So Cal Recruiting from 2010-2019

Justus

GOLD
2017, 2018, 2019......THE LIST, NC Showcase and The decision for HS Soccer...…...I will finish the recruiting story tonight. I am not Crazy soccer parent anymore. I think if some of us are honest we all can get a little cray cray sometimes. I'm not here to bash anyone. If I said something from past post I'm sorry. I was not drunk. I was manic I guess. I wanted some answers as a dad and a as customer who has devoted 9 years to the SoCal Youth Soccer Arena :)
 

oh canada

SILVER ELITE
I don't condone talking about your kid on a public forum---selfish, short-sighted, and lacking any morsel of good judgment. However, I will say this...with all of the changes that have occurred over the last 5 years in youth soccer--age groups, DA, DPL, CRL, ECNL, etc. etc.--how any parent/player could be deemed a "club hopper" is beyond me. You want families to stay at soccer clubs? Keep the youth soccer landscape consistent, reliable and predictable for 3-4 years in a row. That shouldn't be too much to ask.
 
This should be a pinned thread for all parents of "youngers" that come to the forum as a warning of what can happen when your little Mia or Lionel is really good as a really young player and you get too caught up in having a “special” “unicorn” with national team dreams.

There are multiple studies cited in articles that prove athletic success as a child is no predictor of athletic success as a physically mature adult. So please, please, please for the sake of your sanity and your child’s future, when your kid scores a hat trick in that U10 debut, or dribbles through the entire opposing team and bangs it into the upper 90 in U11, or gets ODP at U12 and makes DA at U13, take the advice of those who have already been there: Chill. The. Bleep. Out. Because it means NOTHING in the long run. Just enjoy the ride and be prepared for it to end much earlier than you want it to. Because it will. Statistically, you have a better chance winning Super Lotto than playing in the EPL or USNT. So you should have about the same level of expectation for your 13 year old kid to end up playing for the full National team as you do when you throw down for the Power Ball while picking up a six pack at 7 Eleven. Hell, most of the ODP kids I knew from U11 back when mine was just starting club aren’t even playing soccer anymore as HS seniors or college freshmen.

Like most people here, I thought Justus was a total crack job when I read the other thread posts... but reading this I honestly feel that this sort of scenario is exactly what our youth club system counts on creating in order to make money. Unrealistic expectations WAY too early. And as you can see, it’s unhealthy for the kids AND the parents.

To paraphrase the great holy man, Chief Rolling Stone: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you get what you need.”

I hope the OP and their DD both get what they need.
 

OCsoccerdad7777

SILVER ELITE
This should be a pinned thread for all parents of "youngers" that come to the forum as a warning of what can happen when your little Mia or Lionel is really good as a really young player and you get too caught up in having a “special” “unicorn” with national team dreams.

There are multiple studies cited in articles that prove athletic success as a child is no predictor of athletic success as a physically mature adult. So please, please, please for the sake of your sanity and your child’s future, when your kid scores a hat trick in that U10 debut, or dribbles through the entire opposing team and bangs it into the upper 90 in U11, or gets ODP at U12 and makes DA at U13, take the advice of those who have already been there: Chill. The. Bleep. Out. Because it means NOTHING in the long run. Just enjoy the ride and be prepared for it to end much earlier than you want it to. Because it will. Statistically, you have a better chance winning Super Lotto than playing in the EPL or USNT. So you should have about the same level of expectation for your 13 year old kid to end up playing for the full National team as you do when you throw down for the Power Ball while picking up a six pack at 7 Eleven. Hell, most of the ODP kids I knew from U11 back when mine was just starting club aren’t even playing soccer anymore as HS seniors or college freshmen.

Like most people here, I thought Justus was a total crack job when I read the other thread posts... but reading this I honestly feel that this sort of scenario is exactly what our youth club system counts on creating in order to make money. Unrealistic expectations WAY too early. And as you can see, it’s unhealthy for the kids AND the parents.

To paraphrase the great holy man, Chief Rolling Stone: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you get what you need.”

I hope the OP and their DD both get what they need.
So you're saying there's a chance???
 

Justus

GOLD
THE LIST is to tell you all to take me, my family and my dd off your list. Go have fun with your brand of soccer competition. We will bow out graciously. The last two years has been a tough run for us and for many other parents and players for all different reasons. You know where everyone stands. I've never seen so much division in a youth sport, ever!!!. Really sad and I'm sorry to have contributed to it. I wanted my dd story told from me her father instead of you on this forum and old coaches and or DOCS. You can believe what you want. Like I said before, I'm so sorry for sharing toxic rants!!!
 

