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The last week has been crazy as I continue to prepare for the fall season while also finishing the second in person meeting for the US Soccer Director of Coaching Course being held at the Pinnacle National Development Center. We still have a two week development period after the this week as well but the lions share of my work will be finished this weekend.
I’ve learned so much about what should go into developing and operating a soccer club that is truly focused on the best interests of the players. Many of the ideas have challenged my ideas of what a DOC’s job is and even how I approach certain aspects of my coaching. Some have completely changed my opinions while others have helped me to articulate the ideas around what I do so that I can defend them.
In this Episode
The US Youth Soccer Nationals are happening next week here in Overland Park, KS. 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.
I don’t have a specific topic in mind for next week’s podcast but it’s sure to involve some concept from the DOC course that I’m just completing. There were so many great takeaways that I think I could take up a year of podcasts talking about them all.
Hi Tom. I love your podcast. Just a point of clarification for this weeks podcast. You mentioned that the Presidents cup finals were held in Florida but actually they were held in Murfreesboro Tennessee as I attended it with U 15 team. It is also well done because there they are only four teams in each age group, one from each region. Thanks again for doing such a great job with your podcast. Andy Dalal.
Thanks for correcting me on the location Andy.
Tom I like your podcasts. Love World Class Coaching – I used WCC for training materials when I was coaching.
This one struck home as we are in Kansas City for the tournament this week representing one of the Far West teams.
Nice summary of how us youth soccer has fragmented. However, I would like to add a few comments about DA, ECNL.
I agree DA and ECNL tend to get the top players but not always. After athletic ability, the ones that do play have other constraints to make the team; money and location.
A DA player needs the following:
– athletic (as you mentioned)
– geographically located near a team (within say within 1.5 hours)
– total cost for DA is about $9,000 (fees/travel/hotel/cars/gas/..) or so per year so the family must be able to pay this.
– have a parent or guardian that does not work so that the travel/training etc can be managed in first 3 years until they can drive.
– the player must be OK with not playing high school soccer
– the player must be OK with playing very little or none if they are not starters. Think 20 player roster and subbing rules.
ECNL is similar but the cost can be near $15k
– benefit over DA is that you can play for your high school
– benefit over DA is the subbing rules are geared more toward development.
We have DA and ECNL about 1.5 hours from my home. We know players that play DA, ECNL and US Soccer. Some quit DA and play ECNL to play high school. Some make the teams but cannot pay.
There are always exceptions but to summarize: a DA or ECNL player most likely comes from an upper middle class household or higher with 2 parents. With one parent who does not work or can work intermittently.
My point is that US Soccer will be fragmented as players are not selected fully on ability, but often are limited by what fits their family situation (whether geographic or financial).
I hope you are enjoying KC! You really lucked out with the weather!
Thanks for sharing this. I agree that there are many factors involved.