Commitment Level

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by 4_the_kids, Jun 14, 2016.

  1. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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    I coach a U13 Div 1 team , and I am wondering everyone thoughts on what is a reasonable commitment expectation for this level.
    I would love for this level to be more committed but reality is there is a very recreational attitude among many of the players and parents. Kids want to play other sports, especially school sports which I want to be supporting.
    I am thinking the following:
    I will hold 2 practices a week - I expect everyone to make effort to be at both. I will work with both parents and the player if they need to miss practices for another sport especially school sports. I still think at Div 1 soccer should be the primary choice, so missing practices for games or tournaments is ok I struggle with missing practice because of another practice.
    I would like to also offer a third fitness focus session that would not be mandatory.
    Playing time preferences will be given to those who attend both practices and also given to those with the best efforts at practice. So while I support playing other sports you may not get as much playing time if others are showing well and attending both practices.

    Is this a reasonable expectation?
     
  2. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    At this stage I would begrudgingly accomodate but reduce playing time or eliminate those who abuse via evals. Div 1 should be high comittment for sure. Limit asbscences to 1 per month if possible. Lay your expectations down ahead of time.
     
  3. rich

    rich Active Member

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    I would expect all players to be at both practices and all games, with the acknowledgment that exceptions (other than injury and illness) do arise. School, church, family commitments, etc. As long as those exceptions are minimal, and are communicated well in advance, then that's just life.

    If players are missing because of other sports, then I have huge issues with that.
    I have issues with kids missing because of homework. Once, ok, multiple times speaks of time managment issues, and that can be worked on.

    Starting lineup and playing time are really the only "hammers" we have.
     
  4. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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    I guess I take a different stance, I do not believe in the one sport athlete or forcing young athletes to choose. These kids are athletes and are good at multiple sports, high school sports can be an important but of an athletes school experience. Now school sports really shouldn't conflict with soccer practices unless your allotted an early practice time. Learning to balance school with sports is important as well. Consider this, how many basketball stars were created through a youth basketball league? Almost none, most are discovered at high school level, and learned their creativity on the playground copying their heroes. are we missing this in soccer? Guess really I was referring to high school sports ...
    Playing another organized sport and rep soccer at the same time, well I am probably a little less compassionate about that....
     
  5. rich

    rich Active Member

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    Absolutely kids should play multiple sports, and I do encourage mine to do that. I just have a problem when there is a conflict btwn soccer and another sport, and the other sport gets picked every time. Volleyball practice over soccer game. That sort of thing. If that's the priority, then don't play Div 1.
     
  6. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    • "will hold 2 practices" - isn't this required by your club anyway?
    • don't bother with the fitness session - change it to a technique one (trust me!) - the kids won't show-up to a voluntary fitness session and they'll learn more from a technique session and you can incorporate fitness in that anyway. Kids may not show-up for a technique session, so start small. 45 minutes, 60 minutes something like that and see how many kids come. If you run that session well kids will come.
    • if you want commitment it's very very simple - you play the kids that come to practice. If a kid comes to both practices they are guaranteed 50% playing time (unless there's a behaviour problem).
    • Come up with a strict attendance rule structure - and outline the consequences for breaking it (reduced playing time).
    • These rules don't mean you are militant. You are simply being transparent and fair. If your worst player comes to every practice, so be it. He's guaranteed 50%, but you better not let your best player get more time than that kid if they are missing practices or team morale will drop (and the root of that drop will be from the parents).
    • Seems like you already have this attendance expectation in place.
    • Have a back-up GK in case your goalie takes advantage of being the only one and doesn't bother showing-up!
    • Kids enjoy school sports - come up with a team plan re: school sports, include the players only in that discussion first, then review it with the parents. If your team comes up with a plan that works for you guys, then run with it and stick to it. If your team accepts kids miss for a school team, then so be it. If the team expects everyone to be at practice, then so be it. Don't do fitness practices if you have kids playing on their school team - school teams tend to run ridiculous fitness sessions even though the kids are already fit!
     
  7. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Absolutely. Good point. I believe the only time missing practice for school is acceptable is during provincial exams.
     
  8. rich

    rich Active Member

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    Agree with all of this. Dammit Kurt, get outta my head!!!!!
     
