My daughter has been playing soccer for 3 years. The first year she was often goalie and did very well. The second year there were no goalies and score wasn't kept. This year the coach won't put her in as goalie.
This year she has moved up to U10. It is very different. The coach is extremely competitive. In fact, on Saturday during the 3rd quarter he said to my 8YO and the other defender, "I don't know why you are even on this team." My daughter replied, "To have fun!" She was very hurt by the comment.
The coach later sent an email saying the girls have slipped from 1st to 3rd and now to 4th or 5th. He definitely wants to win.
I understand that, but my daughter is playing for fun - part of the AYSO mission statement. Yes being part of a winning team has its place. I should mention that she has asthma and allergies so it is a struggle for her. Nonetheless, she really enjoys it and does what she can.
So what's your philosophy for soccer for 8 - 10 YO?
I'm not going to have her quit playing either now or in the future. Just wanted to know what y'all thought and how you are with your children.
I am not a fan of scoreless leagues at any age personally. I think kids can learn to deal pretty well with losing at a young age if they are actually exposed to it....sometimes i think 5 year olds deal better with losing that 9 year olds do.
But this coach seems to be very intense on the competition side of things. I think there is an art to balancing fun and competition and putting that much pressure on a 8 - 10 year old could take a way a lot of the fun I think.
Its okay to emphasize working hard to win, but coaches should remember not to get carried away.
Cecilia Marie 1/10/10
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Anything under the high school years should not have winning as the focus.
Little kids/elementary~fun, learning rules of the game, learning to be part of the team
Middle school/Junior high~still fun, leaning to more competitive..not everyone may get to play each game etc but everyone still gets to play through the season.
Yes I think all young kids should get a chance to play every game. Helps them to learn.
By middle school, I relax that stance. May not play every game but maybe alternate. I'm not against everyone getting to play though in the MS years.
Learning how to deal with failure is a valuable life lesson. I am not in support of scoreless games. That said, there is no need to make winning so important that you crush the spirit of the child. What will happen when a child grows up never having learned to deal with failure has a job and is competing with a co-worker for a promotion? Will the boss say "I am so sorry, how about you both get the promotion"?
I think there needs to be a good mix. Every child should be allowed to play at that age. I do think they should keep score and the kids need to learn how to lose or win gracefully. I always tell my boys it ok to lose as long as you did your best. If someone is goofing off I don't think it's a problem for the coach to say somehting about it but as long as they are doing their best that should be good enough.
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Our league has "rec level" as well as "competitive" divisions starting at U10. When your team signs up, the coach has to declare which division you're playing in; if there's an odd number of competitive teams, then they ask the top-ranked team from the last season if they want to play competitively, or the second team if the first team declines. At U8 and U9, it's all recreational; scores are kept but there are no play-offs, and rankings are only used to make sure that teams are well-matched for the second half of the season or the next season. At all ages, if your team is "rec level" then there are no try-outs, and everyone has to play at least half the game as long as they're on time & attended practice. We also have "Microsoccer" which is the developmental league. The kids play 3-on-3 on tiny fields with no goalie at U5 and U6, and 4-on-4 with a goalie at U7. In Microsoccer we don't officially keep score but the kids usually know. Microsoccer is too cute!
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eta - I think that the competitiveness varies from sport to sport. I think in Canada, in general, it's fair to say that the majority of parents don't put their boys in hockey to 'have fun'. Hockey parents, again generally speaking, can be nuts about the sport and going to all these tournaments, 5 am practice, ice time at 11:30 pm on a school night, fighting with the coach, fighting with other parents, etc.
Last edited by ClairesMommy; 10-25-2012 at 05:37 PM.