game, love the journey of it and what it has allowed my kids to experience. Good and bad. That said the trick is to know that club soccer is not and never was created and designed for parents to enjoy it. It is quite honestly Organized and operated by clubs, organizations, and coaches to profit from a ever revolving source of income. That income source is us the parents. We are a necessary by product that those who run this sport are forced to deal with in order for them to make a living. There is an inherent animosity. Their interest rarely are our interests. If you have a roster at any given time 1/3 is upset, 1/3 is happy and 1/3 don’t know any better. And if your happy just wait a month and you will switch places with the upset group. Now our players if you do your job as a soccer parent, will enjoy most of their overall experience. Coaches are never ever to be trusted, they are not your friends, clubs are not designed to develop your player. They just provide a place and framework for your player to play. Clubs and coaches are the ocean. As so as you turn your back on it, a giant ass wave comes drags you out to sea and killls you. It sounds bad sure. But that’s the system.
     
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  7. Surfref

    Surfref Silver Elite

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    Not all clubs or coaches are just out for the money. My daughter is in her second year of coaching and went to the same E license clinic as Grace T. in Ventura. This year she has a G16 team, G9 team and will be the club floater for tournaments that the G16 team is not playing in. The G9 team will only be playing indoor and futsal, which may sound a little strange. The G9 team was to be a new club team, but the skill level of the 13 players was really subpar. Several of the girls had never played and all but 2 players had only played one year of AYSO. My DD talked to me and was concerned the girls would get destroyed, even at the lowest level of Presidio. She was concerned the girls would get discouraged from losing and hate soccer. She approached the club DOC with a plan to keep the team together and only play indoor and futsal and give the families a discount on club fees and DD to take discounted coaching fees. The parents appreciated my DD and DOC's honesty and agreed with the plan. Two of the one year AYSO players left for another club. My DD makes $30 per player per month and they practice twice a week with one indoor game per week. They will start their second indoor season next month and futsal in the summer. My DD tells me the parents are happy with the setup and the players are progressing good in their skill levels, but most of all having fun. They lost their first three indoor games, but have won the last 4. There is always a way to figure out how to get players on a team. Sometimes the club and coach have to think more about the players than the money.
     
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  8. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Not everyone is as cool as your daughter. :) Kudos to her for being so proactive.

    Were the kids that left the keepers? That's the only thing that would concern me for switching futsal. The skill set is very different. We put my son in futsal to get his field skills up. They rotated the keeper slot, but he still took to it like a duck in water when it was his turn. Gave him a good new skill set of k-stops and blocks but it's also made him more willing to go for the block than the catch, which his trainer finds annoying.
     
  9. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Yeah, I believed all the hippy dippy stuff about us "being a family" and thought we were friends and was surprised how quickly they turned on us. Never again.
     
  10. zebrafish

    zebrafish Silver

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    I think this is good advice. My kid was on a team for 2 years without a full-time goalie. They rotated players, so there were some painful moments/mistakes, but all the kids got a good appreciation for the position and the difficulties. This year, they are lucky enough to have a full-time goalie-- now, that goalie isn't as good in goal as the top 3 field players are, but all the kids (and probably most of the parents, too) are relieved and happy to have someone willing to take on the job full-time, even though the player will make some mistakes. So, finding a team that wants a goalie and a coach who is supportive probably will solve many problems.
     
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  11. watfly

    watfly Silver

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    You've had a rough first year and your kid being a keeper, or at least a part-time keeper, makes the the club experience that much tougher. Our 1st couple of years in club I was dismayed by the behavior of some coaches and the culture of the club. Club soccer was unrecognizable from when I had played 40 years earlier. Common sense doesn't seem to apply anymore. We are very happy where we are now, there are good coaches and clubs out there. I know some say that the coach is the only thing that matters, but I disagree, the club sets the overall tone plus some clubs determine how many players are put on the roster and when the club decides it is always too many players.
    Once you realize that for many coaches and clubs, and even a few refs, hell a lot of parents too, that it is not about the kids, it makes things a little more tolerable and makes it that much sweeter when someone actually makes it about the kids. Take it with a grain of salt because were in only 5 years, but from what I've seen I think the younger years are the worst.

    One thing I've learned about club soccer is take nothing at face value, do your research...and then do some more research. Good luck!
     
