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  #1  
Old 10-19-17, 10:37 AM
Iniesta Iniesta is offline
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U11-U12 Training - benchmarking

My daughter is on the top team at a “destination” club ($$$). We have some concerns regarding the training she’s receiving, but have never played for any other club and don’t know what is normal. So I’m hoping to do a little benchmarking with some of you other yappers.

First topic - kid to coach ratio. Because the U11s and U12s are together, they train in a pool of 25+ kids. About half the time there are two coaches present, and the other half only one coach. Is this standard? These guys are widely regarded as good coaches, but there is virtually zero individual coaching/encouragement/correction.

Second topic - Playing time at training. For each 90 minute training session there is a full sided scrimmage for 20-30 minutes. During the scrimmmage, some players play the full game, where as other players play half the game. I have no issue with this during games, but is this normal for training? My kid is literally sitting out, doing nothing, for 10-15 minutes at practice (she is not the only one - this is the case for probably half her team).

So what say you? Would love to hear what is “normal” at this age.
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  #2  
Old 10-19-17, 11:05 AM
Upper 90 Upper 90 is offline
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On the boys side but at my sons club (he is U12) 2 practices are his team only then 1 is with the u11's. They do scrimmage on the combine night for the last 20 minutes or so. There are 13 on one team and 12 on the other so with only 18 spots there is always kids sitting for the 9v9. But the way I see it, there are 4.5 hours of training per week plus a Friday evening supplemental then at least 1 if not 2 games on the weekend. Resting and cheering on your team mates for a spell vs. the younger/older team is not such a bad thing.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-17, 01:22 PM
coachg coachg is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iniesta View Post
My daughter is on the top team at a “destination” club ($$$). We have some concerns regarding the training she’s receiving, but have never played for any other club and don’t know what is normal. So I’m hoping to do a little benchmarking with some of you other yappers.

First topic - kid to coach ratio. Because the U11s and U12s are together, they train in a pool of 25+ kids. About half the time there are two coaches present, and the other half only one coach. Is this standard? These guys are widely regarded as good coaches, but there is virtually zero individual coaching/encouragement/correction.

Second topic - Playing time at training. For each 90 minute training session there is a full sided scrimmage for 20-30 minutes. During the scrimmmage, some players play the full game, where as other players play half the game. I have no issue with this during games, but is this normal for training? My kid is literally sitting out, doing nothing, for 10-15 minutes at practice (she is not the only one - this is the case for probably half her team).

So what say you? Would love to hear what is “normal” at this age.

Lets change this up a bit. What is the ratio of teachers to students in your kids school? Most I have seen have one teacher for every 25-30 students.

For the second issue I would talk to the coach.
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  #4  
Old 10-19-17, 03:05 PM
ammtd34 ammtd34 is offline
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They play full sided games for a third of their training time?
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  #5  
Old 10-19-17, 03:14 PM
belied dat belied dat is offline
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I'm not a fan of more than 1:10 coach-to-player ratio -- 1:12 is fair, much more is bad.

I'll say the same as ammtd34, full-sided for a third of training?! I mean, that is probably somewhat "okay" if it's timed to ensure tempo is higher (i.e., good work-to-rest ratio) and players are rotating in evenly.
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  #6  
Old 10-19-17, 03:21 PM
Iniesta Iniesta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belied dat View Post
I'm not a fan of more than 1:10 coach-to-player ratio -- 1:12 is fair, much more is bad.

I'll say the same as ammtd34, full-sided for a third of training?! I mean, that is probably somewhat "okay" if it's timed to ensure tempo is higher (i.e., good work-to-rest ratio) and players are rotating in evenly.
I can’t really say how long they are scrimmaging for - this is my daughter’s estimate. But the kids do not rotate evenly - about a third of them play the whole game, while the rest share the leftover time. I am hung up on this, but if it’s standard to prioritize the development of the most talented kids with training time? I guess that’s what i’m asking.

