Allow DD to quit soccer?

mariealwaysNovember 3, 2009

I need advice. DD plays competitive soccer. I am unhappy with the current team she is on. The coach is one of the weaker coaches in the area, but the team does well due to sheer athleticism. DD, in particular, needs a strong coach who will push her. I also want a coach for her that teaches the game well. Playing time is also important. Well, of late, she has not been starting, despite being the strongest on her team at that position. I've seen less than 100% effort; and there has been no improvement (in fact, in certain areas, she has regressed). I contribute most of this to the coach. What also bothers me is that the coach charges the most out of all other top teams in the area (by over 1k). So, on a value level, I just don't think its worth it. So, I've been talking to DD about checking out other teams. Being strong-headed, she wants to stay with her friends despite not being thrilled with the amount of time she gets to play. And its not like they are really close friends. Her best friends aren't on the team. She says she'd rather quit soccer altogether than move to another team. She loves soccer. Even more than her other sports. What should I do? Should I allow her to quit (she'll probably miss it and eventually return to the sport) or let her stay on her current team where she isn't growing and doesn't play that much?

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Hi Marie

How old is your daughter ?

Perhaps she is at an age where she can make her own decisions about what she does with the sport.

You might perceive what is going on in the team and with the coach differently from how she perceives it, perhaps.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 5:15PM
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She is 10 and about 6 months from select, which is a huge time commitment and thousands of dollars. You have to sign a contract for a year. So, if she signs with this team, he can bench her for the entire year for no reason. This is an important decision that I don't think I should leave to a 10 year old. If it were recreational, I would say by all means, stay on the team and play with your friends. But its not. We're talking like 5-7k a year, year-round commitment, out of state travel, etc.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 5:49PM
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I hate to says this, but maybe it's just not fun anymore. I just can't imagine spending all that time and money, to what end? To get a trophy, bragging rights, maybe a scholarship? Maybe she just wants a normal life, play on a school team with her classmates.

    Bookmark   November 3, 2009 at 6:44PM
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Don't know how to evaluate DD's state of mind or contrast it to yours, but this sounds to me like an awful lot of pressure for a 10-year old to deal with. Before you're done she may learn to hate you as well as the sport. In your own mind, it sounds to me as if you're setting up to be resentful if you spend the money and time and she isn't a star. Some kids respond well to this kind of pushing. Some get seriously messed up. Worrisome, IMHO. Hope you know what you're doing.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2009 at 5:01PM
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I think my original post may have been unclear judging from the last two responses. I typed it in a hurry. I'm not putting any pressure on DD at all. My rule is simply give everything you do your best effort. The soccer situation I don't think is attributable to her, not mostly anyway. Every coach isn't right for every child. Most of the teams I am looking at moving her to are much lower ranked teams where she will get more playing time and better coaching. Its not about being a star. I want her to be the best she can be. I will not spend tons of money for her to be a bench warmer or not improve. It just doesn't make any sense. I don't like it and its no fun for her. What I've seen is she just doesn't really connect with her current coach. In her other major sport, she would do anything her coach asks her to do, no matter how difficult it seems. In competitive athletics, that is important. With this coach, no such connection or desire to play well for him. Yet, she loves the sport. I mean, she gets upset when practice is canceled. So trust me when I say it is not about her hating the sport. With competitive athletics, playing with friends is not a good reason to stay with a team.

Anyway, DD and I talked it over last night and she's back with the program. She's going to continue playing with her current team and we will check out other teams during the season to see if we find a better fit. She is worried about making friends on a new team. She makes friends easily, so it won't be a problem. She doesn't understand it, but by the end of the season, several players other players will find new teams for the same reasons. That's just how it goes. Her last team completely imploded because the parents got fed up with how the coach treated the girls.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2009 at 6:45PM
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As long as everyone understands we're developing young human beings -- not soccer stars, or any other kind of stars -- I'm on-board. Some parents and coaches lose track. Sounds as if you haven't. Carry on.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2009 at 6:53PM
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I used to play soccer as a kid -- loved it, and was naturally a pretty good player. When there were lots of kids of diverse skill levels playing, I was always one of the stars on the team, always a starter, always had a blast. Sometimes we won; sometimes we lost -- but we always had loads of fun.

Then things got more competitive. Our 'fun league' changed to a travelling team and we cut down from 15 teams to 2. I was still good enough to make the team, but not good enough to start, which really put a damper on my love for the game. So I didn't try as hard and didn't have as much fun. Which of course affected my playing, led to less time on the field, which reduced my enjoyment even more until it spiraled down to 'What am I doing here?!'. I hardly think my experience was unusual...

I'd ask your daughter what she enjoys about playing. Is it being a star? If so, then drop down to the 'regular' leagues where her talent alone will let her do that and save yourself some major bucks!

But if she's really looking to build her skills, get a college scholarship and maybe go pro someday -- well, then you need a team with a better coach who will bring out the best in your daughter.

What you've got now is the worst of both worlds -- A coach that costs you a bundle, doesn't teach DD much, and doesn't build her love for the game.

    Bookmark   November 6, 2009 at 5:33PM
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