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  12. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Finding a team that wants a goalie has been pretty hard just because of our area (lot's of '07 teams looking, most of the '08 teams are already doubled up) and there's only one boys mega club (2 girls though). With double keepers, it's important that they be roughly the same play level. At our old club, new keeper has a lot of natural talent but has a year less experience and no private trainer, which I think caused problems for the coaches as I suspect promises were made (the other thing that irked me is that they started holding special free goalkeeper practices which in retrospect was to get the kid up to speed, but which they didn't do with my son when he was beginning and struggling). At the overrostered team, my son was by far the stronger keeper (which put the coach in a do I cut the other kid or don't I situation....to his great credit he didn't cut, but that put my son in a bad place).

    The "coach who is supportive" is the even trickier part. It's why we hung with our old club-- they were really supportive until they weren't [and that really took me by surprise]. The team that recruited him only to tell us at the last minute they'd be playing up scared me....it's apparent they just want a body to play. My niece's team threw their keeper under the bus....the parents particularly the team manager blamed the keeper for the losses. Most people don't understand it takes a really really long time to develop a keeper. You can have a really atheletic kid back there shot stopping but that doesn't mean they are learning to goalkeep well. Teaching properly takes a whole heck of a lot of time. My son's trainer, for example, only just got to punting a few weeks back for the first time after 6 months of training.
     
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  13. Messi>CR7

    Messi>CR7 Bronze

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    Just to add some perspective. PSG paid €200M for Neymar Jr and made him the highest player in the world. It's been less than a year and many are reporting that Neymar wants out already. It's always going to be hard to find a perfect situation in soccer :)

    If he is only 9, he will have plenty of chance and time to be good at GK (or a field player) at a later age. What's the worst that can happen if he sits out club soccer for a year? He can try futsal, tennis, swimming, or just kill a FIFA18 league. Before you know it, another season will come along.

    Good luck.
     
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  14. bruinblue14

    bruinblue14 Bronze

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    Sorry to hear you and your son are going through this. I haven't been around club that long, but we've definitely had our ups and downs. Some team related, some parent related, some club related. Sometimes I find that I have to step away for a while during the season or during tryouts when things are difficult for whatever reason. (I have the luxury of pawning off taxi duty to dad.) Then I start to miss watching my kid play and I come back to it.

    Totally agree with the poster above that vetting the coach for personality/style of play is key, but I also feel that sometimes it's just so hard to tell if they are being truthful or not and what one person values in a coach, another abhors. Tryouts are the absolute worst, no doubt about it. We've had much better luck contacting coaches individually and asking to practice with the team.

    For what it's worth, my kid is a midfielder who is most comfortable in a passing/possession environment and when we were in the process of looking for a different team at u13, one thing we took into consideration was how the coach allowed the keeper to play. Did the field players play it back, did the keeper roll it out, how comfortable was the keeper with their feet. How far does the keeper play up, would they push up with their team to the 30 or 40 or stay in the box. We knew that if a coach allowed the keeper to play a certain way, the coach's philosophy would most likely be a good fit for our player. I remember one coach we talked to said, "Absolutely, I teach possession soccer." But when asked about how he used the keeper, he was a little surprised and said, "Oh no, we don't play back to the keeper on this team because they're just not ready for that," which basically told me 1) you don't really teach possession and 2) you don't allow your players the space to make mistakes and learn from them. My player's coach for 3 years always said, "Don't blame the keeper because that ball has to get through 10 other players first," so we carry that thinking with us to this day.

    I guess my point is, don't give up. Things happen for a reason. (Trite I know, but true.) Some parents out there will value the fact that your son is trying to learn to be a complete keeper for the future, not just a keeper to get some wins on the small field or in the youngers years. Your boy will find a place eventually that values him for his strengths and gives him the space to work on his weaknesses.
     
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  15. OCsoccerdad7777

    OCsoccerdad7777 Bronze

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    Amen to this:
    "Coaches are never ever to be trusted, they are not your friends"

    There are more honest coaches than others for sure but never trust them.

    They are salesmen in sports. Watch the teams you play against and see how the coaches act and style they play. If you like it then take your kid to try out there next year.

    They always say the right things: we don't play kickball, development first, our team will be very competitive........
     
