It’s the most wonderful time of the year for the competitive soccer players and their families across the state. What time would that be? Its tryout time of course! Billboards appear all over the state luring you to try out for one Club or another. Fliers and mailers are sent to you full of promises of playing fields anew with the best coaching and training you’ve ever had. Recruiting is in full swing from parents, coaches and players alike trying to piece together the next super team to dominate the state regardless of age group. We are here to provide you some simple yet often over looked guidelines/suggestions to the few people that actually read this blog.
Let’s deal with some of the realities. First, all teams will eventually break up. The group of players that have been together since U6 and have only lost 2 games in the past 6 years will eventually mutate into a different team all together. This change is more heartbreaking for the parents than the players. Usually with a little counseling and a hug the parents can move on and survive the trauma.
Why do players leave such a team? Maybe the player isn’t being challenged anymore and is ready for a higher level. It could be that they are looking for a new coach, different club and environment or they don’t want to play anymore. The player could also be unhappy and think the grass is greener across town. Regardless of the reason, we simply ask that parents remember that your player should be at the center of the decision making process. It is always helpful to ask the player directly what their desires and concerns are before making any decisions. The player is the one that will need to deal with any changes.
Some things to consider during try outs:
• What is the philosophy of the club and more importantly do they actually stick to it or abandon it at the first sight of medals and trophies?
• How many teams are in the age group that your player is trying out for?
• How many players are rostered per team?
• What level of competition do the teams play?
• What is the licensing level of the coach?
• Is the coach actually successful at developing players and making them better?
o Side note here, player development should never stop, no matter what the level!
• How many nights a week does the team train and do they offer specialized training?
• How many games will the team play per season and is it conducive to player development?
• How much travel is involved?
• What is the cost of the club per season including uniforms and team fees?
There are thousands of variations to the questions above and others that are not even listed. Be sure to do your homework on the organization, the coach and the team before starting this process. Remember that a wonderful and sometimes drastically different picture is often painted during this time of the year. It is only later that you find out how quickly that picture fades away once the deposits are put down. Please keep things in perspective as to what the player wants and make the best decision possible based off of that. Good luck!
Please feel free to email me with comments, questions or suggestions for the blog. Gvallee@scysa.org.