So Cal Recruiting from 2010-2019

Honestly, I haven't heard the true definition of the LIST in this mega thread. 4.0 GPA, Honor Roll, AP/Honors/IB program, 1400+ SAT/32+ ACT, great extra curriculars besides soccer, etc. You know things that colleges care about, which is really the end goal for 99.99% of us. If your kid isn't trying to be on this LIST, then none of this matters.
 

ToonArmy

SILVER ELITE
Ok but in general, is the parent (mom or dad) that needs to be born in whatever country? Not grandparents?
From what I have been told its Grandparents. I know some girls that have played or still do for Mexico Phillipines and El Salvador and I was told that but might be incorrect info. Also my daughter had a chance to play in an Olympic type of tournament in Mexico which we declined and all she needed was a Grandparent born in Mexico to qualify. That was not youth national team representing Mexico it was more of like a national cup representing a region or state all teams from Mexico.
 

Justus

GOLD
Ya’ll are crazy.

Lemme just sum this up for ya’ll so we can move on:

1) True, just because you’re a superstar at age 13 and under, it is no indication that you’ve got what it takes to be a pro or Olympian.

2) True, most superstars at that young age don’t make it - but that is more because pros and olympians are the elite of the elite and it’s a very selective group. To argue that being a young superstar is a contraindication of future success is completely wrong logic. Most teams in a tournament are NOT going to win first place.

3) Most olympians and pros were involved in their sport at a young age and performing at a decently high level. The natural talent was there in some form or another - as with all kids and some more than others, it just needed refinement. Take Alex Morgan, for example, her natural talent was there, but since she only played rec, she didn’t have the technicals... but her natural abilities allowed her to pick that up.

4) Do not discount hard work and commitment, that’s where the real separation begins. After a certain level, most athletes are serviceable, it comes down to who’s putting in the hours to be the best.

5) You MAY never be a pro or make the national team. But then again, if you don’t believe you can, don’t invest the time and hard work, or don’t have the support system, you WILL never make it... ain’t nothing wrong with a dad who believes in their kid and willing to invest to see how far he/she can go. Each family has to decide for themselves if it’s worth pursuing.

6) Taking pleasure in another dad/family realizing that their kid doesn’t have it is a real asshole move. To those parents who believed in their kid and invested the time and energy, kudos to you. That’s sure as hell a lot better than your kid growing up thinking you DON’T believe in them or won’t support them in their passions. And personally I don’t think it’s a waste of time nor resources - because it teaches a kid how to pursue a dream. It’s not so much the end result, but understanding the process and what it takes to be the best. They may never make the national team, but once that door is closed, they’ll know what it’s going to take to succeed in the next endeavor. Just think, no matter what you pursue, the odds are you will NOT be the best in the world. But does that mean you shouldn’t go 100% after what you love to do? By not helping your kid pursue this dream, you’re basically teaching them to not commit to anything simply because there is the risk of disappointment.
I see it like this. "I want to play for the California Angels" = Dream "I want to start at 2nd base for my 8th grade travel ball team, hit .500 and start as a Sophomore at big time HS program" =Goals to hit the dream. BTW, I think this is better odds than "I want to play on the Woman's National Team" = Dreamer "I want to start at top club, have impact and make u14 list" =Goals to make dream come true...…..
 

Supermodel56

SILVER ELITE
I see it like this. "I want to play for the California Angels" = Dream "I want to start at 2nd base for my 8th grade travel ball team, hit .500 and start as a Sophomore at big time HS program" =Goals to hit the dream. BTW, I think this is better odds than "I want to play on the Woman's National Team" = Dreamer "I want to start at top club, have impact and make u14 list" =Goals to make dream come true...…..
Why can’t you have both? And most likely, the kid is already starting for their team and are already doing everything they can to be the best player they can be.

You gotta dream big... but I do see your point, if you actually want to reach your dreams, you gotta understand the pathway - which in itself is not easy and has significant milestones along the way... those milestones are great intermediate goals and indicators where you stand.

