Youth soccer club

Discussion in 'TU Soccer / Other Sports' started by BasPlayr, Jul 20, 2019.

  1. BasPlayr

    BasPlayr I.T.S. Head Coach
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    Anyone familiar with the Sheffield United local club. They are looking to start a team for “2013 youth”. My son has been approached about his son signing up?
    Should 6 year olds really be in a competitive club like Sheffield?
     
  2. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    I would consider Sheffield a mid level-competitive club. I know lots of Bixby kids play there. As for the question of whether six year olds should play competitive soccer well that’s really up to the child and his/her parents. My daughter is a 2010 and most of her team started at Sheffield and then moved to Blitz and now Energy. We played rec at Metro until she was 8 btw.
     
  3. TU_BLA

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    So let's be clear...you are not considered "competitive" until 11 years old in the 9v9 games and then move to 11v11 at U13. Most clubs will have what they call a junior academy for the U10s and under to start developing kids for when they get to the "competitive" age groups. A lot of people will call it "competitive" because the club is a competitive club and hold tryouts and cut kids later on.

    Sheffield just signed on as part of OPC, Oklahoma Premiere Clubs, and is no longer part of Oklahoma Soccer Association (OSA). OPC was formed by WSA, TSC, NEOFC, Celtic (Norman) and Southlakes SC (Moore, south OKC) because of the stunt OSA pulled associating with the OKC Energy (mostly the OKC people). Plus OSA is not especially well run or organized. I've been told OSA will likely cease to exist in 2-3 years because of fiscal mismanagement. Right now OFC Energy East (Blitz) plays a bunch of games against OFC Energy central and west.

    I'll be honest, Sheffield has some good coaches and a good program. A lot of kids who show promise at Sheffield get poached by TSC and WSA. The bigger clubs offer some advantages like practice facilities, competition for spots, and some competitive platforms smaller clubs don't utilize because they don't have the same player pool (ECNL, NPL). It depends on what experience you and your child want. we played rec in BASC for 4 years before jumping to TSC. It was probably a year too late (and we were caught in the political chaos of the '06 boys age group in Tulsa). If you get in a club at an early age, it's easier for coaches to see them develop and get them on the right team. Sometimes the right team means ending up with the right coach and not necessarily always being on the top competitive team.

    I'd suggest asking if you can come take part in some workouts so your child can see if they like it (and you can see if you like the coach, style etc.) and that both of you like the team and other parents (trust me, this is a big deal).
     
  4. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    I'm praying the OSA folds and Energy joins the OPC. For the 2010 girls age group the top TSC and Blitz (Energy) team can't play any east side teams in their age group due to skill level yet they won't play each other. Thus both those teams either travel to play or play up. I just got our fall schedule and it's full of games against the Edmond, NWOKC and Norman teams for our age group and then we received a waiver to play up in the 9v9 "competitive" division for tourneys and will be playing under the Energy club. TSC's top team is on the exact same situation and will play up as well. There's not a lot of competition locally in that age group at the top team level. WSA, NEOFC, Sheff just aren't at that level. We got our fall schedule this past week. Either playing the North OKC teams, Norman, in friendlies, league play in the boys division, or playing 9v9 as Energy. It's a lot and requires a serious commitment from the player as well as the parents.

    All that said, Energy is a very arrogant club. They are by far the largest club in the state and seem to think they can dictate terms. It will be fascinating to see what Energy does should OSA collapse.
     
    4 lawpoke87, Jul 22, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2019
  5. TU_BLA

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    OSA has been a wreck since Kurt Lutweiller left for a coaching job in Georgia 3-4 years ago. And the tension between TSC and Blitz is sort of like LAFC vs :LA Galaxy or Portland Timbers vs Seattle Sounders (both great rivalry games played this past weekend). I know, as team managers, we've been strongly discouraged from playing in an Blitz associated tournament and we've been discouraged from scheduling scrimmages w/ Blitz/Energy teams. And now that Levi Coleman has left Blitz/Energy to start the Tulsa Athletic Academy, I suspect there will be a noticeable drop off in the number of players at Blitz/Energy, especially on the boys' side. With Bixby Highlanders and Sheffield joining OPC this Spring, Tornadoes may be the only OSA club left (although they hold dual membership as they also now fall under the WSA mantle). And by largest club in the state, are you referring to all components, east, west, and central?
     