Supermodel56

SILVER ELITE
THE LIST is to tell you all to take me, my family and my dd off your list. Go have fun with your brand of soccer competition. We will bow out graciously. The last two years has been a tough run for us and for many other parents and players for all different reasons. You know where everyone stands. I've never seen so much division in a youth sport, ever!!!. Really sad and I'm sorry to have contributed to it. I wanted my dd story told from me her father instead of you on this forum and old coaches and or DOCS. You can believe what you want. Like I said before, I'm so sorry for sharing toxic rants!!!
What the hell are you apologizing for? It's your story, own it... and finish it already, geez. =)

Btw, I agree, while I don't think club hopping is healthy for the kids, I think the age group change, DA/ECNL/League changes, and frequent coach & team changes really have almost made it a necessity in order for your kid to be in the right environment to develop. If you've found a stable team, consider yourselves lucky!
 

Justus

GOLD
This should be a pinned thread for all parents of "youngers" that come to the forum as a warning of what can happen when your little Mia or Lionel is really good as a really young player and you get too caught up in having a “special” “unicorn” with national team dreams.

There are multiple studies cited in articles that prove athletic success as a child is no predictor of athletic success as a physically mature adult. So please, please, please for the sake of your sanity and your child’s future, when your kid scores a hat trick in that U10 debut, or dribbles through the entire opposing team and bangs it into the upper 90 in U11, or gets ODP at U12 and makes DA at U13, take the advice of those who have already been there: Chill. The. Bleep. Out. Because it means NOTHING in the long run. Just enjoy the ride and be prepared for it to end much earlier than you want it to. Because it will. Statistically, you have a better chance winning Super Lotto than playing in the EPL or USNT. So you should have about the same level of expectation for your 13 year old kid to end up playing for the full National team as you do when you throw down for the Power Ball while picking up a six pack at 7 Eleven. Hell, most of the ODP kids I knew from U11 back when mine was just starting club aren’t even playing soccer anymore as HS seniors or college freshmen.

Like most people here, I thought Justus was a total crack job when I read the other thread posts... but reading this I honestly feel that this sort of scenario is exactly what our youth club system counts on creating in order to make money. Unrealistic expectations WAY too early. And as you can see, it’s unhealthy for the kids AND the parents.

To paraphrase the great holy man, Chief Rolling Stone: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you get what you need.”

I hope the OP and their DD both get what they need.
I needed to share our families story. It was about a dream of a 10 year old. Nothing wrong with that. You and I know it's next to impossible. However, 1st step is to get on u14. That's a good goal to have and realistic. It would have been nice to get some good technical feedback from the scouts at DA and area's needed for improvement. Only feedback came from DOCs and coaches. Not sure how the 2nd season scouting reports were handed out to each player. If Scouts sat us down and gave my dd a good reason to skip HS Soccer maybe she has something to think about. Maybe she was on the list to be on the list? I don't know and it is what it is. Sorry for being a crack job :)
 

Justus

GOLD
I can conclude with all that happen the last few years down to this: 04' and younger were the beginning of the new way of the DA. My dd grew up with a club that was the old way, ODP. ODP had lot's of scrimmages, dropped to 40 and then a team was picked. Much better process for my dd. The new way of the DA is only 24 from the whole country which makes it very tough, and the selection process seems very subjective. I realize that now and I'm find with it. They have to produce the team and they can choose however they want. So, I'm done for awhile. I can feel the toxin coming and it's best to not type anymore. I'll come in and lurk from time to time. I seriously wish all the girls a great season regardless of the league they play in :)
 

oh canada

SILVER ELITE
This should be a pinned thread for all parents of "youngers" that come to the forum as a warning of what can happen when your little Mia or Lionel is really good as a really young player and you get too caught up in having a “special” “unicorn” with national team dreams.

There are multiple studies cited in articles that prove athletic success as a child is no predictor of athletic success as a physically mature adult. So please, please, please for the sake of your sanity and your child’s future, when your kid scores a hat trick in that U10 debut, or dribbles through the entire opposing team and bangs it into the upper 90 in U11, or gets ODP at U12 and makes DA at U13, take the advice of those who have already been there: Chill. The. Bleep. Out. Because it means NOTHING in the long run. Just enjoy the ride and be prepared for it to end much earlier than you want it to. Because it will. Statistically, you have a better chance winning Super Lotto than playing in the EPL or USNT. So you should have about the same level of expectation for your 13 year old kid to end up playing for the full National team as you do when you throw down for the Power Ball while picking up a six pack at 7 Eleven. Hell, most of the ODP kids I knew from U11 back when mine was just starting club aren’t even playing soccer anymore as HS seniors or college freshmen.

