Silly Season is Coming – Tryouts!

We are hurtling towards the time of the year where we subject kids to being judged against each other, told from young ages if they are ‘elite’ or ‘not good enough’, and encourage parents to chase the many acronyms and furthest distances to travel. Teams as young as U6 being called ‘Pre-Acronym’, when all the science shows we cannot accurately predict a players adult performance until post puberty, the ‘Pre’ being the selling point to get numbers in the door, a total fabrication of expectations for the parents and unnecessary pressure on the child.

What we’ll see first is the social media and messaging, or teams that have won this and that, are the next best thing, and storming towards championships across the country. None of this is relevant in a players development in youth sports, and a great article about how we’ve now become fixated on the wrong factors –

Common questions we receive this time of year is about what bracket a team will be in, what tournaments will we be going to, what’s the teams win record, etc. These are all outcome based questions on teams, and none of these are in reference to the individual player, nor the learning environment the player will be in. Tournaments are a great way for clubs to drive revenue or for private entities to make a profit, but these are at the detriment of the players welfare.

Youth Soccer is not Adult Soccer, these have very different objectives, and therefore are almost completely different sports.

Another great article pulled from the above link –

No one is saying that players shouldn’t go out to try and win, but the priority in youth sports is the process, of self growth and overcoming challenges to support life skills such as resilience and commitment. The challenge and competition within youth sports coming form the individuals drive and desire to improve intrinsically, and not for what is expected from extrinsic sources. Youth soccer is process driven, and not outcome dependent.

Ask your club, or prospective club the following…

  • What is your player development pathway (and not a list of league names!)?
  • What are your learning methods (pedagogy)?
  • What methodologies do you use for training (activity types)?
  • How do you support the person and not just the player?
  • What education do you provide for the coaches?

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