Five Reasons Your Soccer Club Can’t Develop Your Kid
- The club has different goals than you do.
First of all, the club and coach have to put the team first. They also have to worry about developing team chemistry, and yes, they do have to win. Parents gravitate to coaches who win, and coaches who win tend to attract the better players. The better the players that play for the club, the easier it is for the club to attract more players. Also, if the coach doesn't win, their job is on the line. That's just a fact of life.
- Soccer parents have many different agendas
If you have 30 soccer parents involved with a team, you have 30 different agendas. Even agendas in the same family, with a husband and a wife, will be two separate agendas. Parents also say that they want development, but if you're honest, they really want to win. We have to be honest with ourselves.
- The club has your kids about seven hours a week, max
If your child practices three times a week, hour and a half, and then the game is an hour or so. Maybe that's five to six hours a week. On average, players generally get around 300-400 touches a practice. Maybe during a game they might get 50 touches. Generally they're going to average around 1000 touches a week. In order to be elite, you should probably get 1000 touches a day. The club really has no way to enforce how hard somebody's going to work when they're away from the club.
- Your kid's development is not a straight line
Some days your kid will be a mini Messi, and some days your kid will simply be a mess. Also, things that get in the way of straight line development, your kid may have a growth spurt during the season and they may become awkward and have trouble staying on their feet. As they get older and their competition level increases, you get into injury situations: recovering from injury, playing through minor injuries. That may hamper development. Also, kids mature at a different rate. My son is 12, in middle school, going through puberty. That's a crazy time for soccer development. It's a crazy time, period, for kids, but for soccer development it can be up one day, down the next. Wildly inconsistent.
- The club really doesn't know your kid
They don't know what makes them tick, they may not know their hot buttons, they often don't know the family situation, and it can cause problems. However, good coaches will make adjustments. I did an interview with a U14 girls coach, Greg Gillies. He talks about how he has to treat his soccer players differently. The question was about confidence, but pay attention how he talks about the importance of knowing his players. Check it out.