When is the dream over?

Discussion in 'Arizona Scene' started by tjinaz, Sep 26, 2019.

  1. tjinaz

    tjinaz Member

    Reading through the ECNL, DA and DPL threads a thought occurred to me, what about all the kids who don't make these teams?

    Seems like the players with potential start to be groomed at a fairly young age. I would say around 11 or so. They get put onto teams with other high performers and start to separate from the pack. At that point practicing against each other and playing against better competition they get better and better at an increasing rate. Those that do not make these teams face a steeper and steeper slope trying to advance. They do not have access to the top coaches nor the quality of competition to help them. They can go to outside training but that can only help so much.

    There is also the "pedigree". Unless you come from a highly ranked team it seems coaches won't give a new player a good look at tryouts and those from ranked teams even if they aren't very good will be given a much better chance simply based on where they came from. All the clubs know the players from the top teams and fight for the talent, but unless you are already at that level or are known by the coaches there seems to be little chance they give them an honest opportunity. In order for them to really be noticed they have to be incrementally much better than the pedigreed player. Not to mention the majority of these top teams will keep the bulk of their existing players and look to only fill a couple of slots per season and for specific roles.

    So at what point is it time to pack it in and realize your player will never make those top teams, stop pushing so hard and should simply play for fun?
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
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  2. Sweeper

    Sweeper Active Member

    I notice a majority of parents stop pushing so hard once the kid turns 16. By that time the kid is driving themselves to practices, has a heavy workload in high school, and a social life. The kid is either driven to play in college/pro, the kid wants to play for fun or they quit soccer.
     
    Last edited: Sep 26, 2019
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  3. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    Why pack it in? Like Jurgen Klopp stated in an interview when talking about his professional playing career that he hung around like a "bad smell". He never stopped playing. He just stuck with it. Alex Morgan played recreational soccer all the up to the age of 15. As long as the love and passion for the game is there just keep going regardless of what team you are on. Kids develop at different rates physically, so the ones that develop sooner have an advantage to be on a top team when they are younger. Then there are the late bloomers that might not have developed physically as fast as others, but are technically sound players. When they do get developed physically, they become awesome players because they stuck with it and didn't have the physical attributes to compete at a younger age. Like a co-worker who played college soccer said to me that there is no guarantee just because you played DA or ECNL. The love of the game and the willingness to get better will always provide opportunity despite the club bullshit and politics. There are kids that are absolute studs at 12, but turn out to be duds at 18.
     
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  4. tjinaz

    tjinaz Member

    So by pack it in I meant not fret about the team, coach or league. Play simply to play and have fun and not worry about what team you will try to be on next year. When you think about it even in Metro Phoenix there are really only (4x18) 72 slots for DA or ECNL per age group 108 if you add DPL. That is a very small percentage of the total number of kids playing. Not everyone will get there and those in the pipeline early have a distinct advantage. Coaches always say "don't worry about winning or losing its about development". Developed for what? When do you decide your player is as "developed" as they are going to get and just let them play?
     
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  5. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    You make a good point and my apologies for not understanding the context of your original post.

    Sometimes I think the word "development" can be a bit ambiguous. Does it mean skill? Does it mean physical? Does it mean mental? I think with most coaches based on my experience anyway really means physical. How tall are you? How strong are you? How fast are you? And yes, depending on the position those attributes do play a factor, BUT it shouldn't be the only factor. Can't tell you how many times I have seen a kid who is gifted athletically, but they have horrible ball control, inaccurate passing, and inaccurate finishing due to bad technique.

    Also, I think with some coaches "development" is used as an excuse for coaches to be lazy. I have witnessed this also. They will round up the parents and give grandiose speeches about development and try to diminish the idea of winning and losing. As a result there isn't an objective. You can see it in the body language of a coach who doesn't really care. Development should mean noticeable improvement over time.
     
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  6. Mot Ozzi

    Mot Ozzi New Member

    If a child still has the dream despite clear signs of plateauing, and is enjoying the sport, I say by all means support it. Kids will figure out on their own when their time is up. All too often it’s the parents that have the dream, and some really struggle when it doesn’t work out. They complain about the club, coaches, lack of opportunities, unfairness, etc., and when the evidence becomes overwhelming, they show disappointment/disgust with the child. Just watch interactions between some of the parents and their kids after tryouts for elite teams. It’s just sad to see parents passively and not so passively discouraging their kid’s participation when they realize that kid is not going to play on an elite team, never mind college or beyond.
     
