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?