  6. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    Yes...all components. I don't know much about other age groups other than girls 2010. Energy is projecting twelve 2010 girls teams this fall with four of those being out of Tulsa. Blitz/Energy is also discouraged from playing TSC teams. I think this is ludicrous, especially for the top team, as there are no other same age teams to play in the Tulsa area (for 2010 girls). The result is the top team from TSC and Blitz/Energy having to travel to play or find games against older teams. The top TSC team travels to Dallas on a regular basis while Blitz/Energy travels to OKC and Norman. It's frustrating.
     
  7. TU_BLA

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    There are some other good teams out there...South Lakes has a quality program and Norman (Celtic) has some very good teams, it's just hit or miss to if they have one in every age group. South Lakes is a pretty deep club too as they usually have 2-3 good teams (at least on the boys side) in most age groups.

    I know Blitz was offered a seat at the OPC table...I know TSC asked them to merge and when they refused, TSC worked with MTSC and Tulsa United to merge the recreational leagues and unite under TSC...that cut some fields and feeder players out from under Blitz. It's been pretty contentious ever since.
     
  8. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    Thanks for the info. All of that occurred before my time but it's nice to have some background on the animosity between the clubs. Our games with the South Lakes and Celtic clubs were rained out in the spring so I can't compare them to the likes of TSC, Edmond Soccer Club and NWOKC for 2010 girls. The Edmond and NWOKC clubs both have really strong top teams. We've been playing 3v3 all summer. Glad to see that winding down and some cooler weather soccer on the horizon.
     
  9. TU_BLA

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    We played in the Owasso small-sided last weekend. 4 games, 6v6, blistering heat. Right now the boys are training 2x per week. My son's coach also has an 03G team and has just gotten the 06 girls NPL team. They scrimmaged the 03G last week...the girls are bigger, faster, and better players right now...and a hell of a lot more physical. A few of the boys backed off and the girls knocked them on their a$$e$. They learned pretty quickly to play soccer against them. Right now my son is at the TU ID camp and he is one of 3 out of the 20 GKs there that isn't in HS yet. He had to adjust to pace and how hard they can kick and throw the ball. Also, Daniel Cherbonnier (TU's GK coach) doesn't treat him like he's a younger kid and is hammering shots at him. I saw my son do some things at the tail end of practice yesterday I've never seen him do in terms of reacting and getting up quickly for the 2nd shot. I am a firm believer kids get better by training with and playing against better players/teams. If they see how to do it right, they will figure it out and do the right things.
     
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  10. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    Congrats to him. I assume he's interested in playing beyond high school?

    Girls are very rough. Part of that imo is they lack the ball skills of the higher level boys.

    Guess my brag is that my daughter's 3v3 team is ranked second in the country out of more than 300 teams. We beat the last years national runner-up a few weeks ago. Cool to see a Tulsa area team rated that high. Our local soccer really is underrated imo. Nationals will be much cooler as they're in November.
     
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  11. TU_BLA

    TU_BLA I.T.S. Hall of Famer
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    He's 13. He wants to be a pro keeper in EPL...but he also wants to be an engineer working with robots and AI. Oh, and he is a merit badge and project away from being an Eagle Scout, and he wants to play in Union's marching band. I say all that to say there's a lot of things he likes to do and right now we're lucky he hasn't had to make a choice or need to cut something out of his life because of scheduling but I'm pretty sure that day is coming within the next year. I really hope he finishes the Eagle off soon as there just won't be that stress of that. I don't think he realizes that with HS soccer and marching band, although they happen in different seasons, he probably can't do both.

    Youth soccer in Tulsa is played at a high level. TSC just returned it's '04 ECNL boys team from Colorado with its 2nd straight national championship. WSA's 01/02G just made the final four of the US Club Soccer championships. I know an '08 kid who was playing for John Michael Waite at Energy who was invited to US National Youth Futsal for a tour of Barcelona with an '08 team. This kid is a phenomenal player too.
     
  12. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    John Michael is my daughter’s private trainer. Great soccer guy. She’s become a very good player thanks in large part to him.

    Did we scare OP off?
     
  13. HuffyCane

    HuffyCane I.T.S. University President
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    Suburban soccer clubs are all complete frauds until U14. It’s essentially high priced day care that you actually attend as well.

    The only thing your son/daughter needs to develop soccer skill before age 14 is a ball. A wall or a friend is also helpful but not mandatory. Have her play one hour a day with her friends. If she develops skill with the ball naturally, there’s things the coaching can add on later. But right now it’s just a scam. You are paying salaries for services that won’t help your kid and you are helping pay expenses for older kids who travel, etc. All the drills and games and conditioning and American crap just stunts her growth. Give him the ball and make him play keep away or freestyle for an hour each day. He will learn competitive spirit, touch and moves naturally.

