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We started back to training this week. It seems earlier than usual but that’s just how the calendar came together. There are still a lot of families on summer vacations so attendance has been spotty. That affects what I try to cover because I don’t want to have to repeat myself once I have everyone back. I also want to give the players a chance to adapt to training again rather than throwing them straight into the deep end on day one.
I’ll talk more in next week’s episode about what I cover in the first few weeks of the season and how I structure them.
This week’s question is from Bridget.
She’s asking what parents should expect from their coaches and club regarding evaluations.
“My question is: what should I expect from the club or coach as far as feedback or a developmental plan for my son? My son plays select U12, div 1, and has been there for 1.5 years and has recently been passed up on playing opportunities (playing on an additional team) but we get no feedback whatsoever. I have requested it but get no response. It’s hard to feel secure that the club is developing my son fully without any evaluations or communication regarding. Is this a big red flag or do some clubs feel this is not important to do or share with the parents?”
Thanks for the question Bridget.
This is an important question not just for parents but for coaches and club directors to consider. It would be idea for each player to have a Personal Development Plan. These plans focus on the what each individual needs to do to improve their individual performance. Personal Development Plans are common in the US Soccer Development Academies and other high level programs.
Most club coaches are working with too many players to make creating these for each player unrealistic. At the very least every player should expect to receive an evaluation at least once a year. These should provide meaningful feedback on what can be improved and how to go about improving it.
Our club uses ZoomReports to distribute and track individual player evaluations. You can go to ZoomReports.com for more information on their service.
In This Episode
The US Youth Soccer Nationals are happening this week in Texas. Some coaches feel that youth national tournaments are unnecessary. Others say that there are too many different ones so none of them are truly a ‘National Championship’. Today I look at each of these events and talk about the positive and negative aspects of them.
Next week I’ll talk about what my early season training sessions look like for the different age groups that I coach. Getting the players off to a good start can set the tone for your entire season.
There is a further dillusion of talent beyond ECNL and US Youth because US Club Soccer also has a national championship and state cups and regional tournaments which ran thru end of June. In Massachusetts this became a way for the larger clubs to differentiate themselves from the smaller ones and feels like a money grab and talent grab. The result is a confusing landscape with similarly named leagues, tournaments and competitions that parents have a difficult time figuring out until it’s too late. It really starts at the top. Why does US Soccer have three sanctioning bodies in US Club Soccer, US Youth soccer and AYSO? It’s so confusing for parents who don’t follow the sport. And wouldn’t it be nice if they could televise a true national championship weekend like the little league championship?
I forgot all about US Club Soccer! It wasn’t on my radar since it doesn’t have a large presence here. I agree that it starts with US Soccer. It just shows how far we have to go as a soccer nation. I’d love to see a true national championship on tv. Maybe one day.
I liked your review of the national championships and agree with Rene that there is also US Club Soccer to add in the mix. I love the concept of getting all the best players playing together, however, there are some segments of the population that this becomes a challenge. Whether we like it or not, soccer is still a sport of those players that have the financial means to be able to pay for the Academy, Premiere clubs etc. The very talented kid born in poverty with a mom that is already working 2 jobs to keep food on the table is unlikely to be able to afford the many thousands of dollars that it requires for their son or daughter to participate. The other segment of the population that isn’t included would be those players that don’t live within an hour of a major metropolitan area to be able to participate in the larger pool of players. It is a very rare player (Clint Dempsey) that is able to live 2 hours away from their team, participate in practices and games during the week, still do homework, develop normal social skills with peers, and again be able to absorb the additional costs that are involved. When we solve these two issues in the US I believe we will truly be the perennial power in soccer internationally. We clearly need to continue to improve our development process when we see countries like Iceland with populations of 325,000 field competitive international teams.
All good points Greg.