The question for the dad who’s finding that their kid may not be good enough to make it - if your kid knew from the beginning this was how it would end up, would she still have played anyway? Would she have trained as hard as she did? did she love the game that much? Would you still have made the same decisions?
 

OCsoccerdad7777

SILVER ELITE
From what I have been told its Grandparents. I know some girls that have played or still do for Mexico Phillipines and El Salvador and I was told that but might be incorrect info. Also my daughter had a chance to play in an Olympic type of tournament in Mexico which we declined and all she needed was a Grandparent born in Mexico to qualify. That was not youth national team representing Mexico it was more of like a national cup representing a region or state all teams from Mexico.
Good to know thanks. Sorry not trying to change the thread.
 

Yak

BRONZE
No need to rely on hearsay, FIFA regs are posted online...

A player who, under the terms of article 15 of the Regulations
Governing the Application of the FIFA Statutes, is eligible to represent
more than one association on account of his nationality, may play
in an international match for one of these associations only if, in
addition to having the relevant nationality, he fulfi ls at least one of
the following conditions:
a) he was born on the territory of the relevant association;
b) his biological mother or biological father was born on the territory
of the relevant association;
c) his grandmother or grandfather was born on the territory of the
relevant association;
d) he has lived on the territory of the relevant association for at least
two years without interruption.
 

MarkM

SILVER ELITE
@Avanti @MarkM @oh canada
Here are three articles that I've read that support the argument that success at a young age is not a good predictor of success as an adult. These are soccer specific articles backed by research, not simply the biased generalities of a soccer dad.
https://thecoachingconversation.com/early-success-in-sports-future-success/
https://amp.theatlantic.com/amp/article/561707/?__twitter_impression=true
https://changingthegameproject.com/our-biggest-mistake-talent-selection-instead-of-talent-identification/

I know that it may seem very counter intuitive to learn that children who are absolute stars, dominating their peers, exhibiting rare talent and ability at the age of 10 are actually not significantly statistically more likely to achieve adult success than their average peers, but this is the truth by numbers. Think of the lottery analogy I used earlier: If you do not play the lotto, you have zero chance of winning. A kid who doesn't play soccer has zero shot at playing pro or making a National Team. If you do play the lotto, and buy just one ticket, your chances are infinitely better than the one who did not purchase a number, right? This is true... but those odds are still so ridiculous (one in 300 million) that they might as well be zero. Think of the one ticket holder as being the average youth club player. Now go out and buy 100 tickets. You are now 100 times more likely to win than the 1 ticket holder... but guess what your odds are now??? ONE IN THREE MILLION. Think of the 100 ticket holder as that U12 DA star who has NT scouts checking them out. Are his/her chances better than the others? Why sure. But if you look at everything that the parents and the kids and the clubs are investing in this one in three million shot, you suddenly understand what a bad investment it is. My original point in responding to the OP is that he clearly got caught up in "The Dream." And that sucks because he put a whole lot of emotional and financial investment in his kid's youth soccer career - largely because the coaches and the scouts and the pipe dream that everyone sells about success in youth sports is really just a mirage for the more than hundreds of thousands of kids (maybe even millions globally) who are given labels like "elite" at 10 - 12 years of age. And what the advocates of "separating the wheat from the chaff" at 12-13 are missing is that the whole activity of doing so is insanely inefficient! To the point that even those professionals who get paid to do it are really not any better at picking the next superstar as they are at getting hit by lighting. Sure, if you stand in enough thunderstorms it might happen... but not because it's a good process. It's just pure numbers. Sure the European clubs eventually groom some of their 12 year old prodigies into pros, but that could be simple confirmation bias at work. It doesn't mean that kids who got overlooked at 12 could not have achieved the same or better by age 23, but they weren't in the system. They didn't get the same opportunities.