  9. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    LOL been doing this a "long" time (others have done it much longer). I've unfortunately had to learn these lessons the hard way!!! (and am still learning)
     
  10. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    From my experience Clubs will give 2 turf spots for practices to Div 2 or higher. Lower than that gets a gravel field. In a few clubs Div 3 and lower are provided one training time a week unless requested. There is not really a rule that says 2 practice are required. It's usually up to the coach.

    Schoolwork should not be an excuse to miss practices. I don't know one kid, honor roll or not, that occupies all that time from school to bed with extra studying.

    Participating in other sports is fine for the most part, but that should all be communicated prior to the season. If the player is a star basketball player, or is on club volleyball etc, you should be made aware and then you can decide if the player is worth the risk (lack of attendance) or if you should take someone else onto the team.
     
  11. Bee

    Bee New Member

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    Greetings, This is my first post to the forums. Thanks for all the great knowledge I've found on here. And I feel I can relate to this post.

    I'm fresh to coaching (five years in), but what has worked for me, re: commitment, is inking an expectation at the preseason meet and greet. The takeaway for parents & players is that absences are fine so long as (1) they are communicated in advance, & (2) they are done so in writing (preferably email over text).

    Even if the absence is due to procrastinated homework, I'm indifferent with the reason. I just say notify me or our team manager in advance so we can adjust plans, and notify us in writing so I can keep the absences straight.

    I enjoy the relief of not policing absences, and some parents & players find it less awkward to notify me accordingly.

    My sentiment is that I'm most satisfied by coaching the players that want to be there. It's apparent when the player is distracted because of something outside of soccer. If missing practice helps the player or parent out, I feel it's a win-win.

    Come gametime, the players that have made it out to training are better prepared & thus perform better. This can sometimes motivate the absentees to want to be at practices.

    Just my thinking anyways.
     
  12. FB1

    FB1 Member

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    I apologize if any of these are redundant. In no particular order - just random thoughts from 20 years of coaching all levels.

    1. Multi-sport should be encouraged, not restricted. It benefits the player. Which is the primary objective.
    2. Training is where you earn your opportunity. If you're not there, tough to earn it. Likewise, perfect attendance doesn't mean you play the full 90 (or whatever) - because once you get the opportunity you have to do something with it. These are life-lessons - not just soccer.
    3. Most clubs have a half-game rule for playing time (some are per game, other are averaged over the season). But most also have a caveat for allowing coach some discretion for discipline. Repeated absences would qualify.
    4. Find balance. Work with the family. Most kids miss soccer because the other sport is making the ultimatums. I speak from experience where my son's basketball coach was less than accommodating about other sports. Keep in perspective the respective levels of the sports being played. It's important that coaches and families work together from the start to make it work for the player.
    5. Homework is not a valid excuse. I guarantee the kid who can't train because of homework found time to play Xbox that afternoon.
    6. If you make a rule - don't deviate. So never say "no train, no play" - you'll be eating your words within a month. And it's the quickest way to lose a team. If the kid misses one session but is the hardest worker at the one he does make, then he probably deserves to play. I think a kid that does that is still being respectful to the team and the coach.
    7. Fitness sessions are a bloody waste of time. Kids need to be working on their fitness on their own. Our job is to teach them the game. We have too many kids who can run fast or run for miles but can't kick a damn ball. Coach of UNC women's team - who has like 30 some odd national championships - uses the phrase "fitness for life". He never has fitness sessions. He puts it on the players. He has fitness testing. You don't need to do that for U13 Div 1 - but encourage players to get fit in their off days. Go for a run. Hit the gym. Play other sports.

    When it comes to other sports, I think we as coaches need to sell the game. If you try to force the kid to pick soccer, he/she is likely going to go the other way. Make the soccer environment so welcoming and enjoyable for all your players so that they WANT to come to training. That they wouldn't rather be anywhere else. Why should coming to the training pitch be a chore, something to avoid?
     
  13. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    Awesome post.

    Counter points.

    - Multi sport should be accomodated, when the coach notified in advance of the season. A player must also be dedicated. We cant gave them picking up every single extra sport they feel like and never come out to soccer.

    - Dont threaten because we all know that abscences can happen for the star player and it is very tough to follow through when the game is on the line.

    - homework is just that. An excuse. Unless its the night before finals and its the parents choice. You will usually know because the kids talk about it.

