Driving- How far would you go?

Driving is a subject that’s come up quite a bit in our family lately.  LSG plays for a club that is based about an hour or so away from our house.  Fortunately her team practices much closer, but all league games are “away” for us…that’s what happens when your “home” field is over 50 miles away.  I’m not complaining, it’s a choice that we knowingly made, but this is an issue that is starting to become reality for many soccer families.

In our area, as the girls get older, many start to drive south for access to better teams and the chance for ECNL.  I’ve definitely noticed a difference as ECNL takes hold as girls start to drive at an increasingly younger age.  Four of LSG’s teammates from last year are all driving an hour to Orange County for their U11 teams.  That’s a lot of miles!  Now I know that in many places, driving that distance is the only option, but it seems odd that we don’t have an ECNL option in our very highly populated area when there are clubs clustered together in other areas.  Well, maybe it’s not so odd since there are so many girls willing to travel…

Personally, I’m ok with the travel, but it definitely can be expensive and time consuming.  LSG is very happy with her new team and that is what is most important to me.  Tournaments and other things are always away regardless, but league play has been more of a challenge- especially when my girls’ games conflict.  I don’t like missing either of their games, but conflicts happen regardless of where you choose to play.

One of the most important factors to our commuting (and changing teams!) success is having a carpool (and bff) buddy.  The parents don’t have to drive as often and the girls have a blast in the car.  Another factor is having a kid who is able to handle doing homework in the car.  Obviously school has to come first so if grades start slipping, it’s time to re-evaluate.  Fortunately, at the moment, both my girls are responsible and independent workers.

One thing that I love about commuting is that car conversations are a great way to find out everything that’s going on with your kid.  That time spent together is invaluable and provides some very sweet moments.  Listening to the girls in the back seat also can be very informative and entertaining….shhhh…..

What do you think about driving?  Do you commute for your team/sport/activity?  How far would you go?


8 thoughts on “Driving- How far would you go?

  1. My daughter who plays U11 joined a team 60 miles away in January 2013. I am lucky to have a dad, her Grandpa, that makes the commute with her 90% of the time. We are hoping someone joins the team next season from her area, so we can carpool, but if not we will find a way to get her to practice. Luckily my daugher can do homework in the car. If she has no homework she reads. After already playing for two previous clubs we are finally feel that our duagher has found the right fit for her . We feel we have the all three componets: a team of players that share her passion of the game and make each pracitice challenging, dedicated coaches that are professional, and a club that is solid. If our only complaint is the drive I think we are lucky. AND yes, she is developing.

  2. One more thing…I do agree that the time in the car is consuming, but like your post says it does provide you quality time to talk with your child.

    1. Hi Natalie- Thanks for the comment! That’s awesome that your dad takes care of most of the driving and it sounds like your daughter is in a great place. I completely agree about your three components- that makes it worth it for us as well. Glad she loves her team and is doing well 🙂

  3. this past year, our daughter switched to and made the A / academy 1 team u9 for a big, established club here in SD that recently joined the SCDSL exclusively. you probably know who they are. 🙂 while the polo fields are in our backyard for practices, our games are not! this came as a surprise to us when they decided this summer to switch from presidio to SCDSL…well, so now we travel up to OC and Riverside 1/2 the time for our league games and the other 1/2 our home fields are just 10 minutes away. we are OK with it because not only is she getting great training with this club, our daughter is a starter (sweeper) and plays 90% of the game. we would probably NOT be as OK with it if she only played 10-20 min a game which unfortunately a few of our girls do, especially for the “big” games. we are also OK with it because she loves her coach and we’ve seen tremendous improvement in her soccer since she joined. we never believed the hype about this club and the coaches and now we are totally drinking the koolaid! it’s been around since forever here in SD and they are professional and just know what they’re doing…not to mention, they have ECNL teams so if our daughter continues forward with this crazy game, there are opportunities. so, in short, to me it’s all worth it. and the best part, to your point is the quality time we get to spend in the car and going to travel tournaments (yes, can you believe we’ve done travel tournaments at this u-little age — vegas and bay area!). thank goodness for carpool too!

  4. oh, I wanted to mention the 3 other travel tournaments we did this summer to OC in addition to Mustangs in Danville (where we had to fly) and the Vegas Cup! When I first heard of these travel tournaments for GU9 when we joined in January, I thought it was crazy talk but I will say that the traveling and driving has made for some major team bonding between the girls and the parents which has been really fun! The girls just love staying in the hotel, piling into someone’s room in their PJs, watching movies and eating popcorn, going to the hotel pool, etc. while the parents sit in the hallway or someone’s room and drink beer and wine. 😉 It makes for a whole other arm to my and our daughter’s social life. A nice balanced one.

    1. Hi Clarissa- Thanks so much for the comments. I totally agree about the travel tournaments being fun! I’ve met some of my closest friends through soccer and I enjoy getting together with the team just as much as my daughters. I definitely know what club you’re talking about 🙂 and it sounds like a great opportunity for your daughter! That’s great that at least you practice close by- that helps a lot. Best of luck to you and your family!!!!!

  5. My daughter’s home games are close to an hour away from our house. However, she practices at a soccer complex much closer to our home, thank goodness! At first, I wanted her to play for a club that was closer to our house, but my husband, who knows much more about soccer than I do, looked into all the clubs around us and determined that the one she’s in now would be the best for her. I’ve come to agree with his decision but there are drawbacks to being so far away. My daughter’s school is quite large (about 500 kids in her grade) but no one in her grade plays for the same club that she does. She’s become good friends with several girls on her soccer team and laments that none of them go to her school.

    1. Thank you for reading! That’s great that she practices close to home. My LSG’s little besties from school almost all play for the same club team that is close to our house. We’ve talked about her playing for that team, but she really likes the team she’s on and sometimes it’s nice to separate school and soccer. Decisions are hard!

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