HOWEVER, just like another poster said, "So you're saying there's a chance??" Haha! Yes, there is. The brilliance of the line "So you're saying there's a chance?" from "Dumb and Dumber" (let that sink in, soccer parents) is that it simultaneously speaks to the delusion of all of us soccer parents so blinded by our love of our children and visions of glory that we can't embrace reality... but on the flip side, also the sort of optimism and self-confidence that is actually necessary to achieve greatness! I mean, if you don't believe in yourself, no one else ever will, so you have to start somewhere! Why not buy that lotto ticket if you can? In the end, I agree with some of what both sides are saying. If your goal is to be a great adult player, being a great 12 year old player is definitely more fulfilling than being a slightly above average 12 year old player and it won't hurt your chances... but it is not a prerequisite for greatness and it certainly doesn't guarantee you anything other than some amazing memories.

And in the end, that should be enough for all parents to want for their kids.
Thanks for the post. Interesting articles. I really wasn't focused on selecting the professional superstar. I was focused on the comment that no one can even begin to predict soccer ability until age 15.

At any rate, I appreciate the articles. This is the way I look at it: If there are 10,000 girls playing soccer at age 12, and I (or someone with actual soccer knowledge) can select 200 that I think are going to be high performing (either college or pro), those selections will be much more accurate than a random selection of 200 from the pool of 10,000. Am I wrong about that? If not, don't we have the ability to discern soccer ability at an early age. It may not be perfect, but it is still materially advantageous to make those assessments.
 
Thanks for the post. Interesting articles. I really wasn't focused on selecting the professional superstar. I was focused on the comment that no one can even begin to predict soccer ability until age 15.

At any rate, I appreciate the articles. This is the way I look at it: If there are 10,000 girls playing soccer at age 12, and I (or someone with actual soccer knowledge) can select 200 that I think are going to be high performing (either college or pro), those selections will be much more accurate than a random selection of 200 from the pool of 10,000. Am I wrong about that? If not, don't we have the ability to discern soccer ability at an early age. It may not be perfect, but it is still materially advantageous to make those assessments.
I agree to a point. Certainly this is the prevailing logic and probably the best we can do given what we know. But you do pose an interesting question in that argument. It would make a great statistical study of the concept of selection bias if we could run an experiment like that.

Part of why I complain about the process of trying to ID 12 year olds is that the selection bias that occurs after the supposed wheat has been separated from the chaff. Done at too young an age across a large scale, I think this sort of thing can actually be a detriment. If you take 200 randomly selected youth players and tell them they are the elite, and give them the same training and attention and resources as the 200 that were actually selected on their accomplishments in their 12-year old soccer leagues, the final tally of which group has more long term success might be closer than you think. Mainly because the 12 year olds who do get selected are often the early puberty physical elite, which does not translate to long term growth as much as the late bloomer. Physical power is not the most important soccer trait, so it is probably better to do this earlier in soccer than in football and basketball, as was mentioned by someone in this thread earlier, but it's still a big part of the equation.

Lastly, the main reason I brought this up in this thread is that I think too much expectation and too much emphasis on talent ID at young ages is detrimental to most of the kids who do get ID'd early. They are being set up more for failure than success because of the pressure and expectations not to mention the sense of entitlement that can set in. There are way more stories where frustrated kids quit or parents get caught in vicious cycles like Justus did than there are stories where it totally worked out and the kid reached all the expectations put on them and go on to adult soccer glory. Would it be less so if we moved the bar of talent ID from 12 to 14? Or 15? I don't know. What I do know is that I don't think moving the bar back would hurt our results in terms of selecting talent for colleges, pros, or national teams at all. Because if you think that a successful 12 year old will also be a successful 15 year old and also a successful 20 year old, then what does it matter if you pick him out at 12 vs 15? He'll still be there.
 

Avanti

BRONZE
I agree to a point. Certainly this is the prevailing logic and probably the best we can do given what we know. But you do pose an interesting question in that argument. It would make a great statistical study of the concept of selection bias if we could run an experiment like that.

Part of why I complain about the process of trying to ID 12 year olds is that the selection bias that occurs after the supposed wheat has been separated from the chaff. Done at too young an age across a large scale, I think this sort of thing can actually be a detriment. If you take 200 randomly selected youth players and tell them they are the elite, and give them the same training and attention and resources as the 200 that were actually selected on their accomplishments in their 12-year old soccer leagues, the final tally of which group has more long term success might be closer than you think. Mainly because the 12 year olds who do get selected are often the early puberty physical elite, which does not translate to long term growth as much as the late bloomer. Physical power is not the most important soccer trait, so it is probably better to do this earlier in soccer than in football and basketball, as was mentioned by someone in this thread earlier, but it's still a big part of the equation.

