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Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

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Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by brian_4 on 10/4/2017, 12:00 pm

New(ish) to the North Texas Academy scene - but is it common for teams to play in a division other than the top just to get wins/trophies?  If this is truly Academy level and about player development, why are some coaches more concerned with developing the win-now mentality (yelling instruction throughout the game, recruiting, etc) instead of building up the individual player?

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by bigtex75081 on 10/4/2017, 2:10 pm

As a coach, ideally you want your team in a league that they'll win 70% of their games.  That's generally considered the "not-too-hard-not-too-soft-this-one-is-just-right" percentage.

Most coaches will answer the "win-now approach" accusation with one simple response...  Parents demand that their kids win NOW!  

A majority of parents don't know nearly as much about the development of their son as they claim.  Parents will say all the right things to the coach but ultimately their actions contradict their words.  Most parents think winning equals proper development.

Most coaches know that the pressure to win now comes from the parents.  If they don't win >50% of their games, families take their business to greener pastures.  It's unavoidable.  Parents lack patience and long term vision for the crazy money they’re spending.  Parents dwell on wins and losses and standing points more than the academy-age kids do.

Most experienced coaches know that if they want to keep their current roster intact, they have to post positive results.  If they don't, they'll lose their most valuable customers.

Sorry to offend but it's the truth.
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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by brian_4 on 10/4/2017, 2:25 pm

Thanks for the feedback - no offense taken.

I've just noticed a couple of instances where coaches are recruiting goalies and it seems odd at this age - putting players in specific positions.

70% of wins seams very reasonable, but I question the motives of a team that continues to play in a division where it beats nearly every team it faces by 10 goals or more when there is a higher division available? This applies to both leagues and tournaments.

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by just-a-dad on 10/4/2017, 3:06 pm

I agree with Bigtex. unfortunately, coaches know that if they don't win, they will lose players every year. as much as the coaches love the game, they also know that it is a business and parents believe wins = development. many parents want to brag to others that their child plays in classic or won so and so tournament. the sad thing is that some of these kids should not even be playing at those levels and would be better off playing for a team in a lower division and getting more playing time. not sure I understand the parents that watch their kids on a bench for 90% of a game and pay $4k. and if you don't believe us, look at each age groups forum and see the amount of parents that predict scores and bad mouth other teams. the system definitely favors the coaches that are better at recruiting. they are able to tell the PARENTS (wonder how many kids make the choice) what they want to hear and convince them to leave their bottom of the standing teams

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by bigtex75081 on 10/4/2017, 4:52 pm

If a team finishes a season in the bottom quarter in any of the leagues' standings, big roster turnover is inevitable.  Losing valuable players can ruin a coach and a team.

So if a team is winning 10-0 every game but refuses to go to a higher division... maybe that coach isn't confident in the team's viability.  Maybe that coach is worried that if the team does start losing games (instead of going undefeated) the families will immediately abandon the ship?

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by just-a-dad on 10/4/2017, 5:18 pm

bingo. winning is their best and probably only recruitment tool. how many coaches do you hear say they are the best at developing kids? all of them. how will that look if their team has a losing record? I see some teams posting/recruiting that says "only looking for aggressive/top players". why waste time teaching?

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by brian_4 on 10/5/2017, 3:59 pm

I get winning breeds confidence and most coaches say what the parents want to hear, but the pay-to-play model ultimately gives the parents too much input.

Have you ever participated in a silent tournament where coaches/parents aren't allowed to yell/instruct every moment of every game?  How much different do you think teams would perform?

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by just-a-dad on 10/6/2017, 9:12 am

brian_4 wrote:I get winning breeds confidence and most coaches say what the parents want to hear, but the pay-to-play model ultimately gives the parents too much input.

Have you ever participated in a silent tournament where coaches/parents aren't allowed to yell/instruct every moment of every game?  How much different do you think teams would perform?

I would say that at the larger clubs, the parents have very little influence. parents have to watch practices from a distance. I would venture a guess that the smaller clubs have to cater to the parents' needs during the season a bit more because of the difficulty to replace them.

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by bigtex75081 on 10/6/2017, 9:29 am

I'm inclined to say that parents, once that contract is signed, have very little influence.  That feeling of powerlessness, once the ink dries on the contract, is a major source of frustration.  They've made a significant financial commitment for the next year of their child's life and they have very little input.

If parents (and their kids) are unhappy once the contract is signed, their influence is limited to "Whining & Complaining", "Investing Even More Time and Money" or "Just Quitting". The only time parents get real influence is BEFORE contracts are signed.  That's when they get all the power.  If they're even mildly unhappy, they'd be fools to sign another yearlong contract.

