MOST POPULAR QUESTION I GET ASKED DURING THIS TIME OF THE YEAR!!
Within last month I've got 12 different e-mails from parents of soccer players with pretty much the same content - parents described current situation for their kid and then list options for next year asking my advice. Of course all situations were slightly different regarding thepast experience but very similar in terms of how much details parents knew about future possible options. Almost all of them knew very little except names of clubs and level of team. In some case they knew future coach name. In one case they heard from others that one possible future coach is really good. My main advice to all parents who are unhappy with current situation and are looking for new options - DO YOUR HOMEWORK!! And here is what HOME WORKmeans:
What I have learned during these years is that there are few parameters that are important when choosing team/club: coach, level of partners, level of competition, First priority must be COACH - you can be in top competition, beat every team and do not really develop if your coach sucks! If training is not good enough and doesn't develop you every single day - you simply will not become the player you could be! So whatever club you chose - your primary attention should be on a person who will directly coach your son. It is not the right attitude from the club point of view but unfortunately it is reality we currently live in. How to understand if the coach is good or not? Go watch his current team training!! You can go watch a game as well but games are often misleading - if my team has better players than yours I will most likely beat you but that doesn't mean I'm better coach (can simply mean that I recruited better players because my club is more famous or has DA or some other advantages). So it is important to observe training and see if you like the coach and the way players train. Also important to observe few practices - not just one! If you don't understand anything in soccer -either ask someone for help (BEST OPTION) or ask your player to evaluate - bottom line is that next year he will spend significant amount of his time with this coach.
Second important factor is the level of partners- your son will spend significant time on the field with them. If they are not good enough then your son will not receive proper level of resistance during training. If they are too good then your son will have hard time to have success and his confidence will be affected. So partners are important for proper development. That's why sometimes especially at young age it is better to play not on a top team but second/third where your child will get a lot of playing time at his favorite position.
Third factor is level of competition - it makes sense to test your abilities against proper level opponent which will put high pressure and will not forgive minor mistakes - this is the only way to develop proper speed of play. Ideally wining rate should be around 75% and those wins should be close ones (as well as losses). This is for example the reason South California (or Texas) is ahead of Colorado - population is significantly bigger and therefore amount of talent is higher = higher level of competition = better development. SO THESE 3 FACTORS MUST BE KEY WHEN YOU DECIDE ON FUTURE CLUB/TEAM FOR YOUR KID. NOT HOW MANY GOLD MEDALS HE IS GOING TO WIN, POTENTIAL FUTURE DA IN 2-3 YEARS, FUTURE EXPOSURE TO COLLEGE COACHES (WHEN YOUR KID IS STILL IN MIDDLE SCHOOL) ETC.
IF YOU ARE FOCUSED AT PLAYER DEVELOPMENT IT ALSO SHOULD NOT BE FOCUSED ON FRIENDS, OTHER PARENTS ON THE TEAM, SIZE OF THE CLUB AND OTHER IMPORTANT BUT SECONDARY THINGS!!
YOU NEED TO FOCUS ON TODAY DEVELOPMENT BECAUSE IF IT DOESN'T HAPPEN TODAY - FUTURE WILL NOT BE IMPORTANT!
Please note this has been written for players who aspire to pursue highly competitive soccer path. At very young ages all kids need is fun, safe and challenging environment so nothing wrong to have neighborhood/friends team!! In fact this is exactly how it all supposed to start!!!
SIGN UP FOR OUR SUMMER CAMPS IN COLORADO!!! SIQ CAMPS FILL UP VERY QUICKLY!!