Lastly, the main reason I brought this up in this thread is that I think too much expectation and too much emphasis on talent ID at young ages is detrimental to most of the kids who do get ID'd early. They are being set up more for failure than success because of the pressure and expectations not to mention the sense of entitlement that can set in. There are way more stories where frustrated kids quit or parents get caught in vicious cycles like Justus did than there are stories where it totally worked out and the kid reached all the expectations put on them and go on to adult soccer glory. Would it be less so if we moved the bar of talent ID from 12 to 14? Or 15? I don't know. What I do know is that I don't think moving the bar back would hurt our results in terms of selecting talent for colleges, pros, or national teams at all. Because if you think that a successful 12 year old will also be a successful 15 year old and also a successful 20 year old, then what does it matter if you pick him out at 12 vs 15? He'll still be there.
Excellently put. Trying to guess who will make it to the top at 12 is indeed a lottery. And the burden that goes with expectations at that age is detrimental. And the logic behind your last three sentences is overwhelming.
But I will take the other side of the argument in your thought experiment about the outcome of two groups of 200 12yrs players, one selected by perceived talent and another selected randomly. Similar experiments have been done many times before (not in the same exact manner): think of the outcome of 200 12 yrs boys randomly selected in Argentina vs the outcome of 200 12 yrs boys randomly selected in the US. If you show these two 12 yrs groups to coaches (unbiased by ethnicity and without knowing origin), upon inspection of how they play the coaches will surely take the Argentinian group as the talented one; this will be our talent-selected group moving forward, and the American kids will be the randomly selected group. Groups like these have been trained to adulthood many times. How many American born-players do you have playing at the highest level? How many Argentinians do you have? The main reason for the different outcome is the decisive head start (5-12 yrs) of the Argentinian kids. In this respect soccer is similar to a language: it is very difficult to truly master a language unless you learn it in your childhood. In soccer (basketball and football are different, maybe baseball is similar to soccer but I am not sure 100%), if you don't have good skills at 12 (and because of that coaches will recognize you as talented), it is very difficult (not impossible) to make it to the top. But predicting the final winners from those 200 talented kids is a lottery.
 

Mullet

SILVER
Excellently put. Trying to guess who will make it to the top at 12 is indeed a lottery. And the burden that goes with expectations at that age is detrimental. And the logic behind your last three sentences is overwhelming.
But I will take the other side of the argument in your thought experiment about the outcome of two groups of 200 12yrs players, one selected by perceived talent and another selected randomly. Similar experiments have been done many times before (not in the same exact manner): think of the outcome of 200 12 yrs boys randomly selected in Argentina vs the outcome of 200 12 yrs boys randomly selected in the US. If you show these two 12 yrs groups to coaches (unbiased by ethnicity and without knowing origin), upon inspection of how they play the coaches will surely take the Argentinian group as the talented one; this will be our talent-selected group moving forward, and the American kids will be the randomly selected group. Groups like these have been trained to adulthood many times. How many American born-players do you have playing at the highest level? How many Argentinians do you have? The main reason for the different outcome is the decisive head start (5-12 yrs) of the Argentinian kids. In this respect soccer is similar to a language: it is very difficult to truly master a language unless you learn it in your childhood. In soccer (basketball and football are different, maybe baseball is similar to soccer but I am not sure 100%), if you don't have good skills at 12 (and because of that coaches will recognize you as talented), it is very difficult (not impossible) to make it to the top. But predicting the final winners from those 200 talented kids is a lottery.
Just because 199 of those 12 year olds selected didn't go on to make the U19 WNT does not mean they were wrong about the talent of those kids at 12. The reality is there are only 20 or so spots. The system is not designed to keep all of them.

That said, those kids are still very, very talented players and will likely play at a high level in college. Some kids simply don't pan out when you are looking for the top 20 kids over the course of 6 years.
 
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