    - fitness in scrimmage and ball related work. Relays etc. At the end of practice not a seperate day. No extended laps.
     
  14. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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    Thanks to all that have replied. Many great takeaways. I like the combination of attendance and effort as the determiner for at least starting . Just attending training isn't enough, you must be putting in the effort as well. And of course communicating in advance, talk to me we will work out a plan.
    As for the fitness training, this idea comes from some mixed feelings. Most believe in letting the fitness come at its own pace as the kids are growing, use practice to create soccer based fitness which can come from the tempo of the sessions. For this team in particular its an area of opportunity to help make them more competitive as we are a slightly smaller team in terms of physical development..( other teams are bigger, stronger , faster)
    over the spring I have been adding a little fitness during warm ups, FIFA 11 stuff like planks , free squats etc.. the kids love it.. They even asked if the next practice could be fitness based followed by a swim at the outdoor pool, maybe they like the change of pace and focus? Also a great team builder.. They are also at an age where appearance ( muscles) and stuff is becoming important to them.

    1. I use the two training times for training not fitness specific
    2. I support the kids playing other sports and am well aware of burn out
    3. I would love it for those motivated to take it upon themselves, many do not get the support or opportunity at home.
    4. I would be offering the session for those who can make it and motivated for it, mainly because of the above.
    5. These sessions could be at the track, at a gym, playing basketball, going swimming, rock climbing whatever, or something more organized such as Elevation Fitness

    I think the best answer here is let the kids ( hopefully supported by the parents) dictate the amount and frequency of extra fitness.
     
  15. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    I subscribe to doing the fitness at the beginning of training not the end. This way during training you are more accurately simulating the fatigue of a match, but also the players leave training happier than if they finish with fitness!

    That said, you only need fitness training at the older ages. Everything else must include a ball - even the "fitness" training - so the players don't even recognize they are doing fitness work.
     
  16. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    I agree, homework isn't an excuse except in the case of finals.

    And no, do not threaten missed time. Say lost playing time will happen under X or Y conditions, or don't say anything.
     
  17. godbapujr

    godbapujr Member

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    i feel like it is possible for kids to take 2 hours from their "studying" twice a week to come to practice. If they are not committed they are just wasting their parents time and money
     
  18. easoccer

    easoccer Established Member

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    Not to mention their coaches and team mates time as well.
     
  19. 4_the_kids

    4_the_kids Active Member

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    This is from the Coastal FC website, they consider Div 1-3 as rep. I think this sums up the consensus in this forum

    Commitment
    To play at any Rep level will involve a greater commitment of time, travel and additional costs by the player, with the greatest commitments being required at the higher Rep level(s) in each age group.

    During the season, parents and players can expect that Rep practices will be held at least twice a week with a possible additional functional or fitness-focused session, and one game per week. It is also highly recommended that players participate in a core conditioning or related skills session once a week, in addition to practices.

    While CFC does not discourage players to participate in other sports and pursuits, playing at a the Rep level suggests that players will make the appropriate commitment needed for the benefit of their development as well that of their Rep team colleagues. Be aware that the commitment and expectations will differ from division to division and you should check with the team’s Rep coach involved at your daughter’s or son's age and level to be clear as to their expectations. All rep team coaches are expected to hold pre-season and periodic player and team meetings to ensure that such expectations, as well as the coaches’ plans and player assessments, are clearly communicated.
    Rep Fee
    Rep team players will pay an additional rep fee annually for the Club’s Player Development Program. Acceptance of a Rep team selection means the player (and their parents) has agreed to this fee. Rep fees must be paid in order for player registration for the upcoming Fall/Winter Season to be complete.

    Each rep team is responsible for their own fundraising efforts to defray players’ rep fees, the costs associated with tournaments, extra player development training and team apparel. However, all Team Fundraising must be for the benefit of the whole team. The Club will not allow any player-specific fundraising of any kind that does not go to the team fund. Also, fundraising efforts should be correlated with spending plans so that there is a “zero” team account balance at the end of the season, in accordance with the Clubs Policies and Procedures.
     
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  20. TKBC

    TKBC Established Member

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    Absolutely. School is not an excuse to miss practice on my teams - except the night before provincial exams! Because, I know kids have not fully prepared for those so I give them a break that night!
     

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