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Old 05-06-2015, 06:26 PM
2 posts, read 1,388 times
Reputation: 10


My 8 year old son has shown an increasing interest in competitive soccer. I am concerned that some of this may be driven by peer pressure. He has played rec soccer, among other sports, until now. Moreover, he has been considered one of the "better" players in all sports. He is constantly kicking the soccer ball around the house, to the point of being annoying. I clearly understand that this does not translate into talent, when compared to other 8 year old boys that are constantly kicking a soccer ball. But, he is incredibly interested. I'm not interested in sharing the details about which club etc. But I am genuinely interested in hearing from parents who have made the commitment in the last few years; those that initially committed and then pulled away after a year or two; and those that have completed the journey with kids now in college. I want to be able to compare and contrast these perspectives. I am very concerned about making this kind of commitment and limiting his exposure to other sports. I played 3 sports, beginning at age 4, in the 80's and was considered a great athlete through my high school year. But, I felt that the all of the sports contributed to my athleticism. I want to make the right decision for my family and my son on this front. I am fine with the costs and commitment of time, but I am struggling when I hear parents suggest that their 8 year old boys have to make a decision about one sport for the vast duration of their pre-teen and perhaps teenage years. Any honest opinions and perspectives are welcome.
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Old 05-07-2015, 07:26 AM
Location: Weddington, NC
84 posts, read 99,712 times
Reputation: 61
I have two sons -- and both began playing soccer for rec teams at the YMCA when they were preschoolers. They moved up to challenge and then premiere teams, and played varsity soccer in high school. One of them got "courted" by a college, but didn't want the stress or pressures of playing competitively in college.

They loved playing soccer and the friends they made through the sport. We loved watching them play -- and also made good friends with other parents on the sidelines. We would have been fine if they'd wanted to explore other sports, but they didn't. Both of them suffered broken bones (one a collarbone and the other an arm) and had a concussion or two -- but those injuries didn't deter them from pursuing the game. They are now 22 and 23 years old, and occasionally play a pick-up game with friends and still enjoy the game. I think they'll be coming back to Charlotte this summer to watch Chelsea play.

I miss my sideline days -- but don't miss some of the parents who thought their kid would grow up to be the next Beckham. I'm not sure how the area's soccer landscape has changed (with clubs and coaches) in the last four or five years, but I encourage you to let your son play.
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Old 05-08-2015, 07:08 AM
Location: United States of America
203 posts, read 436,764 times
Reputation: 160
I recommend you take a look at this site: Positively impacting Athletes, Parents and Coaches | John OSullivan |Changing the Game Project

I've been researching this topic for a project I'm working on, and have my own opinions of the direction youth sports have been heading.

I'd rather let you read some of the articles on John's site than go into my own rant.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:20 AM
1,117 posts, read 2,454,140 times
Reputation: 1051
Originally Posted by Gregory P View Post
Thanks for the link - it totally validates my own beliefs on the subject.
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Old 05-08-2015, 08:47 AM
2 posts, read 1,388 times
Reputation: 10
Wow! These John OSullivan's articles hit the nail on the head. I had never thought about youth sports in the manner that I have clearly been observing. I don't think that anyone could articulate the current state of youth sports better than this. As I reflect on our friends and neighbors with kids, everyone is hyper specializing in all of these hypercompetitive sports. I had a friend to tell me that someone from a club in the Charlotte Metro indicated to she and her husband that the kid needed to make a decision about soccer only, otherwise, his future in the club would be in jeopardy. Now that I think about it, this is ridiculous for a 8-12 year old. I think that I've known the right answer all along, I just needed further validation. My son will be a great all around athlete because he will have well honed sports instincts because of his exposure to the multiple sports. This was my own paradigm in the 80's, and I don't think that this will hurt my son. It also helps that he is fast and strong, which can't be taught. We are going to let the chips fall where they may and he will continue to play 3 sports. I will be sharing these articles with others...Thanks!!
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