To coachg, the most kids we’ve had in class at school is 17. But I get the point
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  #7  
Old 10-19-17, 03:27 PM
ammtd34 ammtd34 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iniesta View Post
I can’t really say how long they are scrimmaging for - this is my daughter’s estimate. But the kids do not rotate evenly - about a third of them play the whole game, while the rest share the leftover time. I am hung up on this, but if it’s standard to prioritize the development of the most talented kids with training time? I guess that’s what i’m asking.

To coachg, the most kids we’ve had in class at school is 17. But I get the point
I would have a problem with it for a few reasons.

1. Even if the kids are rotating exactly equally, some players are only going to touch a ball 8 or 10 times over the span of about 20:00. To me, that seems like a lot of time that could be better used getting more touches on the ball.

2. If a kid isn't getting on at all, then it's definitely a waste of training time.
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  #8  
Old 10-19-17, 04:27 PM
fearthekeeper fearthekeeper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iniesta View Post
My daughter is on the top team at a “destination” club ($$$). We have some concerns regarding the training she’s receiving, but have never played for any other club and don’t know what is normal. So I’m hoping to do a little benchmarking with some of you other yappers.

First topic - kid to coach ratio. Because the U11s and U12s are together, they train in a pool of 25+ kids. About half the time there are two coaches present, and the other half only one coach. Is this standard? These guys are widely regarded as good coaches, but there is virtually zero individual coaching/encouragement/correction.

Second topic - Playing time at training. For each 90 minute training session there is a full sided scrimmage for 20-30 minutes. During the scrimmmage, some players play the full game, where as other players play half the game. I have no issue with this during games, but is this normal for training? My kid is literally sitting out, doing nothing, for 10-15 minutes at practice (she is not the only one - this is the case for probably half her team).

So what say you? Would love to hear what is “normal” at this age.
What is a "destination" club???
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  #9  
Old 10-19-17, 04:47 PM
Iniesta Iniesta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fearthekeeper View Post
What is a "destination" club???
Somewhere you might want to end up, if you are ultimately interested in playing in college. I only share that because for what we are paying, I would expect to be getting top notch training.
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  #10  
Old 10-19-17, 05:26 PM
Hoosier Parent Hoosier Parent is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iniesta View Post
Somewhere you might want to end up, if you are ultimately interested in playing in college. I only share that because for what we are paying, I would expect to be getting top notch training.
Just because you're paying $$$ doesn't mean you're at a destination club. There are several good clubs in the area that were charging $1200-$1500/year at U11/12 a few years ago but weren't destination clubs. I'm guessing that's about the same for CUP/KHA/OE at that age (I wouldn't know).

I presume those are your primary destination clubs. I don't know if TFA/Warren Co./Ohio Galaxies qualify.
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  #11  
Old 10-19-17, 05:43 PM
Iniesta Iniesta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hoosier Parent View Post
Just because you're paying $$$ doesn't mean you're at a destination club. There are several good clubs in the area that were charging $1200-$1500/year at U11/12 a few years ago but weren't destination clubs. I'm guessing that's about the same for CUP/KHA/OE at that age (I wouldn't know).

I presume those are your primary destination clubs. I don't know if TFA/Warren Co./Ohio Galaxies qualify.
I am purposely not sharing where we are because I don’t want this thread to be one of *those* threads. . All in, we’re over $2000 a year (without the uniforms.)
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  #12  
Old 10-19-17, 05:45 PM
Iniesta Iniesta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iniesta View Post
I am purposely not sharing where we are because I don’t want this thread to be one of *those* threads. . All in, we’re over $2000 a year (without the uniforms.)
And without the travel expenses! Yeah.
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  #13  
Old 10-19-17, 06:45 PM
onehotbobo onehotbobo is offline
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1st Topic at that age their should be mostly touch drills and guidance for proper technique such as correcting toe balls and getting confident with the ball at her feet, using their head correctly. There should be corrections at that age when technique is bad. There should be drills for juggling and basic encouragement to develop command over the ball. My daughter played for two clubs, and left the first one to join the second one that had emphasized ball control and possession. Nearly everyone on that team went on to be a better player than her 1st team. Would you believe that no one on the first team could juggle a ball more that 10 times while my daughter can do 100-400 at any given time. Proper technique and emphasis on ball control is critical at younger ages. Drives me crazy when I see players hitting horrible passes in practice and the coach doesn't care. I could do a better job at home with my kid for free.