Like most people here, I thought Justus was a total crack job when I read the other thread posts... but reading this I honestly feel that this sort of scenario is exactly what our youth club system counts on creating in order to make money. Unrealistic expectations WAY too early. And as you can see, it’s unhealthy for the kids AND the parents.

To paraphrase the great holy man, Chief Rolling Stone: “You can’t always get what you want, but if you try, sometimes you get what you need.”

I hope the OP and their DD both get what they need.
Totally agree. And I've written this on other threads in the past...for soccer, the documented sports science states that you can't even begin to assess ability until 15yrs for girls and 17yrs for boys. And peak ability is not until mid 20s. Other sports like ice skating, gymnastics, swimming, etc. are younger. College coaches know this and you will hear them talk about this often. And they can be honest about it because they are getting players no younger than 17yrs.
 

MarkM

SILVER ELITE
Totally agree. And I've written this on other threads in the past...for soccer, the documented sports science states that you can't even begin to assess ability until 15yrs for girls and 17yrs for boys. And peak ability is not until mid 20s. Other sports like ice skating, gymnastics, swimming, etc. are younger. College coaches know this and you will hear them talk about this often. And they can be honest about it because they are getting players no younger than 17yrs.
Sounds interesting. Can you point us to the documents?
 

Avanti

BRONZE
... you can't even begin to assess ability until 15yrs for girls and 17yrs for boys ...
Ant the best professional clubs disagree with you. They recruit much younger boys based on ability to the point that they are willing to pay very high fines and forfeit signing windows when recruiting foreign young talent. Please send your documents to Barcelona, Madrid, City, Athletico and the likes, so that they can save money.
A more correct statement is that every great player at 25 was already a very good/great player at 13 (and younger), and continued working hard. But there are many, many good/great players at 13 that don't make it, for a variety of reasons. That is what actually happens, and the reason why absolute national teams are not dominated by players that made the U17 national teams. If you don't develop your skills at a very early age, your ceiling in soccer is mostly based on your athleticism and won't be very high. But you can start playing football, not everything is lost.
 

oh canada

SILVER ELITE
Sounds interesting. Can you point us to the documents?
Sure...in separate posts...first, I think what's most relevant to this original post is that US Soccer may finally (hopefully) be recognizing that early maturers -- ie, the big/fast boys and girls at the younger ages -- don't = success on the field. The relative age effect was first documented in Canadian Junior Hockey. But more detailed research demonstrates that while the older/more mature kids do have a temporary edge in endurance and speed, that doesn't carry over into winning. And if US Soccer is concerned with finding players to help them win games (as they should), they should id and develop the players with better skill. The original poster seems to be relaying this in his story--a player that was fast and physical but not as skilled. Here's a recent study that goes into a lot of detail (probably more than you need), so excerpts below.

https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2095254614000635

Combining a database of birth month and year with the season ending records provided a look at whether that assumption actually resulted in a better record. From Table 3, it is obvious that simply having a team populated with players born earlier in the birth year is no guarantee of having a successful season as evidenced by the lack of a correlation between average team birth date vs. winning percentages and scoring. The lack of any discernable pattern would seem to indicate there is no systematic benefit of having a team of early maturing players.

If the best solution is awareness of the problem, showing coaches that selecting players based on maturation within a particular birth year has no impact on seasonal outcome might be sufficient to convince coaches to focus more on each player's soccer performance and less on each player's size.
 

oh canada

SILVER ELITE
Ant the best professional clubs disagree with you. They recruit much younger boys based on ability to the point that they are willing to pay very high fines and forfeit signing windows when recruiting foreign young talent. Please send your documents to Barcelona, Madrid, City, Athletico and the likes, so that they can save money.
A more correct statement is that every great player at 25 was already a very good/great player at 13 (and younger), and continued working hard. But there are many, many good/great players at 13 that don't make it, for a variety of reasons. That is what actually happens, and the reason why absolute national teams are not dominated by players that made the U17 national teams. If you don't develop your skills at a very early age, your ceiling in soccer is mostly based on your athleticism and won't be very high. But you can start playing football, not everything is lost.
Well, I just think the professional clubs are caught in an expensive game of fishing. As you suggest, the success rate for identifying professional players for the "big successful clubs" is tremendously low. They can afford to throw out a huge net and snag 100s of 10year olds knowing that 1 or 2 will actually make it. They do it at 10yrs because everyone else is doing it that young, not because that age is a reliable predictor. Sometimes they don't even realize talent when the kid is 18yrs old - Gareth Bale's story is a good one.
 

