Here and There. Two different ways to create a Youth Soccer Club.
As Iíve said many times, I come from a different soccer planet than the USA.
Just in these days, the Astronomerís Community decided that Pluto is not a planet anymore! My planet is still almost unknown here. Maybe because itís too close to see it. Being just across the ocean I have to recognize that itís very hard to see it, with telescopes constantly pointed into far away deep space! In doing that, very often, we donít see what is exactly in front of our nose.
For this reason, Iíll take the liberty to compare the way a soccer club is formed in Europe (that soccer planet so far away across the ocean) and in the USA.
I wonít draw conclusions. Iíll just give you the elements to do that and Iíll call these 2 planets, Here and There, starting from the assumption that the Youth Soccer Club will be created from day one.
Here. A group of 20 families, decide to put together a soccer club formed by their sons or daughters. There is not a try-out. Just 20 kids U12 will form the team (Boys or Girls). Being just 20 without try-outs, there will be: 1 or 2 good soccer players, 3 or 4 acceptable, 5 or 7 really so-so and the rest will NEVER, EVER be able to control and pass the ball around decently even in 100 years! Itís clearly nothing wrong. Itís not a fault. Some have good voices and some donít. Some are deeply out of tune and will never, ever be able to sing in tune. Itís not a fault and is absolutely not his or her fault, but itís a fact that this person CANíT SING IN A CHORUS. If someone faints every time he or she sees a little blood, itís not their fault and there is nothing to be ashamed of, but for sure, they canít become a DOCTOR or a SURGEON !!!!!!
There. A group of 20 adult soccer lovers, decide to put together a soccer club. There will be a try-out among a few hundred kids U12, and the 20/22 most talented will be chosen. All the others will go back to the parks, beaches, back yards, and continue having pick-up games, that is one of most fun things to do at that age. Clearly they can go to other try-outs for other teams and maybe get on that team. If not, the spontaneous pick-up games will be there to permit them to enjoy their lives and have all the fun that every kid in the world deserves.
Here. The parents, pay to permit their sons and daughters to play a season. Generally itís something between $800 and $1000 a year. In a few situations itís even more so, letís say $100 a month. For some families itís a lot of money but they make the sacrifice for their kids. This money will be used to rent fields, pay league fees, referees, travel, etc., etc., plus a professional coach will be found to teach the kids, 20 or 30% of whom will never be able to make an acceptable pass during the games.
There. In the group of 20 soccer lovers, each puts in $100 a month. The families of the players pay NOTHING for their sons or daughters to play on the team. The club gives the players the uniforms, even soccer shoes and pays or provides for everything. The club will find a field for practice and play. All 20 soccer lovers, will be involved in the management of the team. This means that there will be no coaches to pay! He will be one of the founders of the Club. To coach is his job. All the others will be the President, Vice, General Manager, transportation, supplies manager, relationship and contact with the Federation, the League, the Referees, and on and on. So the money will be used for the uniforms, all the training supplies, travel, renting fields, referee fees, etc., etc.
Here. After a couple of years, because the kids will grow, they will pass to the U13, U14 and U15. At this point, supposing that in the meantime the team has not disappear yet, the team will disappear anyway because all the players will go to different High Schools. Some will play on the high school team, some others in a new club, some will not play anymore. The sad part is that the ones who donít play anymore, in 90% of the cases, are THE ONLY 1 OR 2 GOOD SOCCER PLAYERS that were on the team who, not having been challenged by so-so team mates and having gotten bored, never get better and the love for the game goes away. How you can blame them. You try playing and almost loosing every game for 4 years and youíll understand. To win is not important, but sometimes it helps!
There. In the same amount of time as Here, at the end of the first year when the original U12 teams pass to U13, another try-out is held and a new U12 team will be formed. A few other soccer lovers will be added to manage this team. Just a new coach and General Manager. The money is more than enough for doing that and not only that. In 4 years, the Club will have 4 teams. If someone leaves the teams, a try-out can be call to fill up the eventual gaps in the rosters. In these 4 years, the foundations of something that could become a permanent Soccer Club, were put down.
Here. There is no Here anymore, because the team has disappeared!
There. A few local sponsors have entered the management of the Club. Now the founders, donít have to pay their starting fees anymore and, the coaches start GETTING PAID!!!!! In the meantime, the group of 80/100 players, who are the result of the try-outs of more than 1,000 (one thousands) kids, a few players, lets say 3 to 5, begin to show some good characteristics that are more than just good soccer players. They can begin to seriously think that soccer could be more than just having fun. In the meantime, a few talent scouts from professional Clubs, have already drawn the same conclusions. There are a few players in this Club, that could be interesting. So, lets keep an eye on them. Maybe both eyes on the redhead!
Here. Without forgetting that that team has disappeared 3 years ago, in the meantime, in 8 years, thousands of teams were formed in the same way, and are almost ready to disappear like all the others and hundreds of potential good soccer players, who could be really good, have already given up on soccer because itís too boring to NEVER, EVER, have a decent pass back after having passed the ball to a teammate who just lets the ball pass trough his or her legs, while the parents of these players yell from the border of the field:
ďGood tryÖÖÖÖHoney! Try againÖÖÖÖ..Honey!Ē
There. The original U12 players are now U19. For 8 years they have been trained individually and as a team. Every aspect of the game is very clear to them. A couple of times they have won the State Cup. Among the 160 players on the 8 teams of the Club, 2 U18 and 3 U19 were invited to have a serious try out by a top soccer Club, like Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, A.C Milan, and on and on. All these Clubs, have more than 400 youth players on their youth teams and many others playing on teams of lesser category just to see how they manage themselves at a high level.
So up to you to draw the conclusion. Up to you to continue like Here or, at least, begin to consider what happens There.
Just to help you, I can assure you that what I underlined above, happens every second, of every hour, of every day. There, it happened to me 40 years ago when I was 17 and itís still happening every day.
If you begin to do something today, maybe one day it will happen Here, too.
In the meantime, ďTry againÖÖÖÖÖÖÖ..Honey!Ē
Posted on 15 Sep 2006 by coachgianni