    When they hit age 12 or so, then you have a decision whether they have enough natural skill to pursue the dream. If so, it’s worth the money. If not, then you still have a decision whether it’s in your child’s best interest to be on a team for social reasons.

    But that 12 to 16 stage is critical. If they aren’t maximizing their talent then, it’s over.
     
  14. TU_BLA

    TU_BLA I.T.S. Hall of Famer
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    OP?

    John is a really good coach, both technically and tactically. When he was at TSC, my son's '06 team would scrimmage his '08 team and they would destroy my son's team. They were technically excellent as a group and they all understood space very well. It seems that every player he gets his hands on ends up being excellent. I wish TSC and Energy would take guys like him and give him an entire age group to train technically and help develop. And he would be one of the reasons why kids need to get into a club like that at an early age. They will learn to develop technically the right way and then you can accelerate the tactical stuff more than just kick it over the top. Sorry Huffy, I disagree with your assessment on just letting kids develop on their own until 12 or 13. Too many bad habits that they can get into that become very hard to break. Technical skills like receiving a pass correctly and then turning. There's more to it than just trapping the ball and going.

    I was sad to see John leave TSC (and all the kids that followed him). He's made some questionable personal decisions in his past which is why he's no longer at TSC.
     
  15. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    Yes, I'm very aware of JM past issues. He's very open about them. He's cleaned up and has his life headed in the right direction. Anyone that teaches "English as a second language" in the TPS has my utmost respect.

    OP....original poster. Haven't seen him back in the thread.

    What's your take on Huffy's point that soccer academies are a fraud until age 14 and that a kid should simply play with friends in the backyard or by himself? I haven't been through the older ages yet to really have an opinion. My experience is baseball. In baseball, if a kid doesn't start competitive ball until 14 he stands very little chance of playing in high school from my experience. They simply can't catch up.
     
  16. TU_BLA

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    I don't agree with Huffy's stance on it. 6 might be a little early, but if you're not in one of the competitive clubs by 8 or 9 and know your kid wants to play soccer at the highest level, it's hard to get them through to the top teams as there is a lot of politics that come into play. Yes you pay the coaches in clubs like that but almost all of them have the appropriate USSF license to coach those ages and run appropriate age level practices/drills to develop them. I can say that the USSF D (youth) license process and course made me a much better coach and having a purposeful approach to every part of the game from technical and tactical training, to game warm-ups, to team development, to prepping and travelling to tournaments. At the rec level you get a lot of parents who used to play the game who may or may not know how to teach the game. We probably stuck with the rec soccer a year too long.

    Baseball is hard to get into these days at the youth levels. When I was a kid you went to the local league, signed up, and they put you on a team. You had age groups but the age groups consisted of more than 1 year of kids...my first team was 8-10 year olds and each team had 5 of each age. Then there was 11-12 year olds. And then 13-14 year olds. And all the teams were pretty equal in terms of talent because it was purposefully done that way.Today, if you're not in as a 5-6 year old and get on a competitive tee ball team you are almost out of luck. My son played tee ball and coach pitch through Tulsa LL from 5-8. Then we tried Union out at Hilti Park one summer and he ended up on a team with a dad for a coach who was clueless but refused to let anyone help. The other 3 teams were competitive USSAA teams using the summer league as practice. It was a disaster of an experience for something they deemed a "rec" league. I actually got into an argument with one of the other coaches because he sent every kid from 1st base to 2nd on groundballs in the infield. That's not teaching the game the way it should be played, that's taking advantage of kids you know aren't at the same level. We never went back to baseball which killed me because that's the sport I grew up playing at a pretty decent level.

    On JM, good for him. Glad he's gotten past that. I know there were a lot of parents who struggled with the decision on whether or not to move from TSC to Blitz when he moved. There's another local coach who played at TU who my son had a chance to play for and passed because he's not past those issues. He's bounced from TSC to Tulsa Athletic to Blitz/Energy to WSA and parents just revolt once they figure out his issues. He's now at ORU (and knowing what his demons are I can't imagine that will last long with the Honor Code and everything).

    Bas, do you know the coach's name at Sheffield? Oh, and be prepared. Sheffield gets poached a lot. If your son shows any promise, a coach from TSC/Energy/WSA will come calling.
     