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  #14  
Old 10-20-17, 06:50 AM
5x26 5x26 is offline
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We have the same situation with my U11. Thankfully they are well beyond needing correction on toe balls.

I trust the coach, and while the 2nd coach is not there every time he's one of the best in the area and I feel lucky to have him there with her regardless of how often it is. The design of practice and feedback is what they feel is best I'm just fine with it. My daughter gets proper feedback and for her own set of skills see's the field an appropriately amount of time. Both in games and scrimmages. She's getting better and that's what is most important to both her and I.

You're at a great club if you are where I think, and on a top level team. Trust the coaches.
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  #15  
Old 10-20-17, 09:15 AM
IcyCoolDevil IcyCoolDevil is offline
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At that kind of money you should be getting into some top tournaments. So how do they do there? Any success? Good rotation of players? Do they perform well in game situations? At that age I see some very well coached, disciplined teams that you can tell understand the concept of the game, but they can still struggle to compete with teams that have three or four exceptional players that bully their way around the field and score more goals. The girls on the team that understands the game will have greater success moving forward overall.
But I cringe at the notion that spending more money means better training.
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  #16  
Old 10-20-17, 09:52 AM
fearthekeeper fearthekeeper is offline
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If the kids are still doing toe balls at U11/U12 you should save some money and stick with SAY.
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  #17  
Old 10-20-17, 10:13 AM
Iniesta Iniesta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IcyCoolDevil View Post
At that kind of money you should be getting into some top tournaments. So how do they do there? Any success? Good rotation of players? Do they perform well in game situations? At that age I see some very well coached, disciplined teams that you can tell understand the concept of the game, but they can still struggle to compete with teams that have three or four exceptional players that bully their way around the field and score more goals. The girls on the team that understands the game will have greater success moving forward overall.
But I cringe at the notion that spending more money means better training.
They do compete in top tournaments. They are not successful against top tier teams. I'm not really hung up on that - the team is pretty small, and the team has no goalie. If these two factors were parity with the top teams, they would likely still lose but the games would be competitive. Their intensity and aggression are high (this seems to be a huge focus), but skill and tactical awareness are low when compared to top competition.

The message track from the club is "trust the process," and obviously since we are writing the check we do, to some level. But in the little bit of benchmarking we've done as a family, she is getting fewer touches, by a wide margin, than kids at other clubs. It shows in our play - we don't have any toe pokers, but we have a lot of kids that can't trap a ball. At the end of the day, doesn't a lot of it just come down to quality touches at this age? Comfort with the ball?

Appreciate everyone's perspective. I agree that more $$$ doesn't necessarily equate to better training. I am certain there are much better values to be had, all over the city. But, given we're already committed here, I do expect the product to be top notch and I'm just not sure. Time will tell.
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  #18  
Old 10-20-17, 11:19 AM
yapster2017 yapster2017 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Iniesta View Post
They do compete in top tournaments. They are not successful against top tier teams. I'm not really hung up on that - the team is pretty small, and the team has no goalie. If these two factors were parity with the top teams, they would likely still lose but the games would be competitive. Their intensity and aggression are high (this seems to be a huge focus), but skill and tactical awareness are low when compared to top competition.

The message track from the club is "trust the process," and obviously since we are writing the check we do, to some level. But in the little bit of benchmarking we've done as a family, she is getting fewer touches, by a wide margin, than kids at other clubs. It shows in our play - we don't have any toe pokers, but we have a lot of kids that can't trap a ball. At the end of the day, doesn't a lot of it just come down to quality touches at this age? Comfort with the ball?

Appreciate everyone's perspective. I agree that more $$$ doesn't necessarily equate to better training. I am certain there are much better values to be had, all over the city. But, given we're already committed here, I do expect the product to be top notch and I'm just not sure. Time will tell.



The fact that you are seeking advice on this site makes me a little nervous for you and your little one.

