Once your child decides to pursue his interest in soccer, it is time to choose a club. It is a tough job but you need to do your best to ensure your child gets the best. Here are some rules you must follow when making the final choice:
First and foremost, consider the distance you are willing to travel for the team. Hours of drive can add up and affect the routine if the club practices a minimum of 3-5 times weekly. However, if the club is really good and can boost your skill, help you meet new skilled players, and promise world class coaching, you may consider it. You are better off playing for a worse club near your home.
2. The Culture
Since your child will be spending many hours playing and interacting with other players in the team, you must assess the group well. Make sure you know if the kids can get along with the child well. Consider age factor, diversity, and general attitude of the kids.
3. The Coach for Team
This is the most crucial consideration to make. Talk to the coach to know if he/she is going to mentor your child. Some of the soccer clubs put the most amiable coaches to represent the club. However, they may not mentor your child. Look for a coach that appreciates off-the-field successes of players. The coach of soccer club must do more than just teach players the art of winning. Your child must learn how to work through differences with teammates, respond to adversities, and develop creative thinking.
4. “Cut” from Soccer Club
Many soccer clubs have a rule of keeping young players and kids on the club once they have been accepted. These clubs also have multiple teams at each level. The problem arises when number of the rosters increase. Make sure you know what happens if several new players tryout for the next season. Speak to the authorities about what happens if your child starts to excel or falls behind other players.
5. Number of Tournaments Played
A young player needs experience in playing club soccer. Tournaments are the best way to gain this experience. More number of diverse talents the club plays, the better it is for your child. He can learn new things and gain valuable experience.
What is the reputation of club within the community? Know how this club is perceived by the members. Compare its reputation in terms of ethical standards, professionalism, values, missions, staff credentials, attitude of staff, and league competition. The idea is to assess these factors and know if your child can learn valuable things such as commitment, importance of teamwork, willingness for improvement etc.
7. Skill Level
If your child is a serious player, then you should consider the best club even if he/she rides the bench. Most of the best clubs have hired the best coaches. They play with highly skilled players. These things are important if your child is serious about playing at a high level. They need to accept the challenge of fighting. Playing with better players can be a little challenging but motivating in the long run. Your child will stagnate by playing in a club below their skill level.
8. Off-season Training Programs
The winter and summer months (also referred to as ‘off-season’) are the most crucial months for a young soccer player. This is where they can actually focus on individual techniques and ball-work. So make sure the club you consider offers special training programs for these months.