  17. HuffyCane

    HuffyCane I.T.S. University President
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    BLA has told you everything you need to know. Pay the ransom of the gatekeepers, politics, American coaching “certification” that makes people in Europe laugh who take them, etc. An American youth soccer coach license is no different than a realtor license. Its a club designed to artificially inflate the price to benefit the license holder, not you.

    Your kid is either good enough and disciplined enough to tidy up in a year or two at 12 to 14 or they aren’t and they wont ever be, so there’s no sense in giving tens of thousands of dollars to youth soccer coaches in the middle of the country making more than college and pro coaches here and abroad. Put the money in the college investment fund. Unless it is worth the money to throw it away to make sure your child is playing with the friends they want to play for. But then they are playing just for the fun of it and the fun should be emphasized. The instant it isnt fun, pull them. Its that simple.

    Anything contrary to that is designed to challenge your insecurities to separate you from your wallet. The only exception to that is the one in 30 million kid who is the next Pulisic — who was ID’d by USSoccer at a youth rec league where he was being coached by his Dad (who knows what the heck he was doing because he played). Compare that to Clint Dempsey whose parents spent their retirement and draw two hours each way to practice each day for Clint to get a single offer to ..... Furman.

    I cant tell you the number of parents who thought their kid was going D1 after dominating the youth soccer development circuit and got nothing. Then they add up what they spent on youth soccer and travel and the amount is mega larger than any scholarship amount they would have gotten. Pay to play youth soccer is about exploiting parents insecurities, not making kids better players. Its the equivalent of playing the lottery to avoid saving for retirement. Hiring a coach to help you narrow what numbers to pick doesn’t improve your chances.

    I show every parent this video that asks me this question and it becomes crystal clear to them what they need to do, especially if they played at a high level. You are going to want the time and the money back if you chase the dream, because it is your dream, not the kids. You already know in your head and heart whether your child has the athletic ability and genes to be elite. If they have it, they will show it naturally and it is worth it to make the kid available to those teams — if they waive their fees. And some will, if you kid is good enough. That fact alone is all I needed to know. That and a remark from Coach Mac years ago that he wished he was the highest paid coach in the city.

    Watch the video. If your kid has the type of discipline now to play on their own every day, they will be successful at this or something else.


     
  18. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    Politics are awful throughout youth sports. I thought baseball was bad about poaching kids until we started club soccer. All the TSC coaches know the top Blitz kids and vice versa. Calls are made all the time. Funny....I know a lot of the coaches at TSC. One offered and was working with my daughter this spring. Took about a week for Blitz to find out and give me a call.

    As to Huffy's point, I assume it depends on one's financial situation and the kid. My oldest son played competitive baseball. Some of his fondest memories are from those games, trips, friends and playing high school ball for Bixby. He is still tight with most of those guys. Same for my daughter. These girls spend a ton of time together. They love the trips together. Her best friends are from soccer. Agree with Huffy...have realistic expectations. Keep it about fun. If your kid loves to compete then look into it. Playing together and winning games/tournaments as a team are a lot of fun for most kids and teaches important life lessons.
     
  19. TU_BLA

    TU_BLA I.T.S. Hall of Famer
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    I bet the TSC coach offered a spot and a path to ECNL, which is part of the issue TSC has with retaining players and losing players. Kids who have busted their a$$e$ for TSC aren't even given a shot or a tryout for the top teams but a new kid is instantly placed and they may or may not be better than kids in the program already. And kids know. If they're given a fair tryout and shot, they know where they fall
     
  20. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    Yup. Offered a spot on the top team a couple of days after playing against them this spring. Blitz/Energy does the same thing btw. Our rosters came out today. Four teams. The only additions to the top team were two new girls. To be fair, my daughter joined from MTSC late last August and started on the lowest team. They moved her to the top team in a couple of months. However, she has been the only player to move.
     
  21. TU_BLA

    TU_BLA I.T.S. Hall of Famer
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    And that's the way it should be. All of the clubs tell parents kids will be moved up or down based on their ability and what is best for their development and right there that's shenanigans. Rarely is that practiced.
     
  22. Gmoney4WW

    Gmoney4WW I.T.S. Hall of Famer
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    I played rec soccer for ten years. I was never good enough to do anything more. But my mom volunteered to coach a team in west tulsa that couldn't find a coach, and that I was going to play for. I wish she had access to that training for a youth license!

