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Posts: 33
Reply with quote  #1 
My son has played 3 years in AYSO and last year in AYSO Extra. He was good in AYSO but not good enough to make the All Star team. He was okay on Extra, mainly playing defense and goalie.  He's in seventh grade. We are hoping we can make his High School team in a couple years. There is no Extra team this season, so our options are club and rec. I am split on what to do.  The clubs are more money, and we've gone to a couple practices. The kids are all better, but on both occasions there was scrimmaging for more than half the practice. The club seasons are longer, which is good. But the rec season the fields are close, no travel.
I'm just not sure. Is there a general answer to this question?  Thanks.

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Posts: 467
Reply with quote  #2 
Going to club is a good option if you cant find a suitable team to challenge your son however, club isn't the end to all means.  Meaning, you will find coaches and teams that aren't a good fit, you will definitely need to attend several practices to make a choice.  

If you're concerned about the scrimmages during practice I would ask the coach what is the plan for the season.  From my experience when I see frequent scrimmages it only means one thing, coach doesn't want to do his job.  Although scrimmages are an important aspect of training, it should be used to conclude a session to evaluate learning. 

Another option to club is individual or group training.  Try to find a trainer in your area that has a group of kids he conducts skills with.  I would say that at your sons age I would rather spend the money on training than club. 

Good Luck 

Posts: 1,581
Reply with quote  #3 
Slow going as this site restarts.

A lot depends on what the soccer situation is at your high school.  Unfortunately, it is likely that this season is over at your high school so digging out information is now more difficult.  It would probably be a decent idea though to dig into your high school's athletic websites to see if you can find some information out about the soccer team.  It is possible that you know a parent or two and could give them a call about what they found with the team.  What you are trying to learn, frankly, is how good is the level of play of the varsity and JV teams.  That will depend to a very large extent on where you are located, and what the club situation is in your specific area.  At my kids' old high school quite a few middle school player parents were surprised to find out that there were a lot of kids who were playing club ball through-out middle school, but who then appeared for tryouts once they hit high school age.  The kids already knew this -- but not their parents.  On the other hand, in many locations you could find the team is actively recruiting kids to fill our their rosters.    

Setting the high school situation aside -- you would need to do some research on what club teams are available in your area.  In some areas you could be looking at 3-6 good alternatives.  In other areas you may only have 1 realistic alternative. 

Finally -- you have to look at your own kid and make some calls.  How interested is he really?  How athletic is he?  How is puberty going -- for a guy 7th/8th grades can be big growth years, but lots of kids, including my own -- hit their big growth spurt in 9th grade.  With guys when the growth spurt hits can play a big role in school sports.

So what can your do?

1.  Figure out where you are in terms of soccer talent needed to make the high school team.  Be realistic.  Look at what kids were/are doing on the varsity team and any JV teams.  Sometimes, as with my kid's high school, it can be difficult to move off a JV team to the varsity level.  High level club players made the varsity team as freshman or sophomores.  Other kids then just never moved up off the JV team. 

2.  Look seriously at your club options.  Be realistic relative to your area.  Maybe where you are located everyone plays AYSO or at a near by club.  In that case your kid might be right in the middle in terms of experience and ability.  On the other hand, if you find that the high school kids are all high level club players then perhaps a different focus should be taken on making a high school team.  It's a tough call particularly because you and your kid have to assess your own kid's potential interest and abilities in light of the competition.  You may find that if your high school team is full of high level guys then a different sport may be appropriate.  On the other hand, if your kid is in the middle of the pack currently, then a move to the local club may be a solid option. 



Posts: 1,932
Reply with quote  #4 
I would opt for club, if he can make the team. By doing that he will be with better player and he should improve by playing with them. As for scrimmaging my team will do that at the end of most practices for about 20- 30 minutes. For tryouts (hs) about half or maybe a little more is scrimmaging. The rest of the time is small sided games and skill drills.

Will the kids on the club team be going to the same hs as your son, if so that will give him an idea where he is at..
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