1. Is your daughter having fun? If so stay if not leave.
2. It’s a business and if there is better value to be had spend your money elsewhere.
3. Get on the ball early and often. A club can only do so much with the kids during practice.
4. If she isn’t on the ball often and I mean often your days at any destination club are probably closer to ending than what you think.
5. Worry about what you can control and that is the development of your MIA forget about how the team develops for now.
6. If you are going to use one of the T words stop worrying about Tactical and start caring mostly about technical……..Destination clubs will worry a little more about the Tactical part of the game as she gets older.
7. Last and most important is to pay close attention to #7. Please make sure that you write this one down. Take a picture in your mind and never allow yourself to make this mistake again. Print this out and frame it and hang it above your bed post. When it comes to your kid and what’s best for her STAY THE F*** OFF OF YAPPI.

Disclaimer…………….#7 is a joke in case you don’t have a sense of humor……………………………..
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  #19  
Old 10-21-17, 05:38 AM
onehotbobo onehotbobo is offline
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U11-U12 Training - benchmarking

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iniesta View Post
They do compete in top tournaments. They are not successful against top tier teams. I'm not really hung up on that - the team is pretty small, and the team has no goalie. If these two factors were parity with the top teams, they would likely still lose but the games would be competitive. Their intensity and aggression are high (this seems to be a huge focus), but skill and tactical awareness are low when compared to top competition.



The message track from the club is "trust the process," and obviously since we are writing the check we do, to some level. But in the little bit of benchmarking we've done as a family, she is getting fewer touches, by a wide margin, than kids at other clubs. It shows in our play - we don't have any toe pokers, but we have a lot of kids that can't trap a ball. At the end of the day, doesn't a lot of it just come down to quality touches at this age? Comfort with the ball?



Appreciate everyone's perspective. I agree that more $$$ doesn't necessarily equate to better training. I am certain there are much better values to be had, all over the city. But, given we're already committed here, I do expect the product to be top notch and I'm just not sure. Time will tell.
If you are committed to the team then I would do two things. 1. Request an evaluation of your player's skills and then set goals to achieve by the end of the season. 2. Find a trainer or train her yourself as a supplement to her regular team training. I did this with my kid and found accelerated improvement. I bought a full sized goal in the backyard, cones, poles, speed ladder, mini hurdles,and exercise bands. Created a workout program for speed, agility, and strength and converted my basement to a indoor training center. She plays on a top club team in the area and has many D1 colleges interested in her. Yes she has very good natural ability but the extra time she puts in beyond her time with the team makes her a standout. The only thing stopping her from reaching her potential would be her. There are a few girls on her team that see a personal trainer and I can tell they have an edge to them. I know a few great trainers that I can point you to that would help her game. I am not soliciting or selling anything here, just wanted to offer that as an option. Yes all this costs extra money but it sounds like you are ready to take the next step and take control of your player's development. Go for it!




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Last edited by onehotbobo; 10-21-17 at 05:57 AM..
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  #20  
Old 10-21-17, 09:13 AM
Rohbino Rohbino is offline
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You've gotten some good advice from folks here. There are some bothersome details that you've mentioned, though.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iniesta View Post
These guys are widely regarded as good coaches, but there is virtually zero individual coaching/encouragement/correction.
Those highly regarded guys are paid to coach. Coaching includes correction and encouragement. If that isn't occurring, particularly at the 11 to 12 age group, it's a problem. Training is the primary time for coaching. Games are the reward.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Iniesta View Post
My kid is literally sitting out, doing nothing, for 10-15 minutes at practice (she is not the only one - this is the case for probably half her team).
Kids sitting out and doing NOTHING for 10 to 15 minute stretches. That's an issue. It is normal, during scrimmages, for kids to sit out. Due to numbers it often happens. That is OK. Doing nothing is not OK. Training time is too valuable to sit out and do nothing.

