Picking a Soccer Club at U9

This is a guest post by one of my favorite soccer moms!  She is the one who helped me come up with the idea for this blog, but unfortunately is too busy right now to be a regular contributor.  

A fellow soccer mom asked me the question – “which club in our area is the best for my daughter?”  Her daughter is GU9 in the fall 2012.  So here are some things to think about to help: 


What do you hope to accomplish from club soccer for your son or daughter from a club team:
  •    …if friendship and  social life then pick the club where your friends are 
  • Development:  Look at the coaches/teams in each club.  Does the club offer skills and how many trainings do they offer.
  • Coaching:  Look at the quality of the coaches and their license for the club
  • College Scholarship / Olympic Development- Ask about ODP programs and athletes in the club that are in the ODP programs.  What is the experience of the DOC (Director of Coaching) for the club
Each family may have different criteria.  My 10 year old started in one club at U9 and U10.  For U11 has moved to her second club and is currently training with a 3rd club.  Yes there are 4 soccer clubs within a 20 minute drive from our home.  For me personally, we started club for a more completive level of soccer.  Our daughter showed signs of athleticism, enjoyed soccer.  We know that the statistics show that an active female can reduce risk of developing cancer and other diseases (National Women’s Law Center. Keeping Score: Girls’ Participation in High School Athletics in Massachusetts. 2004).  We also knew that girls who play sports have higher than average level of self-esteem and lower levels of depression.  If she liked a sport, we wanted to give her the best opportunity and club soccer seemed to be able to provide that for her.  We haven’t looked back. 
If I had a dream club/team it would look like this.  A team of girls and parents that all got a long.  A manager with good communications skills and involved the parents in the direction of the team.  A coach that collaborated with the manager on communications to the parents but really focused on the kids, coaching and development and never marginalized the kids efforts even when in a losing streak.  Let me know if you find that perfect team/club?