Question: Do a and b squads train together?

Discussion in 'SoCalScene' started by Grace T., May 16, 2017.

  1. Grace T.

    Grace T. Active Member

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    Quick question please: on clubs with two or more teams in the same gender/age group (say an a and b squad) how often do/should the teams train together?
     
  2. Mystery Train

    Mystery Train Active Member

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    I've been around, closely observed the operations at 6 different clubs and not seen this done at all. I think that they absolutely should train together. Maybe not constantly, but with some regularity. Especially at big clubs where they tout development and preach a certain singular style of play. But that's not how it works at the clubs. They are treated as separate entities completely. I don't even know why they call them A and B teams, to be honest. They should just do away with that crap.

    I get that there may be some practical challenges to having the teams practice together. First and foremost, the A and B team coaches would need to have an agreed upon curriculum of the things they wanted to train the players on. All the A and B team coaches I saw hardly ever even spoke, much less worked together.

    If you're asking that question from the standpoint of wanting to know if B teams should practice with the A teams so that the A team coach can call-up B teamers who compete and show well, there is another reason clubs don't do it. Internally, a B team is not viewed by the club as a viable "feeder" for the A team, although they would rarely admit as much to the B team parents. One out of 16 B team kids will get moved up to the A team (once about every other year), but each season the A team will poach at minimum 4 kids from other clubs' A teams. That's my cynical opinion, but it is based on years of first hand observation. One DoC told me that he'd rather take a top track athlete and teach her the game than bring up one of the B team players. "If a player is on the B team, that's probably where she belongs." And this was a club that had the word "development" plastered all over their website. If there are clubs that actually look at their B teams as "feeders" for the A teams or as place to develop A team players, I've not seen it personally.
     
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  3. Desert619

    Desert619 New Member

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    I think they should train together at least once every two Weeks. My dd once was on the b team. The coach had both teams and trained them together once in Awhile. At the start of the year the a team would beat the b team by a lot during scrimmages. They both played in the same flight 1 bracket during league and the b team took 2nd place and the a team took 6th place. Needles to say the A team parents were pissed.
     
  4. PLSAP

    PLSAP Active Member

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    I've seen a couple teams do so pretty regularly if not always.
     
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  5. SIMONMAGUS

    SIMONMAGUS Member

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    Mystery Train is spot on!

    Well done, comrade.
     
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  6. Mystery Train

    Mystery Train Active Member

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    Sounds like your daughter was actually on the "a" team in reality. The club just had them labeled incorrectly! :D
     
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  7. Desert619

    Desert619 New Member

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    It was a very interesting year. The B team girls just developed faster. I guess the A team parents and players didn't see it coming. They played the same tournaments. Both teams kept making it to the finals and eventually the B team would take home the championship trophy. I was so proud of all of them. They had amazing chemistry and supported each other. The parents also were very supportive to each kid and their development. There was no snobby entitled " I'm a starter attitude" on the team.
     
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  8. LASTMAN14

    LASTMAN14 Well-Known Member

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    At our club on the girls side the two teams tend to not train together.
    On the girls side our two teams do not train together. However, they do not do so because they are attempting to separate them, but rather having different coaches with differing time schedules, the two teams have different schedules per team dynamics, and/or located at different training sites (for numerous reasons). What the club has done is to invite several of the 2nd team players to come and train with the 1st team. This is done 2-3 times a month.
     
  9. LASTMAN14

    LASTMAN14 Well-Known Member

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    It's terrible that a coach/club do not view the second team as a viable player pool for the future. Both my dd's teams have many players that came from the 2nd and 3rd teams over the last 2-3 years, and are still on the 1st team. Currently on youngest dd they 4 have players that came up and on my oldest dd's squad they have 6. It can be done but their has to be a belief you do not need to recruit if you really develop and trust in your system.
     
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  10. chargerfan

    chargerfan Well-Known Member

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    My daughter's team has only trained with their b team when their coach was out for a week. If I were a b team parent, I would love my kid to have the chance to play with the top team. As a top team parent, I don't like the idea of it.

    But I do think the a,b,c designation at u8-u10 is silly anyways. They are too young to have an idea who has the most potential.
     
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  11. TCD

    TCD Active Member

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    I think it would make sense for a club to "pay it forward" on a regular basis. Have A team train with B team, B team train with C team, have 05 A team train with 04 A team, have G04 A team train with B05 A team, etc (just giving examples, don't get too tied up in the specifics). And also good idea to have top players from lower team train with higher team, etc. But I think this is the exception not the rule. Takes communication and coordination - two things I find missing from most clubs.
     
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  12. forsomuch

    forsomuch New Member

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    We did it one year fairly successfully at u16, the B team was to be a feeder team to the A team. Rostered 15 players with A team and 18 with the B team. There were 5-6 players that moved back and forth weekly, just about all players got some game time with the A team, especially during summer tournaments. Summer training was together, multiple coaches, would separate defense, midfield, forwards for drills. Fitness and scrimmaging was mixed. Once the Fall season began the first third of practice was fitness and drills together, then individual team work players were told weekly which team they were playing on for the weekend. Tier 1 team finished middle of bracket and Tier 2 team won their bracket.