Last edited by Rohbino; 10-21-17 at 09:28 AM..
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  #21  
Old 10-26-17, 09:24 AM
Progress? Progress? is offline
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Great Question

Writing from experience, DO NOT "trust the process" if the process is not developing your daughters skills. You can trust that the "destination" club see's potential, but don't full yourself or set your daughter up for disappointment later by blinding thinking the club will "get her there". In my humble opinion;
The trainer/coach is critically more important than the club at 11/12.

It's a "destination" club for a reason and your daughter is not getting recruited at 11/12. The "club" will find girls who have developed the skills needed, whether they are from within or not, when it matters to them(DA/ECNL/ETC..). The "club" will NEVER look back if your daughter wasn't or hasn't developed to their expectations.

Good luck on your journey and great question.
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  #22  
Old 10-26-17, 12:17 PM
Conan73 Conan73 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by yapster2017 View Post
The fact that you are seeking advice on this site makes me a little nervous for you and your little one.

1. Is your daughter having fun? If so stay if not leave.
2. It’s a business and if there is better value to be had spend your money elsewhere.
3. Get on the ball early and often. A club can only do so much with the kids during practice.
4. If she isn’t on the ball often and I mean often your days at any destination club are probably closer to ending than what you think.
5. Worry about what you can control and that is the development of your MIA forget about how the team develops for now.
6. If you are going to use one of the T words stop worrying about Tactical and start caring mostly about technical……..Destination clubs will worry a little more about the Tactical part of the game as she gets older.
7. Last and most important is to pay close attention to #7. Please make sure that you write this one down. Take a picture in your mind and never allow yourself to make this mistake again. Print this out and frame it and hang it above your bed post. When it comes to your kid and what’s best for her STAY THE F*** OFF OF YAPPI.

Disclaimer…………….#7 is a joke in case you don’t have a sense of humor……………………………..
I like the advice here. It's spot on. I'd add a few more points:

- as stated, at this age, technical development is critical. So, practices should be focused on getting as many touches as possible for all players. Players at this age need to develop a high level of comfort with the ball. If they develop this, they will be well set up to excel when they become teenagers. This means drills that emphasize having a good 1st touch. Kids with poor 1st touch turn the ball over, which leads to a loss of possession.

They should also work on dribbling and skill moves to get out of trouble. You can't always pass your way out of trouble. A good player needs to know how to advance the ball through dribbling. Players that can't dribble well typically pass the ball away to avoid tackles, leading to a loss of possession.

As 1st touch and dribbling skills are developed, you can move into passing fundamentals....

Having 1-2 coaches for 20-25 players is insufficient. There can be advantages to pool training, but you need to have a proper instructor/player ratio. With only 1-2 coaches, it won't be possible to properly supervise every player. It's important that the coaches have the ability to carefully watch everyone so that they can correct individual players. Bad habits can set it at this age, and they are difficult to break as a player gets older.

Scrimmaging towards the end of practice is a good thing. It enables the players to practice what they've learned under game-like conditions. However, no player should sit out for 10-15 minutes of a 20-30 minute scrimmage. The coaches should be monitoring this and rotate more frequently. This could be an indication that there aren't enough coaches

Lastly, whatever you do, your daughter is best served by doing things outside of practice/games. The more time she spends on the ball, the better she will be.
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  #23  
Old 10-26-17, 02:11 PM
Hoosier Parent Hoosier Parent is offline
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Man, there's been some great observations and advice on this thread.
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  #24  
Old 10-26-17, 04:00 PM
EastYoungstown EastYoungstown is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Conan73 View Post
I like the advice here. It's spot on. I'd add a few more points:

- as stated, at this age, technical development is critical. So, practices should be focused on getting as many touches as possible for all players. Players at this age need to develop a high level of comfort with the ball. If they develop this, they will be well set up to excel when they become teenagers. This means drills that emphasize having a good 1st touch. Kids with poor 1st touch turn the ball over, which leads to a loss of possession.

They should also work on dribbling and skill moves to get out of trouble. You can't always pass your way out of trouble. A good player needs to know how to advance the ball through dribbling. Players that can't dribble well typically pass the ball away to avoid tackles, leading to a loss of possession.

As 1st touch and dribbling skills are developed, you can move into passing fundamentals....