Avanti

BRONZE
Well, I just think the professional clubs are caught in an expensive game of fishing. As you suggest, the success rate for identifying professional players for the "big successful clubs" is tremendously low. They can afford to throw out a huge net and snag 100s of 10year olds knowing that 1 or 2 will actually make it. They do it at 10yrs because everyone else is doing it that young, not because that age is a reliable predictor. Sometimes they don't even realize talent when the kid is 18yrs old - Gareth Bale's story is a good one.
Yes, they are fishing but they only fish among players with great talent at 10-13. They do not fish blindly, they can identify talent at those ages. Gareth Bale's story is not a good one, it is just a mantra. From what I can read in wikipedia, Bale enrolled in a soccer academy at 10, played in Southampton 1st team at 16!, and was a Welsh national team player as early as U17. I would not call him an undetected bloomer.
Again, send your documents to the people with the know-how, they may hire you.
 

oh canada

SILVER ELITE
Yes, they are fishing but they only fish among players with great talent at 10-13. They do not fish blindly, they can identify talent at those ages. Gareth Bale's story is not a good one, it is just a mantra. From what I can read in wikipedia, Bale enrolled in a soccer academy at 10, played in Southampton 1st team at 16!, and was a Welsh national team player as early as U17. I would not call him an undetected bloomer.
Again, send your documents to the people with the know-how, they may hire you.
You can never get the full story from Wikipedia...

Bale could easily have been cut loose by Southampton at the age of 15, when it was touch and go whether he would be offered a scholarship. Ruddick is a mild man but he knew that he had to dig his heels in to convince others. "I had to be strong. And to be fair to Rupert Lowe [then the Southampton chairman], he later said to me: 'I'm glad you pushed it.'"

Ruddick is not the sort of person to blow his own trumpet or, for that matter, criticise anyone. He was, however, convinced that Bale "had everything to be a great player" and was determined to fight his corner. In Ruddick's eyes, the reason that Bale's development stagnated a little in his mid-teens, when some questioned the merits of keeping him, was purely down to a growth spurt.
 

Avanti

BRONZE
You can never get the full story from Wikipedia...

Bale could easily have been cut loose by Southampton at the age of 15, when it was touch and go whether he would be offered a scholarship. Ruddick is a mild man but he knew that he had to dig his heels in to convince others. "I had to be strong. And to be fair to Rupert Lowe [then the Southampton chairman], he later said to me: 'I'm glad you pushed it.'"

Ruddick is not the sort of person to blow his own trumpet or, for that matter, criticise anyone. He was, however, convinced that Bale "had everything to be a great player" and was determined to fight his corner. In Ruddick's eyes, the reason that Bale's development stagnated a little in his mid-teens, when some questioned the merits of keeping him, was purely down to a growth spurt.
Sure, some people in that academy were not very good at evaluating talent, and you surely do not see the contradiction between "... can't even begin to assess ability until ... 17yrs for boys ... Gareth Bale's story is a good one (confirming that)" and the facts that he debuted with Southampton at 16 (before you continue with the argument let that sink for a little bit, he debuted with a major professional team at 16!) and played for his U17 national team. Maybe Bale just walked from his rugby practice into a professional soccer locker room and they made him play just for fun?
The careers of young great players in these top academies can end rather fast for many reasons, but I have never heard that one's ended because an athletic 18 year old good at basketball or ball dancing came to take his spot. That is the main point of the message. I had a good friend and neighbor that at 17 was a top player in my country, was the star in a final where they beat the base of the eventually absolute national team (which included the guy generally considered the best coach in the world these days), and retired at 21 without making it to first or second division. I think he was somewhat depressed for a few years. Situations like this one are the norm, very few get to the top. Moral of the story: always have a plan B (at this point and in the case of girls, College is plans A and B) .
But everybody who makes it to the top was a very talented player at 13-15, and without a lot of training since much earlier almost nobody can get to the required skill level by the time you are 13-15. This level of commitment was not needed for the US women soccer program until recently, and players could start much later, do something else, play HS or watch TV, because there were no real soccer countries that cared at all about the women's game. This has changed now (7 European countries among the final 8 in the last world cup, is further proof needed?), and the formative years of our girls adjust to the new reality, or within one generation the US women soccer team will be as irrelevant as the men team has been for ever.
 

