To read part one of this article click here…
I think the word that sums up the new definition of team is movement. Here’s a few examples:
- Player Pools: Instead of static individual teams, many clubs now have age level player pools. Although players are still assigned to a specific team, they are able to move up, down and all around. I think this can be a positive thing- especially if all the players (and coaches!) of a specific age level are encouraged to get to know each other and work together. This can break down some of the difficulties of , “You’re on the B team,” and give players the incentive to work harder. In Big Soccer Girl’s age level, the same coach has the A and the B teams and is able to easily move girls back and forth as well as encourage cooperation and socialization.
- Club Control: Now that the rules about keeping a certain amount of players have gone away, clubs are free to add/subtract players and teams at will. The momentum of a particular group of players working up through the ranks no longer applies. I’m not really sure what I think about this. I think it’s probably good for player development, but it allows for a great deal of movement not only between teams but also between clubs.
- Club Consolidation (or world domination…ha-ha!) The biggest movement seems to be more people driving down the freeway to have their girls join the big ECNL clubs! Since everyone’s daughter is a candidate for the National team and a full ride to Stanford, it’s essential that they play for an ECNL club so that they are seen by college coaches. I’m not sure how many college coaches are watching U10 games, but that’s besides the point. Not only are players moving, entire team and/or clubs are being gobbled up in pursuit of the all mighty ECNL or the SCDSL. With no rules about the number of teams per age level or player movement it’s a free for all!
Is all this movement good or bad? I’m not really sure! I’ll think about it more as I’m driving little soccer girl 30 miles to practice.
What do you think?