Thursday, August 22, 2019
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PARENTS, DON’T PUSH KIDS ONTO TEAM TOO ADVANCED

Coach: “Hi, I just wanted to call to let you know that we were so happy to see that your son Stephen came to soccer try-outs. We really liked the way that he played so hard and gave everything he had. He was fun to watch. Because his skill level and game knowledge are a little behind the kids who will be playing on the competitive team, we would like to place him on the 4th and 5th grade developmental team.”
Mom: “Oh, we really thought that he was good enough to make the “A” team. He practices all the time in the backyard, and loves to play.”
Coach: “Yes, his love for the game will be a huge plus in helping him improve and stay motivated. He will have more opportunities to build his skill level and confidence as he plays with kids closer to his ability level, and we can move him up as he is ready.
Mom: “Let us talk about it and we will get back to you…”
1 hour later….
Mom: “Hi coach, we have talked it over with Stephen and he doesn’t want to play on that developmental team. He is in 5th grade and doesn’t want to play with younger and smaller kids. Plus there are some boys from his class who are playing on that “A” team.”
Coach: “Well, our experience with kids who play at a level too advanced for their present aptitude; they don’t improve as much because they are not in a situation where they can compete and thrive. It really causes more discouragement. They don’t feel as successful as they usually have fewer opportunities to make goals, and be a major part of the game flow. They tend to be more intimidated and timid which causes them to hold back and watch the others take over the game. Because of less game and playing experience they don’t know where to go or position themselves to create more ball touches or feel like they are in the middle of the action.
Mom: “Yea, but he will be embarrassed to play on that other team, and he is so much bigger than the other kids.”
Coach: “I am sure that he will make new friends, and have a great experience with that team. And, he will be a big part of the team in all the games. He will have more chances to handle the ball and be in the middle of the action. This is where his skills will improve and he will gain more confidence and learn to play with more confidence.”
Mom: “Yea, but he only wants to play on that “A” team.”
4 games later…
Mom: “We don’t think that Stephen is going to play on the team anymore.”
Coach: “Why not?”
Mom: “Well, he isn’t having any fun. He never gets to touch the ball, and feels like the others don’t pass him the ball or give him the opportunity to kick the ball. He just feels left out. We really wanted him to get better and more confident, but that isn’t happening either. We were also wondering… can we get a refund for the league fees?”

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