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Virginia Soccer Board


Joined: 8/11/98 Posts: 22292
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Had 4 kids, first two did travel til 12, and we knew going in, that was all

..we were going to do. The younger two never played travel, although one made the ODP program for a few years and that helped with skills development.

All 4 kids were starters on their HS team some starting as FR others as SO. One went on to play club soccer at UVA for a few years. All my kids still LOVE to play (when they are all in town, you might find them at the pick up games at UofR).

By the time players make it to the age of 19, 99.9% will be rec players. Those that choose rec ball early, are just a few years ahead of the pack. There are very few who make it to Div 1 soccer. So if that is why anyone would choose travel, they are choosing for the wrong reason. The travel thing is a signifcant financial hit to 99% of those participating.

So, what this really comes down to what is important to YOU and your family. Me, for instance, paying that much money for ("kids fun")*(4 kids), I just thought it was nonsense (especially when their club wanted to start boarding planes to play in "friendlies" in Atlanta at the age of 12). The disruption on family time is significant. Sure, you get a lot of 1:1 in a car, so there is that, but it is hard to have dinner as a family during the season when one person practices here at this time, and another practices there. Then you have all the weekends on I64 and I95. Additionally, if you are doing it because you want your kid to play college ball, most kids who made their way through the travel program, ended up playing at Div III. If you are doing that, you are probably choosing your education based on soccer (which again, for me, made no sense) not on education. But for others, they are good with that because their kids get to play.

I ended up picking up coaching. Coached my youngest from U6 through U19. Learned alot from the positives and mistakes I saw from the travel coaches, and spent countless hours searching for good games that teach at each age group. Over the years, I just ended up building a team of great kids and great parents. My kids loved to play together, and I had many refs come up to me after games over the years and tell me "hey, your team is really special, you can see they are having fun out there, and they support each other". So, we played rec, we played in rec end of year tournaments, we'd have nights during the season after practice where we'd go out for pizza (team and parents), some of the kids would participate in sand soccer tourney at the beach, 3v3 tournaments, or futsol in the offseason, and I learned a ton about coaching. We had some females on the team. For two seasons, I had both of my youngest (boy and girl) kids on the team. Special times. As other kids would drop out of travel, kids on the team would know who would fit in, and who would not, and we'd pick a player up from time to time (with rec ball, you need a huge roster at the U17 and up age groups as kids have a lot of interests at that time). Some of the kids on my son's team, I coached from the day they started U6 to U19. My point, you dont need to spend a ton of money to give your kids a great sports experience, where they learn to compete, the learn to love the game, they learn good skills, and they develop friendships for life. If you want, you can do it on your own. It takes some commitment, but the commitment pays off big time (and I'm not talking financial in this case).

(In response to this post by RML Hoos)

Posted: 06/04/2020 at 08:33AM


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Adult players and parents of player question. -- Wahoos1 05/24/2020 12:12PM
  That's exactly it. -- Lucius 05/26/2020 9:14PM
  I see this from the middle. -- Wahoos1 05/26/2020 05:36AM
  This is great knowledge -- rives 05/28/2020 11:54AM
  Sure. -- Wahoos1 05/27/2020 08:39AM
  We are signing up and paying with a credit card. -- chefhoo 05/24/2020 12:54PM
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