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Soccer - moving a kid up

Discussion in 'Coaches Corner' started by Saints Rest, May 7, 2018.

  1. Saints Rest

    Saints Rest Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Maybe this should be in TBLTS, but I’d love to get coaches perspectives.

    My son is 6 (turned 6 in
    December). He started playing organized soccer this spring in a really well-organized league. The league put him in the U-6 division for some reason not the U-7. I’m guessing it’s because he was new to the league.
    They had their second game this past saturday (4v4, small goals, no goalies). His team “won” 7-0. He scored all 7 goals.

    I feel like he’s just that much better than the kids who are mostly 4&5 in this division. (It’s helped by the fact that he’s been taking soccer classes for a year at a Futsal place).

    My questions are these:
    1, Should I try to move him up to U-7?
    2. If so, do I speak to his coach or directly to the league administrator?
  2. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

    He should be playing with his age group...I mean, that's not even playing up.

    I'd go coach first, as a courtesy, but at that level they really aren't even keeping score, it's developmental. He clearly doesn't belong there and will get bored rather quickly.
  3. Infield Infidel

    Infield Infidel teaching korea american SoSH Member

    My nephew kills at his age level, so my SIL went to the coach of a level up and the coach has my nephew fill in whenever a kid can't make it. That should probably be your worst case scenario.

    Frankly if I was another parent I'd want your kid out of that division if he's a year older and has a couple more games like that.
  4. Omar's Wacky Neighbor

    Omar's Wacky Neighbor Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    My son was in that same situation (clearly better than everyone else around him) from a very early age. First off: teach him how to and motivate him to PASS. Beginning of second grade, in what was supposed to be a friendly get-their-feet-wet county-wide town v town tournament, my son saw his first triple team thrown at him; he came off at half time practically in tears. I told him as fatherly/coachly as possible: 1) get used to it, and 2) learn to PASS really really well. (he did both)

    But, yeah, you as the parent will have to take the initiative to getting your son onto better/older teams. Work your way up the organizational ladder: coach>>team trainer>> age or gender coordinator>> club pres. And you could very likely piss off coaches and parents no matter how politely you go about it.

    EDIT: and a few years back, after hearing story upon story from the younger parents about how astonishingly good their kids were at soccer and how coaches were contacting them to join this team or that team, I noticed a pattern among the players who truly were better than everyone else and I came up with a really simple litmus test (at least in our part of NJ it's a decent indicator): has your child played soccer anywhere for a reduced/subsidized/waived user fee?
    #4 Omar's Wacky Neighbor, May 7, 2018
    Last edited: May 7, 2018
  5. Saints Rest

    Saints Rest Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    Update: last spring, I took the advice here and got my son moved up to the U7 division. He still dominated. (His first game in U7, his team won 5-2; he scored all 5 goals.)
    During the summer, he went to a week long soccer camp run by the soccer coaches at Fairfield U. He was the youngest kid at camp but still won player of the week.
    So this fall, I moved him up to U8. The league asked me to be the coach. So I saw that on my roster of 9 kids, we had two 8yo, five 7yo, and two 6 yo (one of which was my son).
    Our team lost two games all season, the two games where my son sick.
    A week ago, our team won 10-0. At the end of the third quarter, ahead 8-0, I told the two best kids (a 7yo and my son) that they couldn’t score anymore and they needed to focus on setting up their teammates. They tried, they really did, and eventually got one of the other kids to score. (We won 10-0)
    Yesterday, they won 10-4, and my son scored 5 goals and just dominated the game. For example, he’s the only player in the league who will dribble to space, not just toward the goal. He anticipates balls more than anyone else. And he’s fearless and fast.
    So now I need to find a league or a program where they will place him based on his ability, not on his date of birth.
    Any thoughts on how to find him a challenge?
  6. DrewDawg

    DrewDawg Dorito Dink SoSH Member

    Is this a city organized league or a local travel club?
  7. Philip Jeff Frye

    Philip Jeff Frye Member SoSH Member

    Move to Brazil?

    Seriously, just sit back any enjoy the routs. My son had a a four goal game subbing on a team whose coach was the father of a friend when he was about 8. That was probably the highlight of his soccer career (although he had some other good moments). Kids grow and mature at very different rates. By the time my son was 14, he was a backup on his freshman team. The kid who dominates when he's six or eight may not stand out when he's ten or fifteen. Focus on having fun now, not on making it a challenge or a chore. That way, hopefully, it will still be fun when he's ten or fifteen whether or not he's still dominating others. And if he is still dominating, there's time to move him up later.

    I understand the desire to challenge your kid, but ask yourself - is he having fun out there? Is he the one saying "I'm not challenged, winning 10-0 is boring"?
    #7 Philip Jeff Frye, Nov 6, 2018
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2018
  8. Saints Rest

    Saints Rest Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    The games I was referring to are in what is essentially the town league (it's run thru a non-profit kids/community center called "Sterling House").
  9. Heinie Wagner

    Heinie Wagner Member SoSH Member

    Excellent point, I'm coming from a hoops, not soccer side of this. To some extent you need exposure to the right people to make this happen, but if your kid is that good, people who stand to benefit financially from having your kid play for them will find you.
  10. Clears Cleaver

    Clears Cleaver Lil' Bill SoSH Member

    I’ve seen more “playing up” in youth soccer than in many other sports, largely because being fast and coordinated for your age shows itself in soccer more than any other sport because it is non-stop and almost entirely predicated on those two things at that age.

    My advice would be to find a real coach who can teach your kid technical skills. Ball skills, turning, use of both feet, passing and receiving, use of body to protect the ball, etc. what happens to the superior athletes at age 8 who don’t learn the technicals is that other kids eventually catch them physically and the superior athlete never learned how to properly play and a of a sudden falls behind because all they’ve had to do is run and shoot with their strong foot to be stars.

    Plus, finding a good coach ($50-100 per hour) means you’ve probably found the good academies in your area. Where do you live? These academies are where kids like yours should go. They will age them up and teach them how to play the game properly. There is no town club that can offer what soccer academies can. And if your kid is good they will subsidize his being there. They win by developing players and winning against other academies. Winning leads to more attendance and more fee paying kids. In my area these academies run $2500-5000 per year. And it’s year-round.
  11. Doug Beerabelli

    Doug Beerabelli Killer Threads Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    I think you and Saints may both live in Fairfield County. I know you do - lol.
  12. Saints Rest

    Saints Rest Well-Known Member Lifetime Member SoSH Member

    This exactly states my concerns. Right now, he dominates for a lot of the reasons you mention. In addition, he anticipates better than anyone else which makes him that much faster relatively speaking. I work with him at home on using both feet, but he rarely needs to do so on the field because no one can cover him.
    I'm in Stratford, but he goes to school in Fairfield (so we spend a huge chunk of our lives there).
    One thing that so impresses me is that he does certain things intuitively. For example, last spring, he and another fast kids were running shoulder to shoulder chasing down a ball. My son, subtly, ran them both off line so that he positioned himself closer to the ball. In other words, he used leverage to give himself an extra advantage. Another example, he will corral the ball out of the typical scrum and dribble to space, not towards the goal necessarily. Once he's found the space, he'll lift his head and see what's what.

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