A Parents’Guide to Youth Travel Soccer Tryout Season (Part 3)

Should I move my child to a different club?

I can’t stress enough that if you wish to leave your current club, public or private, it should be done for the right reasons.  I have seen too many kids become ping pong balls going from club to club and then quitting, one of the reasons being the child never felt at home with the team because he/she could be pulled by the parents the next season.

Here are some examples I would call the “right” reasons:

  • My child’s team is breaking up.  
    • 70% of children stop by playing organized soccer by age 13.  More than likely if child plays through high school, this will happen at least once
  • My child’s coach and/or trainer is moving to another club and I want to remain with that coach/trainer.  
    • Now I only agree with this one if it is the wishes of the child.  If the parent is making this decision even if the child wishes to remain with his/her friends, this is problematic.  Soccer is about having fun first!
  • Our family has just moved and it is just not feasible to remain with the current club due to distance
  • I want to play with my friends – again, ask the child what they want!

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Here are some examples I would call the “wrong” reasons:

  • My child’s team is being trained by a former player from overseas.  
    • I do not have any issue with trainers with accents but the trainer should be evaluated on his experience and certifications/training, not the accent and where they played.
  • What a facility!
    • In the past year I have some visited some indoor and outdoor training facilities that would make Lionel Messi drool, but that is no reason to switch clubs.  Where a child plays will do nothing to improve their ability.
  • That club has all their teams in EDP, and many are ranked highly in the state.  
    • This is one of the more popular reasons I have head for children changing clubs.  Do you think the child focuses on this? Is your child talented enough to make one of those top squads or will they be put on the B or C teams? Has anyone checked to see how large EDP is growing lately?  The cache of teams playing in EDP in dissipating as the brand is being watered down.

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This is by no means an exhaustive list. But don’t let knee-jerk reactions be a reason for changing clubs.  Too many parents I know have moved clubs and have realized the grass is not greener on the other side, and have either moved clubs once again and actually went back to their former club.

Travel Soccer Tryouts are meant to be competitive.  I have received calls and email for when my children made and did not make a travel program.  As parents, all we can do is pick the right club for our children. Listen to your child and evaluate what they want to do. Choose a club for the right reasons, but most of all, always make sure your children are having fun!  

Author:

Eric Offenberg has been around youth soccer for his whole life, first as a player, referee, coach, manager, Executive Vice President for the Monroe Township Soccer Club, and currently a member of the Executive Board for the MOSA (Monmouth Ocean Soccer Association).

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