    She was just a soccer mom who volunteered to coach when nobody else would. I could have coached the team better than she did, and that's not saying much. What kind of time did it take you to get that youth license? My mom would have put 20 or 30 hours into it, anything more and she probably wouldn't have bothered.
     
  23. TU_BLA

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    It was an entire weekend, probably 24 hrs altogether in the classroom and on the field, plus an extra 4-5 hours of pre-class stuff that had to be turned in beforehand. "D" license essentially says you're qualified to teach the game for 8-12 year olds. Class "C" is the next step. There's at some out of class stuff plus 2 weekend. Most competitive clubs require the USSF National C license but some will waive that in lieu of other experience playing and coaching and then help you pay to get the license. I really just went so I could be a better coach for my son's rec team because I am someone who never played the game and I was pretty clueless. I learned a lot that weekend.
     
  24. Gmoney4WW

    Gmoney4WW I.T.S. Hall of Famer
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    My mom would have done that, wish she would've. I was around 15 at the time, she might not have gone to the class C, but even taking that class for 8-12 year olds would have put her light years beyond where she was. She wouldn't have had to worry about qualifications since she was only coaching a rec team that had no club qualifications. How much was the class?
     
  25. TU_BLA

    TU_BLA I.T.S. Hall of Famer
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    I paid $50 for it and Broken Arrow Soccer Club reimbursed that cost when I received my license. The C, B, A cost more.
     
  26. Gmoney4WW

    Gmoney4WW I.T.S. Hall of Famer
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    Now I have ammo to give my mom grief. She could have spent the time and money for a D license without a doubt. Too bad we weren't aware of it. Do you have any idea if it was around in the early to mid 80's?
     
  27. TU_BLA

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    I don't know. I just know that BASC offered it to all of it's rec coaches when OSA brought the class to Tulsa.
     
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  28. TU_BLA

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    Lawpoke, an update. TSC 06 girls just won a US Club Soccer national championship. And that team has been together for 3-4 years. My son's first TSC team would play that squad regularly in academy development. There is some merit for kids starting within the academy levels of private clubs.

    But I do agree with Huffy that the whole pay for play deal is probably as much stifling for the development of players/the game as much as it also helps develop the players who are able to pay and play.
     
  29. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    Just saw that on FB. Congrats to those girls. What a great accomplishment and something they will never forget. Love seeing the local teams succeed on the national level.
     
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  30. TU_BLA

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    Lawpoke, your daughter’s team wouldn’t happen to be at the Roughnecks game tonight?
     
  31. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    No....but I wish I was there :(. John Michael taught her how to slide tackle this am. Pretty funny watching her learn to slide.
     
  32. TU_BLA

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    The slide tackle needs to be taught more by coaches. So many focus strictly on ball at the feet technical skill during practice. And if you know how to do it, it can be a very important skill. I'd settle for my son's team to just understand basic 1v1 defensive posture. Too many kids getting caught flat-footed then leaving my son in the precarious 1v1 as a GK.

    My son's coach mentioned to his team the other day a very simple principle that probably should have been covered in week 2 of practice last year. "When you attack, open up and be wide. We want to spread out when we have the ball. When you're defending, be more compact and push them wide. Play inside out on defense, stay more central." It's a simple principle and my son's team pretty much does the exact opposite most times.

    My son got to be a ball boy for the Roughnecks game last night. There were a couple of younger teams, including a Blitz team that looked like 8-9 year old girls out there with their coach (Mike Moritz who used to coach the Union boys and I think he's now out at RSU). Believe he also coaches at Blitz/Energy. The Roughnecks are a special kind of bad right now and they have been since they released Bastides back in April for his racial slurs in a game. He was one of their MFs that made things go. I respect the Roughnecks for their decision because you don't want that stuff in the game, but it really has hampered the team a great deal in their attack as he was usually the facilitator through the MF.
     
  33. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    Mike coaches one of the 2009 Blitz girls teams. Guess they're Energy now. Solid guy and coach. His parents have been clients of mine for years.

    When's your son's first game of the fall?
     
