What’s The Point?

Soccer Boy, as his name indicates, plays soccer in the spring and fall seasons.  For the last two years, he’s also taken on basketball in the winter months.  Both of these leagues are recreational–no tryouts, equal playing time for all players.  Essentially, they are designed to teach kids the game and get them out there and moving on a regular basis.

Or, at least that’s what I’ve always believed.  I have to admit I’ve found this year’s basketball season annoying.  Last year, two friends of ours coached the boys.  Like Adventure Guy, who coaches soccer, they focused on teaching fundamentals and getting the boys to work together as a team.  This year, neither decided to repeat as coaches, leaving us to play under another coach.

Adventure Guy and I both had a little trepidation about joining this team because Adventure Guy coaches against this particular coach in soccer.  We’d seen some of his “intensity” first-hand.  But one of the coaches from the previous year encouraged us to go ahead and sign up, assuring us that this coach did a good job in basketball. 

We decided to go ahead, especially since two of Soccer Boy’s good friends would also be playing.  Also, I really want Soccer Boy to continue learning the game because he loves to play horse and around the world out on our driveway.  He’s got a nice shot.

Not that we’d know that from his play during the games.  Unfortunately, what we’d feared has  come to pass.  The coach focuses only on two or three of the players, designing plays to always give them the ball and not encouraging them to pass to other players, even when those players manage to get open and in scoring position. I’m sure it’s easy to gather from this post, that Soccer Boy is not one of the favored few.

I hope it’s also obvious to the regular reader that I’m not one of “those” parents.  I don’t think my child was born to be a basketball star, nor do I expect him to play more of a role than other boys.  But it’s awfully frustrating to see his skills stagnate for lack of coaching and playing time.

We’ve got three more games in the season.  Let’s just say those will be our last three games with this coach.  I just hope I can talk Soccer Boy into giving basketball another chance next year.



Filed under Kids

8 responses to “What’s The Point?

  1. Ugh. I hate hearing stories like this, but they are so common. I have truly been flabbergasted by the world of kids athletics. Why is it so hard for so many to remember that it should be about kids learning how to play and having fun?

  2. Samantha

    My 6 yr old in desperate to play soccer but cannot get on any teams or clubs because he is not good enough and doesn’t know the basics! At this age surely it’s about learning the game, having fun and getting out there! Schools do not teach until year 4, so my question is: where is he to learn the basics? It is all so frustrating, and from your post it doesn’t look like it gets any better.

  3. Darci

    At his age I certainly agree with you. That is frustrating! How can he improve if he isn’t coached, taught the fundamentals and allowed to experiment in different roles/positions?

    Hearing those same complaints from parents of highschool girl’s basketball players elicits a quite different response in me however… But I won’t get started on that band wagon….

  4. LSM

    Oh, I totally agree that these complaints would be inappropriate on a competitive team, particularly at the high school level. My gripe is that learning and teamwork should be what recreational leagues are all about!

  5. ramblingmom

    After the season is over — I’d write a letter to the organizers.

    I TOTALLY get this in a competitive setting. But not a recreational league.

  6. We’re Just Saying No to any and all team sports and sticking with Tae Kwon Do. It’s scary what happens to kids in these systems, and it only gets worse as they get older. There’s a lot of agreement that it’s dreadful to go hyper-competitive on them when they are in elementary school. But why is it OK to do this to high schoolers? We’re pushing kids to do things that their bodies aren’t ready for, particularly girls, and we’re causing them physical problems that will haunt them all of their lives. It’s a slippery slope…

  7. LSM

    We’ve actually had a great experience with recreational soccer for all the kids (both when AG coached and when they played for other coaches). I guess that’s why this hit me so wrong.

    I do not have a problem with competitiveness at older ages in that at some point it becomes a reality that we all have different talents and some are more athletic than others. But limiting kids at such young ages doesn’t give them the opportunity to develop and learn if they have potential in a particular sport.

  8. Pingback: Time Flies « Somewhere In The Suburbs

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