oh canada

SILVER ELITE
Sure, some people in that academy were not very good at evaluating talent, and you surely do not see the contradiction between "... can't even begin to assess ability until ... 17yrs for boys ... Gareth Bale's story is a good one (confirming that)" and the facts that he debuted with Southampton at 16 (before you continue with the argument let that sink for a little bit, he debuted with a major professional team at 16!) and played for his U17 national team. Maybe Bale just walked from his rugby practice into a professional soccer locker room and they made him play just for fun?
The careers of young great players in these top academies can end rather fast for many reasons, but I have never heard that one's ended because an athletic 18 year old good at basketball or ball dancing came to take his spot. That is the main point of the message. I had a good friend and neighbor that at 17 was a top player in my country, was the star in a final where they beat the base of the eventually absolute national team (which included the guy generally considered the best coach in the world these days), and retired at 21 without making it to first or second division. I think he was somewhat depressed for a few years. Situations like this one are the norm, very few get to the top. Moral of the story: always have a plan B (at this point and in the case of girls, College is plans A and B) .
But everybody who makes it to the top was a very talented player at 13-15, and without a lot of training since much earlier almost nobody can get to the required skill level by the time you are 13-15. This level of commitment was not needed for the US women soccer program until recently, and players could start much later, do something else, play HS or watch TV, because there were no real soccer countries that cared at all about the women's game. This has changed now (7 European countries among the final 8 in the last world cup, is further proof needed?), and the formative years of our girls adjust to the new reality, or within one generation the US women soccer team will be as irrelevant as the men team has been for ever.
You're making this way too complicated...my point is simple (and is backed up by science as the Patriots doc discusses)...long term soccer success/performance does not begin to reveal itself until 15yrs old or later. Bale was almost cut at 15yrs because most at Southampton lost confidence in his ability. They waited for him to complete his growth spurt and were rewarded. That's an example at the highest level.

If you are disagreeing with me (and the science) then you are suggesting that the best players at 10yrs old will be the best at 15-18yrs old. I think many on this board can tell you that is certainly not the case. Sometimes, yes. But reliably predictable (which is the point of the post)? No.
 
Sure, some people in that academy were not very good at evaluating talent, and you surely do not see the contradiction between "... can't even begin to assess ability until ... 17yrs for boys ... Gareth Bale's story is a good one (confirming that)" and the facts that he debuted with Southampton at 16 (before you continue with the argument let that sink for a little bit, he debuted with a major professional team at 16!) and played for his U17 national team. Maybe Bale just walked from his rugby practice into a professional soccer locker room and they made him play just for fun?
The careers of young great players in these top academies can end rather fast for many reasons, but I have never heard that one's ended because an athletic 18 year old good at basketball or ball dancing came to take his spot. That is the main point of the message. I had a good friend and neighbor that at 17 was a top player in my country, was the star in a final where they beat the base of the eventually absolute national team (which included the guy generally considered the best coach in the world these days), and retired at 21 without making it to first or second division. I think he was somewhat depressed for a few years. Situations like this one are the norm, very few get to the top. Moral of the story: always have a plan B (at this point and in the case of girls, College is plans A and B) .
But everybody who makes it to the top was a very talented player at 13-15, and without a lot of training since much earlier almost nobody can get to the required skill level by the time you are 13-15. This level of commitment was not needed for the US women soccer program until recently, and players could start much later, do something else, play HS or watch TV, because there were no real soccer countries that cared at all about the women's game. This has changed now (7 European countries among the final 8 in the last world cup, is further proof needed?), and the formative years of our girls adjust to the new reality, or within one generation the US women soccer team will be as irrelevant as the men team has been for ever.
Nobody is suggesting to fish blindly. Of course if you’re trying to fish for a future pro player at 13 you’ll look in the sea of 13 year old studs rather than the sea of below average 13 year olds... but the point is that fishing in that sea of “studs” is still a massive crapshoot where the odds are millions to one. If your kid is a starter on a top team at 13, the odds are still 2 to 1 that they won’t even be playing soccer AT ALL in 7 years. Those are such long odds that it demonstrates the futility of even labeling a 13 year old as a “stud” in the first place. I have another great article that was posted on this forum that addresses this... will post later.
 
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