    33 lawpoke87, Jul 25, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 25, 2019
  34. TU_BLA

    TU_BLA I.T.S. Hall of Famer
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    That's a great question. His team is playing in the Titan preseason friendlies next weekend. I wouldn't expect anything else before Labor Day. His team doesn't usually do any tournaments until later. His coach has an 03G team as well and they're going to Plano for Labor Day. We'll probably get 3 games in OPC in and then head to Little Rock for the first weekend in October. If your coach is open to suggestions, the Capital City Cup in Little Rock is a top notch tournament. Great field complex in Burns Park, good parking, and the event is well-organized and communicated to teams. You also get a little different competition as there are always teams from Memphis, Mississippi, and Louisiana there. My son's team went 3 years ago and played a team from just outside of Memphis and it was as good a game between 10 & 11 year olds that I've seen.
     
  35. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    I will bring that tournament up. We are always looking for competitive teams to schedule. We went to Dallas and KC this spring as our out of state tourneys. We had Orlando scheduled but they moved tourney dates and it didn't work with our schedule. Playing the same teams (TSC, Edmond Soccer, NWOKC, etc..) again and again does get old.
     
  36. TU_BLA

    TU_BLA I.T.S. Hall of Famer
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    We seem to play the same teams over and over but only because those are the teams that want to play in the same bracket we do. We played a WSA side 5 times this last spring. 2X in league play, 2x in WSA tourney (bracket and finals), and again in State Cup.
     
  37. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    We play the OKC area teams a lot. I will be in Edmond the next two weekends (regionals 3v3 and then a friendly) for instance and then go back on August 18th for the Beat the Heat tourney. Other than the top TSC team, the rest of the eastern Okla and western Arkansas 2010 girls teams aren't very competitive. Traveling to play friendlies is frustrating. We get to play up this fall (9v9) for tourneys under Energy. Looking forward to those games. Have you enjoyed competitive (9v9 and 11v11)?
     
  38. HuffyCane

    HuffyCane I.T.S. University President
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    If your coaching knows what they are doing and you are playing the same teams again and again it’s a unique opportunity to develop the skills of your players to exploit the weaknesses of the other teams rather just trying to run, pass or muscle around the opposing side like most USA coaches want to do. This is why “professional” coaches in the USA are a joke. You should be looking forward to playing Edmond again, and your daughter facing number 11 again but this time she has the back cut down the wing to beat her she didn’t have last year or the combo you taught her last month has 11 tied in knots because she’s unbalanced to her weak side. That’s what youth soccer is about, not going to Orlando or winning 20 games
     
  39. lawpoke87

    lawpoke87 I.T.S. Legend
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    What's funny is the first thing our coach told us over winter break is that we weren't going to win a lot of the games he had scheduled but it would make us better. We then proceeded to play in the academy boys indoor league and play a year up in every game except the two Edmond teams and the top TSC team. You obviously get very little out of playing over matched squads. It is still nice to play different teams even if that means traveling out of state. I can assure you Orlando had nothing to do with winning or "what soccer is about" but was solely scheduled as a trip to Disney World for the girls with a little soccer mixed in.
     
    TU_BLA and HuffyCane like this.
  40. TU_BLA

    TU_BLA I.T.S. Hall of Famer
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    We do enjoy the competitive side. 9v9 was fun because that’s where you start seeing kids gain an understanding of space and understanding space is almost more important than being able to beat a 9 year old off the dribble. You also start to understand possession is important and sometimes going backwards is OK. The game starts to look like the way it is supposed to be played (for the most part).

    And once you hit 11v11 the kids start thinking more about team and what that means. It takes a while for kids to truly understand “team” vs winning/losing and just having competitive drive. It took 9 months for my son’s team to finally understand that this past season (brand new team with kids coming from all different levels of experience). But the most gratifying thing for me was watching the progress of my son, his teammates, and the team through the year. You could point to a single moment in their year where it clicked for the entire team and from that point forward they stayed patient and in the game even when they got down, and when they did that it was fun just watching their own internal motivations taking over. They were very much a 2nd half team and they started running teams off the field in the 2nd half of games. Teams that had drilled them early in the year were all of a sudden trying to keep up with them. The aforementioned WSA team had beaten them 7-1 and 7-0 in early games, and in the last month that difference dropped to a 1-0 decision in a game where the WSA team brought 5 players in from the top Blitz/Energy team as guest players (that was probably my son’s best game in goal all season...loan goal came off a crazy deflection and my son had the bead on the original shot). My son’s team wasn’t the best team out there frequently but their coach had a way of pulling a little something extra from them, giving them some extra confidence. And when you can end your year with a win in the last game, kids often find the game fun and go to work right away to get better. We even had one player who was asked to move up who declined so he could stay with this team/coach. When you have that going, you know there’s something good all around and it becomes more than just about the soccer.
     

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