    It was working pretty good until the parents started bitching. People complained at the top because they didn't win the bracket, people in the middle complained when they thought they should always be at the top and people on bottom complained because the top team always took their best players. Coaches got tired of the complaining went back to 2 teams, full rosters, practicing on different nights, very little movement between teams unless someone was short handed.

    Maybe I liked it because my kid was a legitimate tweener and I was realistic about his ability. He could be on the bench with the A team or start on the B team. It was nice to do both. He decided he would rather be a starter with the B team when the experiment ended. Both teams played Tier 1 at u17/19. Neither ended up being especially successful, A team always above middle bracket and B always below the middle. Maybe I liked it because it was the only time in 10+ years I felt a club was legitimately working like a club and not a collection of individual teams.
     
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  13. Mystery Train

    Mystery Train Active Member

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    Yeah. I tend to be hard on the clubs and DoC's regarding this topic, but for sure the parents can create just as many problems. Good point.
     
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  14. Dargle

    Dargle Active Member

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    This model, which I have seen before and which I know some clubs are using now, is particularly effective when you are at an age group break point. For example, if you are moving from 9 v. 9 to 11 v. 11 the following year and you tell the parents we intend to combine the teams next year. Or if you have two teams, neither of which have big rosters and you know a few players are going to leave because of graduation etc, and you explicitly declare preseason that the intention is to create a super team the following year. Then parents are much less focused on team success and focused more on individual play.

    I've also seen it work well when you have a CSL-style player pass rule, rather than an SCDSL-style rule. In CSL, a player can move up a bracket level, but not down. In SCDSL, they can move both up and down. In the CSL rule, it means that it gives B team players a chance, which makes them happy, but A team parents feel secure (although their kids can lose playing time to a B team player). While B team parents may not love the fact that their best kids are being taken from their team, they know that the benefit is their kids will likely get more playing time and more central roles, rather than having their spots potentially taken by fringe A team players. It also works better when you are only talking about 1-2 players at most per game being moved up. That isn't going to prevent the A team from succeeding.
     
  15. Desert619

    Desert619 New Member

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    You nailed it! This is exactly how it should be. Instead of moving girls up from your B team, clubs are leaving open spots on their A team rosters just "incase" they get another player from another club come over.

    Why not practice your best players from your B team with the A team to develop them and move them up?

    Oooooh I know why! It's all about the money and they don't believe in their own system/players.
     
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  16. socalkdg

    socalkdg Active Member

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    Last year was first year as club, in CSL as bronze, all girls came from two teams in the Extra program with AYSO. Moving to Silver this year. Girls side. Every girl came back. Daughter was also playing with AYSO Select and Extra in the Spring to get some field play(keeper). The plan for those girls was to continue as Extra next year, but due to problems with our AYSO, they are creating a B team for these girls, they will play bronze next year.

    So starting in June they will start practicing with us, with their head coach being one of our current assistant coaches. As mentioned B team girls will have a chance to play up during tourneys. Since my daughter has played with all of them, I know that all the girls are great. But as mentioned, there could be a few parents that could cause some problems. Hopefully the chance to have some physically talented girls eventually join our team once they get the technical side down will out way the occasional crazy parent.
     
  17. Dargle

    Dargle Active Member

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    That is actually a critical ingredient of success of the player pool format. Not only do the two teams need to practice at the same time/location, but the Director of Coaching or Technical Director has to decree that the A team coach is in charge (called "age group head" or something like that). The B team coach then takes instructions from the A team coach on playing style and even practice drills etc when they are practicing separately. They HAVE to be on the same page. One thing that a lot of parents just flat out miss is that the reason the A team coach passed over your B team kid may be because they've been training all year in a different style or they remain deficient in the skills that led them to make the B team last year because the B team coach didn't work on those things. If the two are coordinated, then the transition can be seamless. If they aren't, then you might as well take the more athletic kid off the street or the kid from a club that plays the way the A team coach likes to play because the B team players basically haven't developed much at all in the style of play dictated by the A team coach.

    This is also why a B team that beats the club's A team may not actually be developing its players. It may be that the B team coach is playing kick ball and the A team coach wants to play out of the back. At the younger ages, the B team may succeed against the A team, but those players will only fall farther and farther behind the A team players in the eyes of the coach because they can't execute the coach's tactics.
     
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  18. Grace T.

    Grace T. Active Member

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    Thanks to all who replied for info!
     
  19. jrcaesar

    jrcaesar Active Member

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    It could also be the other way around: B team (developing during the season) plays out of the back, A team (needing to win games to move up tiers) does not.
     
  20. espola

    espola Well-Known Member

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    Another twist - a coach works two teams, separated by a year. He schedules practices back to back with a 15-minute overlap. During that time, he splits the teams up more or less equally so they can work on small-side drills and full-side scrimmages.
     

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