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Vin

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Is it wise to "play up" in an age group for the only purpose of keeping a team together?  US Soccer recently announced a chance to "age pure" rosters that will impact everyone in youth sports in the USA.  

Many discussions are taking place from a parent perspective however, im not hearing a lot from coaches.  I coach a team that is directly impacted by these changes and im gearing up to go age pure, I don't believe everyone will benefit from playing up.

Playing up should be reserved exclusively for the player that can be successful.

What do you coaches think?
MrSoccer

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Reply with quote  #2 



Depends if the team is excellent and is first in your leagues best division. There is no problem playing up if they are in that older age groups best division. We did that for more games. Under 16 played games on Saturday. We put them in our under 19 division they played their games on Sunday.

That is very rare our under 16 was one of the best teams in the US.

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MrSoccer

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Reply with quote  #3 


.Normally we could not field a team that good made up of one age group.

Usually under 16 are made up of 15 and 14 year olds.

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coachkev

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Reply with quote  #4 

Go to any Rec game. Guaranteed there will be mixed age groups.
Its not what kids judge players on - its coaches what do that.
No all that kids want can be diluted down to 3 things..

Have fun with friends...
Play against other kids
Get better so they win more

Oldtimer

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Reply with quote  #5 


Player would be significant contributor to older team (in the top 5 or 6.)

Yes. I have two players currently that play up. One U11 that plays up at U12 and a U10 that plays up at U11. The U11 is one of the best players in the region and he'd be the best player 2 or 3 age groups up in our club. The U10 that plays up, we thought he would do well playing up because he dominates at his age group, but he's only playing at the caliber of a "reserve" one year up. We're going to bump him back down to his natural age group next year. 

I'd say in the top third of the team, but we're splitting hairs here.

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Goal150

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Reply with quote  #6 
Oldtimer, sorry about that. I edited your post by accident. Not sure how that happened as I was only responding to it/quoting it. 
WillieB

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Reply with quote  #7 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin
Is it wise to "play up" in an age group for the only purpose of keeping a team together?  US Soccer recently announced a chance to "age pure" rosters that will impact everyone in youth sports in the USA.  

Many discussions are taking place from a parent perspective however, im not hearing a lot from coaches.  I coach a team that is directly impacted by these changes and im gearing up to go age pure, I don't believe everyone will benefit from playing up.

Playing up should be reserved exclusively for the player that can be successful.

What do you coaches think?


Are you talking about individual players or complete teams?

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TJBrown

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Reply with quote  #8 
Ideally anyone that moves up will do so because they meet the technical, tactical, physical and psychological standards of the higher age group.
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BobC

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Reply with quote  #9 
It depends on the team and the overall situation. I don't think you want a whole team to play up if it's way over their heads, but it's not only about "being successful" either. If a team can handle it, be "in" most of the games, and even win a couple here and there, there can be a big benefit from playing a team up in age.

There are quite a few coaches around here (Seattle) who do it strictly for developmental purposes, and I see their point. I know coaches who really wanted to do well in the state cup, so during league they played their team up an age to toughen them up and get them used to better competition.

So I don't think the only reason to move a team up is because they need the challenge or will be "successful", there can also be a developmental benefit to it. Just depends on the team and the situation.

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newsocdad

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Reply with quote  #10 
I am reading the OP's post as:  Would you move an entire team up an age group in order to keep them together, as a team, in light of the new January 1 age cutoff date?

I think the answer to that has to be "no" in most cases.  I am sure that we all can come up with reasons to keep a team together, and in my view there will be many cases where there is no choice.  If I only have 8 kids born in 2012 and 8 in 2013 then I am making the team up from the kids who I have, and we will play as 2012s.

On the other hand, unless you really have a team made up of kids who all (and I really mean "all") are ready to play at the highest level of the next year older then you have to focus on the individual playesr rather than team.  I would guess there are 10 or so teams a "year" in boys and in girls nationwide  that could make that leap.  (Maybe fewer with boys because of the D.A.)  Could the top 5 u15 ECNL teams compete effectively against the top u16 ECNL's -- I suspect the answer is "yes".   

If you are talking about teams that are competing in local leagues within a state -- then my answer is "no".  Focus on the appropriate place for the individual players.  That July birthdate kid who is doing okay, may really take off once he is no longer the youngest kid on the field.  Why penalize him/her by not letting the kid play their appropriate age level?          

     
MrSoccer

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Reply with quote  #11 
Anyone interested in buying fake birth certificates to keep the team together?
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Vin

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Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin
Is it wise to "play up" in an age group for the only purpose of keeping a team together?  US Soccer recently announced a chance to "age pure" rosters that will impact everyone in youth sports in the USA.  

Many discussions are taking place from a parent perspective however, im not hearing a lot from coaches.  I coach a team that is directly impacted by these changes and im gearing up to go age pure, I don't believe everyone will benefit from playing up.

Playing up should be reserved exclusively for the player that can be successful.

What do you coaches think?


Are you talking about individual players or complete teams?


Complete teams 
Vin

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Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by newsocdad
I am reading the OP's post as:  Would you move an entire team up an age group in order to keep them together, as a team, in light of the new January 1 age cutoff date?

I think the answer to that has to be "no" in most cases.  I am sure that we all can come up with reasons to keep a team together, and in my view there will be many cases where there is no choice.  If I only have 8 kids born in 2012 and 8 in 2013 then I am making the team up from the kids who I have, and we will play as 2012s.

On the other hand, unless you really have a team made up of kids who all (and I really mean "all") are ready to play at the highest level of the next year older then you have to focus on the individual playesr rather than team.  I would guess there are 10 or so teams a "year" in boys and in girls nationwide  that could make that leap.  (Maybe fewer with boys because of the D.A.)  Could the top 5 u15 ECNL teams compete effectively against the top u16 ECNL's -- I suspect the answer is "yes".   