I still firmly believe that a cure to a lot of our problems in this market would be to reduce standard contract duration from 12 to 6 months.
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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by just-a-dad on 10/6/2017, 12:00 pm

bigtex75081 wrote:

I still firmly believe that a cure to a lot of our problems in this market would be to reduce standard contract duration from 12 to 6 months.

not sure that would fully solve the issue- it would be impossible for coaches to build teams. think you have to adjust the qualification system and the time frame of when it takes place. there are always going to be kids that are meant for top division or DA- I hope parents are honest about their children's ability, but having contract signing at the same time of qualifying is crazy. it all starts first year after academy, and if after you sign, and you don't make your "desired" division, you will be unhappy. what if they moved signing to winter? then you will have to play a full season prior to qualification together. if your kids' team doesn't make it, your kid has to help shoulder the blame and your not whining the whole season. I'm not sure if any suggestions will be noticed anyways as this is all a business and the parents (clients) are the suckers!

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by brian_4 on 10/9/2017, 2:22 pm

just-a-dad wrote:
I would say that at the larger clubs, the parents have very little influence.  parents have to watch practices from a distance.  I would venture a guess that the smaller clubs have to cater to the parents' needs during the season a bit more because of the difficulty to replace them.  

Sorry, I meant the parent's influence of the desire to win or solely measuring development by the number of wins/trophies leading to the perceived pressure for the coaches' aforementioned tactics.

Any thought on Silent Soccer?  How much of an impact or interest would there be from the area teams?  How much different would the match/tournament results be than the standard ones?  Do you think certain teams avoid such tournaments?  I think its a great opportunity for coaches to showcase what they've been instructing during training and allow the kids the freedom to implement what they've learned without any recourse.  How do you all see it?[/quote]

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by just-a-dad on 10/10/2017, 10:48 am

brian_4 wrote:
just-a-dad wrote:
I would say that at the larger clubs, the parents have very little influence.  parents have to watch practices from a distance.  I would venture a guess that the smaller clubs have to cater to the parents' needs during the season a bit more because of the difficulty to replace them.  

Sorry, I meant the parent's influence of the desire to win or solely measuring development by the number of wins/trophies leading to the perceived pressure for the coaches' aforementioned tactics.

Any thought on Silent Soccer?  How much of an impact or interest would there be from the area teams?  How much different would the match/tournament results be than the standard ones?  Do you think certain teams avoid such tournaments?  I think its a great opportunity for coaches to showcase what they've been instructing during training and allow the kids the freedom to implement what they've learned without any recourse.  How do you all see it?
[/quote]

sounds nice in theory, but it will never happen. I'm sure it will benefit some kids and wont make a difference to others. what may be an interesting to look at is football- as kids get older, there are more fans and the atmosphere gets louder. you could maybe make the case that learning to play with noise at a young age helps them? I think better teams are just better whether the parents yell or not. now, there are a few teams that the parents are so loud that the kids are frozen on the field. from what I hear at the fields, it is not out of control yet. YET.

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by brian_4 on 10/10/2017, 5:43 pm

Agreed that blocking out external noise is important, but what about the players who seek direction or affirmation from parents/coaches. It seems to be prevalent in all sports, but aside from set pieces the flow of the game is up to the players' choices. It's the continual direction that is barked from the sideline that draws my interest.

At what age have you seen players given the freedom to make their own decision without fear of making a mistake or questioning themselves if the best decision was made? I hope to see a tournament in the DFW area tryout the silent format. It will give the coaches/parent-coaches a break to enjoy the game and see the true value of the training!

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by just-a-dad on 10/11/2017, 8:47 am

after seeing the US national team lose to Trinidad Tobago, I think we should try anything to improve the game. if that means sitting in silence, great.

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by brian_4 on 10/12/2017, 8:14 am

Eye-opening! Lots of issues and fault to go around, but it will be interesting to see what type of changes US Soccer will impose - a paradigm shift is certainly needed. The DA seems like a great start, but I'm not sure its been around long enough for us to fully qualify its direction or see its true benefit to the senior team yet.

Sounds like a lot of folks are focusing their attention on the pay-to-play model. It will be hard to change that American mentality and a system that's been in place with other sports for so long, but there is no better time than now to try and institute some new ideas while we watch the WC from afar.

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by oldschoolsoccerdude on 10/12/2017, 4:05 pm

This sport my friend is a business especially in the academy/select leagues. If your not winning you are not getting paid... not many teams have coaches who coach for free because they love futbol...

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Re: Teams that SandBag? Trophy Hunt?

Post by brian_4 on 10/13/2017, 3:39 pm

Treating it solely like a business, focusing on the bottom line, and losing sight of the central idea of the development system is what ultimately cost the USMNT a trip to the WC. I thought we were past simply trying to qualify and had a eye on a bigger prize of competing to actually win the Cup!

Clubs can still be profitable AND develop players - coaches will get paid. The Dallas Morning News had a great write-up about the profitability of academy soccer - specifically FC Dallas. If you all haven't had a chance to read it:

https://sportsday.dallasnews.com/soccer/soccer/2017/10/12/us-mens-national-team-fc-dallas-academy-problem


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