THE CRAZY SEASON
Austin Daniels, Arizona Youth Soccer Association (AYSA) Technical Director
The crazy season has arrived on the Arizona youth soccer scene... It's tryout time!!! What is it about tryout time that makes normally professional adults act immaturely and unprofessionally? Why does this time of year change adults? Are they like this all year round but hide it during other parts of the season?It's a question I ask myself every year around this time. It seems during the tryout season that many adults, coaches, and parents turn to have all the worst qualities that we dislike; greedy, selfish and unreasonable behavior.
Is the grass always greener this time of year or is it greener all year but this is the time they can find that greener patch?
Most people know what I'm referring to. If you don't, it's the perpetual searching for the perfect coach and the perfect team that will win every game and get every player a full scholarship to play in college even if they are 7 years old. Where did this craziness come from?
I'm afraid to say it came from us, the adults. The kids didn't create this environment. The adult coaches, parents and administrators have. We all have had a hand in creating this type of environment... It is something we need to change.
How do we as adults change this environment that we have created?
First we need to take a step back and take a realistic view of where we are in the big picture. This is youth soccer not the professionals. Most players are playing to have fun, be with friends and improve and learn. Ask most players if they would rather play in games and lose or sit on the bench and win championships most players will opt on playing. Of course they all want to win but playing is the upmost importance.
Most of the players will not be receive a college scholarship. Many will not even continue to play in high school. Almost no one will make it to the professional level. So why do we treat every game as if it's the final of the World Cup?
Coaches need to understand that we are not at the level of Jose Mourinho or Alex Ferguson. We are at the level of the local school teacher working hard every day to make sure the players are as successful as they can be. If we can create an open fun and learning environment we would be amazed at how much better players will be.
Parents keep in mind why your children play. Understand that you can't solve every problem that arises in your child's life. Your child needs to learn how to solve problems on their own. They may need help on how to solve issues that arise, but let them work on their problem solving skills; it will help them in the long run.As administrators we need to constantly look at the competitions we've set up and determine how much emphasis we put on wining. Every player strives to win whenever they step on the field. As adults we have to watch that we don't over emphasize the winning of a competition so not to put too much pressure on players.During this tryout season take a look at your current situation. It may not be perfect but can you help make it better by staying? The solution is not always moving to the next imperfect situation.
Hopefully everyone can analyze where they are now and make a non emotional decision on what is best for their child. Keep in mind each club and team should be striving for a positive, creative, learning environment that is fun. At the end of the day soccer should be and is a fun game. There isn't a player out there that goes to work soccer; the players go to play soccer. Have fun and enjoy the summer.