The Northwest territory - namely McHenry County and parts
Lake is home to a multitude of youth soccer organizations – 13 clubs to be
Some are small while others are larger with a supportive
recreational component that helps to feed players into the travel or competitive
ranks. Youth professionals – coaches and leaders, may consider the area
saturated and in some cases - lacking some of the key components and resources
that can measure up with the premier clubs in the Region. The differences are
in fact vast when one takes a close look at the differing levels of travel
soccer in our backyards.
What's that you say? There are different
levels of travel soccer?
Indeed there are. The misconception is more so a lack of knowledge where
parents assume that there is recreational soccer and travel soccer – and that’s
it. However the fact is at the travel level, there is a multitude of layers - from
Select, Elite and Premier at the bottom end to MRL, ECNL and DA at the top.
Depending on the club, a player may or may not have access to the upper end of
the spectrum and generally the coaching staff to develop players in a manner
where they are able to build personalities alongside skill sets that can
prepare them to move on into high school or college.
Sure many of you reading
this may roll their eyes at the “college” comment but yet all of us know many
parents who are spending a ton of money on children who are as young 6 years
old – year after year for many sports – not just soccer, in hopes of them
becoming that player who scores the goals or makes all the saves.
In fact one coach from one of our local clubs tweets every
week about how many goals his child scored on any given week – and always ends with a season tally. This is a USSF certified coach!
The differences in clubs may and should be important to you
as a parent. It could be the difference between your player building strong and
lasting relationships with mates and coaches at one club or at the other end of
the spectrum, hopping from club to club to find better experiences.
It all really depends on a three components.
1. The Player
2. The Parent
3. The Club
Some coaches discuss the concept of "life
lessons". THAT is what finding the right course is all about.
We'll be taking a look at these three crucial components of sport and
development - using soccer as a platform. But truly it's not about soccer
It's about making the right choices for your children - based on
what they want and can accomplish and in the end what will make them happy.
Choosing the right environment - coach and club regardless of sport, is by far
the most critical means to building your child's experience in a positive way
that can help them develop not only in which ever sport that may be, but also
as an individual - personality and more.