This post is probably several weeks too late for many but life has gotten in the way, unfortunately. For my loyal readers, I apologize.
Premiere youth soccer may be the only sport that holds tryouts for the next season during a current season. Since coaches and teams are trying to finish out their last few games or a tournament but may have players who have already been cut or opted to leave on their own, this creates an odd tension during the second half of the spring season. Ideally, tryouts would be after the end of the season. However, with very few enforceable rules by the leagues and conflicting rules within the clubs, teams that wait until June risk having no one left.
There are many reasons for moving teams but as much as I would like to, I won't expound on them here in the interest of time. Instead, I offer up some tips for civility in the process:
- Leave for the right reasons (something NOT connected to wins and losses).
- I can't emphasize this enough: there are no secrets. Don't sneak around to tryouts behind your coach's back. The coaches, managers, parents all know each other. If you are interested in another team or not getting what you need from the current team, talk to the coach. I understand about hedging your bets but talk to the coach! No one wants a player who doesn't want to be there but a good coach will understand that a player may just need to see what is out there.
- Be cynical (or don't be overly impressed by reputation). What's in it for you? What's in it for the club? Figure out beforehand if it is important to you to play less but for a better team or play more for a lesser team.
- ASK QUESTIONS. What are the fees? What is the commitment level? How many out of town tournaments? Where do they practice? Be sure you are ready (see my earlier blog about fees). Run (don't walk!) from teams that can't or won't tell you the fees and what is included.
- Don't panic and don't gossip. I've seen a team implode because of the rumors that one or two kids were leaving and no one wanted to be the last one standing. The grass isn't always greener and many of those that panicked and left are now in worse situations.
- Empower your kids. What do they want? Even at age 8, they should have some say in what they want and it may differ from what you as a parent think they want.
- Be realistic.
- Have a sense of humor.
Not a complete list. I did a tryout primer in an earlier post and wish I had time to write more but wanted to get this out.
Good luck in your Memorial Day tournaments and through the final weeks of the season! Managers - you are almost there!