Pros and Cons of Playing Select Soccer

Young soccer players who show promise at U-10 are often encouraged to take their playing to the next level. In the United States, that generally means moving from a recreational level (“rec team”) to the select “club” level. Select soccer for age groups U-10 through U-12 club typically is called “academy”, or developmental soccer.

There is prestige involved when a rec player moves to select soccer, but there are also costs and responsibilities for the child and the family.

PROS: Playing Select Soccer (U-10 through U-12)

* There is prestige and a sense truc tiep bong da tai kenh of accomplishment in being selected for a team.
* More sophisticated training in the sport, with experienced, better-credentialed coaches.
* The uniforms are cooler, not just t-shirts with names and numbers.
* Teams are usually single-sex which is more comfortable for the adolescent players.
* More consistency at practices and games because team members are committed to be present.
* More frequent practices and longer practice sessions allow for faster individual development and time for team strategy training.
* The players (and opponents) are likely to be more serious and have chosen soccer as their main sport, so they have a shared focus.
* Travel to tournaments promotes bonding among players as well as among parents.

CONS: Playing Select Soccer (U-10 through U-12)

* The tryout process can be intimidating and provoke anxiety in young players.
* You are less likely to get on a team with your neighborhood or school friends.
* The driving time to practices and games will be increased.
* Carpooling may be more difficult if players come from a large area.
* The costs are much greater than in rec soccer.
* A full-year (two season) commitment is usually required.
* The time and money involved may preclude joining another activity or sport.
* Competition for playing time can be hard, as can team/parent politics.
* Parental volunteer duties are more demanding.
* Increased time away from home for practices and games can cut into family time.
* Out-of-town tournaments are expensive, especially if siblings also come along.

CONCLUSION: Each family needs to be informed and evaluate whether select soccer is the right choice for their player. Even in the same family, kids mature at different rates and have different skill sets and interests, and these should be considered in addition to the generic pros and cons listed above.

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