  7. tjinaz

    tjinaz Member

    Thank you. This is the exact scenario I am talking about. When to let the player take over their own destiny and decide how far they want to go. Finding some players have the ability but not the will or work ethic. It is a ton of work and time to get to that level and stay there. Some parents I talk to say.. "you need to push through.. they don't know what they want at this age, they will thank you later" others say "if they don't want to do it then just let it go, it is up to them". Want to support my player but don't want to be that pushy parent. Trying to find that line.
     
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  8. SoccerDadAZ

    SoccerDadAZ Member

    Is it any different from the other club sports (swimming, gymnastics, baseball, basketball, hockey, etc.)?
     
  9. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    I agree with you on travel. Traveling for the sake of traveling is dumb and expensive. What really gets me going is when you travel out of state just to play another team from Arizona. Too many good teams and tournaments in this state to even think of travel in my opinion. I can accept it at the begining of the year to let the teams bond especially when you have a bunch of new players coming on to the team though.
     
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  10. Desert Hound

    Desert Hound Active Member

    Out of curiosity what exactly are the good AZ tournaments? I run down my list and probably the best is del Sol Prez Cup. Then a big dropoff and you have Rising Max and Phoenix Cup as maybe the next best...and to be honest not really exciting.

    And then what?
     
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  11. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    Presidents Cup
    Desert Super Cup
    Phoenix Cup
    Az College Showcase
    Heritage Cup
    Arsenal Challenge
    Ostrich Festival
    Desert Classic
    State Cup
     
  12. Desert Hound

    Desert Hound Active Member

    So you agree than. Mediocre tournaments against basically just AZ teams.
     
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  13. Tiki-Taka-Freak

    Tiki-Taka-Freak Active Member

    I don't know where you get mediocre from when you have the best teams in the state of Arizona participating in it along with some strong teams from California, Texas, and Nevada. I think there was a team that came in from Japan and Canada to play in the Desert Super Cup last year. Why would a team come in from another country to play in a "mediocre" tournament?
     
  14. Desert Hound

    Desert Hound Active Member

    As has been discussed our APL/SL teams are usually pretty average. Most of the time they go out to Cal and get hammered playing in the Silver or Bronze levels of tournaments. The vast vast majority of our APL teams would not qualify to get into the top divisions in the various So Cal leagues.

    Here you can look at the teams from last year. Not terribly exciting. Most are just AZ . The few from elsewhere are pretty average at best teams. I just briefly went through most of the brackets.

    It is not even close to a top level tournament. I guess if you put SUPER in the name that changes everything right?

    https://home.gotsoccer.com/(X(1))/rankings/event.aspx?EventID=64876

    For that same weekend there were far stronger competition to be had in So Cal.
     
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  15. SoccerDadAZ

    SoccerDadAZ Member


    It was certainly an eye-opener to watch the good teams play for the first time in SoCal a number of years ago. Quicker decision-making, more physical, faster, more communication and coordinated team play. Even the behavior of the SoCal soccer parents was up a notch! You wonder if your player(s) and teams can ever play on the same pitch. But the more they faced the stronger competition in SoCal, the better they played. AZ tournaments have their place for the majority of AZ players/teams but I agree, the top AZ teams need to be challenged by the top teams in SoCal to get better.
     
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  16. Desert Hound

    Desert Hound Active Member

    Bingo. You get better by practicing and playing against better teams/players.
     
  17. soccer nomad

    soccer nomad New Member

    Has anyone from DPL in Az been offered a soccer scholarship? We are always told about college scouts and so forth but am wondering the talk about scouts is really meant for the more skilled da players. Only so many people can receive scholarships:)
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019 at 6:43 AM
  18. Sweeper

    Sweeper Active Member

    You do not need to be on a DA or ECNL team to get offered a scholarship for soccer. I know of a handful of girls that have soccer scholarships that play on RSL DPL, Del Sol DPL and APL teams (Phoenix Rising, CCV, EXCEL).

    The real question is how big are the soccer scholarships? There are very few full rides to college (athletic and/or academic) that cover tuition, room and board, books, etc unless you attend a school in the middle of nowhere (ie. North Dakota).
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2019 at 2:42 PM
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