If you are talking about teams that are competing in local leagues within a state -- then my answer is "no".  Focus on the appropriate place for the individual players.  That July birthdate kid who is doing okay, may really take off once he is no longer the youngest kid on the field.  Why penalize him/her by not letting the kid play their appropriate age level?          

     


I agree with your comments and the primary reason why I decided to "not" play up just to keep the team together.  The biggest factor is the opportunity for the younger kids to have an opportunity to now be the oldest of the group.
coachkev

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Reply with quote  #14 

Lets look at this from the PLAYERS viewpoint.
What do PLAYERS want from Soccer no matter what age they play in?
- They want to play in a secure environment
- They want to have fun while learning through positive experiences
- They want to be valued within a team
- They want to do things that make their parents proud
- They want to compete against peers
- They want to be understood and appreciated by their coach
- They want to play first, then train, then compete
Taking all that into consideration and referring back to Vins original thread...

".....Is it wise to "play up" in an age group for the only purpose of keeping a team together?  US Soccer recently announced a chance to "age pure" rosters that will impact everyone in youth sports in the USA.  
Many discussions are taking place from a parent perspective however, im not hearing a lot from coaches.  I coach a team that is directly impacted by these changes and im gearing up to go age pure, I don't believe everyone will benefit from playing up.
Playing up should be reserved exclusively for the player that can be successful.
What do you coaches think?..."

For me, going back to my previous post...

"...Go to any Rec game. Guaranteed there will be mixed age groups.
Its not what kids judge players on - its coaches that do that.
No, all that kids want can be diluted down to 3 things..

Have fun with friends...
Play against other kids
Get better so they win more..."

...you can see that those three things basically achieve all those 'wants'

 

Vin

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Reply with quote  #15 
Coachkev

Our kids absolutely enjoy playing together, heck most of them have been friends for several years now and that's my struggle.  The reality however, is that we play competitive soccer and you know, "parents" expect results and playing up is going to be tough for the younger kids.  Although I agree that its a lot of fun playing together, we also need to keep a good balance of competition and success.  The issue is that some of the kids on the team will have 1.5 year, if not more, of a gap in age difference.  The kids are mostly 10 going on 11, they would be playing kids in the 13 age range.

I think it would be too much of a challenge for some of them and I would hate to "ruin" a player just because I wanted to keep the team together.  


WillieB

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Reply with quote  #16 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin
Is it wise to "play up" in an age group for the only purpose of keeping a team together?  US Soccer recently announced a chance to "age pure" rosters that will impact everyone in youth sports in the USA.  

Many discussions are taking place from a parent perspective however, im not hearing a lot from coaches.  I coach a team that is directly impacted by these changes and im gearing up to go age pure, I don't believe everyone will benefit from playing up.

Playing up should be reserved exclusively for the player that can be successful.

What do you coaches think?


Are you talking about individual players or complete teams?


Complete teams 


In that case No, unless the team was exceptional.

Reading between the lines are the US moving to grouping players by year of birth?  I take it the current grouping is not year of birth. 

If so I would suggest that players play in their correct age group unless they are in the top 50% of the higher age group otherwise they will struggle in the higher age group and I reckon on average less than 10% of players are capable of reaching that mark.

It may mean having to split teams up in year 1 however after year 1 there will be continuity.  

We (Scotland) went through this several years ago (round about 1997), age group was 1 Aug to 31 July however changed to birth year.  It was difficult having to split teams up however we had to do it.



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Vin

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Reply with quote  #17 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin
Quote:
Originally Posted by WillieB
Quote:
Originally Posted by Vin
Is it wise to "play up" in an age group for the only purpose of keeping a team together?  US Soccer recently announced a chance to "age pure" rosters that will impact everyone in youth sports in the USA.  

Many discussions are taking place from a parent perspective however, im not hearing a lot from coaches.  I coach a team that is directly impacted by these changes and im gearing up to go age pure, I don't believe everyone will benefit from playing up.

Playing up should be reserved exclusively for the player that can be successful.

What do you coaches think?


Are you talking about individual players or complete teams?


Complete teams 


In that case No, unless the team was exceptional.

Reading between the lines are the US moving to grouping players by year of birth?  I take it the current grouping is not year of birth. 

If so I would suggest that players play in their correct age group unless they are in the top 50% of the higher age group otherwise they will struggle in the higher age group and I reckon on average less than 10% of players are capable of reaching that mark.

It may mean having to split teams up in year 1 however after year 1 there will be continuity.  

We (Scotland) went through this several years ago (round about 1997), age group was 1 Aug to 31 July however changed to birth year.  It was difficult having to split teams up however we had to do it.




The current age grouping is from Aug 1st - July 31st.  US Soccer is changing it to calendar year Jan 1st - Dec 31st.  

The changes are already starting to cause a lot of panic and shakeup among the majority of the teams.  


AFB

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Reply with quote  #18 
As a coach where do you believe your priority should lie: with what is best for the development of the players or with the future of the team? The answer to that question will help guide you.
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paulee

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Reply with quote  #19 
Alan, I was perusing a pointyball forum a while back in which a well respected local coach was retiring, opening up a plum position.  The ensuing debate of who should get the job ran to 30+ pages.
One gem that stuck with me was the following: "If you take care of the kids, the wins will come."

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Vin

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Reply with quote  #20 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AFB
As a coach where do you believe your priority should lie: with what is best for the development of the players or with the future of the team? The answer to that question will help guide you.


And that's exactly why I am deciding to not play them up, I am more concerned about individual development than keeping everyone together.  


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