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  16. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Yeah, the old team gave me that line when I asked then to teach him to play the back. But his trainer had been showing him how to do it, and in winter futsal he started to ask for it....he could do it (and do it well...even against some '06 RealSoCal girls and with some younger '09 boys)...if you teach it, they will learn it. The build up line forced the old team to change tactics away from the old punt: instead they and other teams around us had the GK send it to the backs who booted it up to the wingers. A friend who is a B level coach on the girls side had advised we hang in there...teams wouldn't go back to punting once the build up line was removed....and we were really hopeful that was true, but I guess in this case he was wrong. But like I said, he just wants a team at this point he can play on, and we're hopeful one of the two teams that wants him will get enough players to play (very different teams....one is all about power training, the other kids from the barrio....both would be different but great experiences if they can make it work).

    Thanks all...feeling a bit better to know it's not just us. We had the ceremonial burning of the old goalkeeper shirt yesterday (his idea to help him move on...it was sad since he loved that thing...he didn't fit into when he first started but had always said as he grew into it that he was proud to grow into it like he grew into the goalkeeping role). :( Keep your fingers crossed it works out for him.
     
  17. socalkdg

    socalkdg Silver

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    My daughter did core for a couple years while playing full time club as a keeper. She had played Extra and was a top player as a forward We did this in case she decided she was tired of playing keeper. I coached the teams during AYSO, didn't know much, but had my daughters help with the drills, I made sure the girls tried different positions, and kept things fun and ended up identifying a few girls that are now on our club team. Would never give up those couple seasons.

    When your kid is a keeper, everything sounds so easy to say half on the field, half at keeper, but it gets difficult. Being on a team with a bad defense can actually make life more interesting for a keeper. Worst case scenario have your kid train with a keeper coach, and play AYSO for a short season as you figure things out. Just keep it fun. Still very young. My kid didn't even start soccer until she was 9
     
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  18. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Yeah, if I were up for coaching him we could use this as a fallback, but I'm not. He's a very stubborn and willful child-- it's part of what makes him a great keeper that he doesn't think anyone or anything can keep him down. My coaching him became counter productive and a constant battle. These difficulties are either going to make him rise to the occasion, or he's going to turn on soccer and hate it....he's not going to fade away or just gradually stop playing.

    He has difficulty when adults give him conflicting information, especially if he knows it is wrong. One coach during tryouts a while back wanted him to basket catch a shot that he knew (and his trainer had drilled in him) should be caught with a W catch. He's respectful and defers to third party adults during practice, but after practice that just ate at him for a good 24 hours. Another coach wanted him to step forward on the PKs which his trainer had said never do and he knows is wrong....he said yes sir and did it but it just ate at him (he went out afterwards, knocked on his friends door, and insisted his friend take shots at him for an hour in the park so he could save PKs the "right way"). Doesn't help that he's bright. I just can't imagine it going well for him if we get a daddy baller coach that insists he do something he knows is wrong...that just won't go well....that I can see it making him hate the game. And for me I'd have to completely stay away...if the coach is clueless it will drive me insane.
     
  19. Messi>CR7

    Messi>CR7 Bronze

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    I can certainly relate to that. Anything I teach my daughter is wrong by default since she is a better player than me. But if I show her the same thing on youtube from a pro then it's easily accepted :).

    In general, I tried not to give soccer lessons to my DD so we can remain BFF.

    On the PK, I would say show him some youtube videos of pros giving themselves an edge by moving slightly off the goal line. Is it wrong by the letter of the law? Yes. But that's how the game is played. My 10-year-old DD already knows to appreciate when someone takes a smart "professional" yellow card to stop a counter.
     
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  20. Grace T.

    Grace T. Silver

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    Totally relate.

    The problem with moving off the line v. not is for a GK it involves trading reaction time to shot angle. Usually, it is very good for a keeper to reduce the shot angle (if there is no possibility of leaving open a cross or easy pass to an onside second striking player)...futsal players know this and do it all the time. The problem with moving off the edge slightly is it doesn't reduce the shot angle dramatically but does cost a few microseconds by way of reaction time...studies have now been conducted that show it isn't a great tradeoff particularly if the ball is shot down low. But that wasn't the issue. The issue was the coach showed him the old technique of taking a step forward before the dive...that's worse than just trying to get slightly off the line because it costs you almost a full second to get there...but it's the way I was taught back in the day myself ^\_;)_/^
     

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