Having 1-2 coaches for 20-25 players is insufficient. There can be advantages to pool training, but you need to have a proper instructor/player ratio. With only 1-2 coaches, it won't be possible to properly supervise every player. It's important that the coaches have the ability to carefully watch everyone so that they can correct individual players. Bad habits can set it at this age, and they are difficult to break as a player gets older.

Scrimmaging towards the end of practice is a good thing. It enables the players to practice what they've learned under game-like conditions. However, no player should sit out for 10-15 minutes of a 20-30 minute scrimmage. The coaches should be monitoring this and rotate more frequently. This could be an indication that there aren't enough coaches

Lastly, whatever you do, your daughter is best served by doing things outside of practice/games. The more time she spends on the ball, the better she will be.
Excellent stuff here
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  #25  
Old 10-26-17, 04:30 PM
Iniesta Iniesta is offline
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Very much appreciate all the thoughts, here. We will probably be looking around in the spring, if for no other reason than to understand for ourselves what other options “feel” like. Good news is that my daughter loves to play and gets a lot of touches outside of practice by simply being a kid who is always screwing around with her ball. We’re bringing up the concern about sitting out, doing nothing, with the coach. Fingers crossed.
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  #26  
Old 10-26-17, 04:50 PM
Iniesta Iniesta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sebbyb View Post
If you talk to the parents of USGNT U15 player from CDA, they will likely not stop talking about the influence Futsal has had on their daughter's development as a soccer player.
Looks like she will be traveling to Germany next week with the U15GNT.

http://www.ussoccer.com/stories/2017...or-two-matches.
Was hoping Ginga would have enough girls my daughter’s age to field a soccer team this year - love what they are doing - but not nearly enough interest. Best of luck to SD and to Ginga.
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  #27  
Old 10-27-17, 02:25 PM
Empty CUP Empty CUP is offline
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If you have enough concern to bring it here, you should probably go. She's probably not a stand out now, if she were she'd be starting, and not watching bored during scrimmages. So unless she has , great size, top level speed or a big shot (or the gene pool to get there) she'll likely never be a top level player on a top team. I see too many kids playing with the ball for far to long costing their own development and their team the ability to win.

Another suggestion is go to a non big 3 club, see how she develops and bring her back to where you want her to be or where you think she should be in a couple years and see how it goes. We have had a more than a couple girls from clubs like Warren County, CSA, and TFA come to CUP and make Gold (before the DA) at U15-18 the last couple years.

So save your money, your frustration and your second guessing and go somewhere she's treated like the player you think she is. There are multiple 2nd and 3rd level clubs around regardless of where you live. You can always come back.
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  #28  
Old 10-27-17, 04:57 PM
Iniesta Iniesta is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty CUP View Post
I see too many kids playing with the ball for far to long costing their own development and their team the ability to win.
I don't understand what you mean by this. Hanging on to the ball for too long?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Empty CUP View Post
So save your money, your frustration and your second guessing and go somewhere she's treated like the player you think she is. There are multiple 2nd and 3rd level clubs around regardless of where you live. You can always come back.
I'm pretty realistic about her current ability, which is why I asked if this type of training "inequity" is normal at U11-U12. If it's normal than so be it. I just thought that training was more of an equal-opportunity affair, at least until puberty.
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  #29  
Old 10-28-17, 06:24 PM
Empty CUP Empty CUP is offline
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More worried about holding the ball, and playing with it than passing and knowing where to be off the ball to make the next play be it in attack or defense.
Trying to beat 2, 3 or players players is selfish and usually causes turnovers. First touch and first move are the most important.

I just think if you're not happy with where you are, and you've been there for over a season, than it's probably not the fit. At least not now.
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  #30  
Old 10-28-17, 07:22 PM
Iniesta Iniesta is offline
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Originally Posted by Empty CUP View Post
More worried about holding the ball, and playing with it than passing and knowing where to be off the ball to make the next play be it in attack or defense.

Trying to beat 2, 3 or players players is selfish and usually causes turnovers. First touch and first move are the most important.
Well a thousand amens to this. Thanks again!
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