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Old 05-05-2012, 07:10 PM
10 posts, read 15,801 times
Reputation: 10


Summer is coming soon, and everywhere I go people ask me which camp my 6 year old boy will be attending. The answer at this moment is none. It came to this, that I am too tired of paying for weekly, random "camps" and sports classes. Always new faces, coaches who could care less about who my kid is, what he likes, what he's afraid of. The boy is 6, he's not a teenager who is all charged up and ready to hit the field. The boy wants someone to CARE, not get the job DONE. Ideally I'd like someone who CARES expecting the job to get DONE.

Now, I am not putting anything down, things are the way they are. It works for many children, and I'm sure they are happy as hell. I would simply like to find an alternative to the town sponsored sports clubs, because they are not what I expected them to be. There is still a different coach each time, and kids are simply expected to run a lot. There is no real, individual skill development, just lots of running around.

Where can I find a REAL club, with professional coaches/staff who are there year round, with no summer breaks? Same kids growing up together, attending the same club and actually learning proper skills according to their strengths/weaknessess? I do not want to pay for private lessons, because I am not shaping my kid to be a sports star. I just want him to experience a proper environment where staff really takes their job seriously, and SEES the kid and what they are doing, gives constructive advice, doesn't ignore and actually pays attention. I would love to see a coach who is actually full of energy for a change!

I do not know if I am dreaming about something that does not exist. Coming from Europe, I remember such clubs, kids belonged to certain clubs year round, it wasn't "pay per class" based. Everytime I sign up for a class here, it's all new faces. His friends can't always sign up with him, so he ends up lost and loses interest. Any suggestions? I know that there are a few professional run soccer clubs, but it doesn't seem that a kid can just join. Because they are professional, they select the best when the kids are much older. Too bad. The little ones could really use some proper guidance and experience what high standards are all about.
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Old 05-06-2012, 07:41 AM
1,607 posts, read 2,261,787 times
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What sports are you talking about? There are a couple that work this way, but they tend to be in sports like club swimming, ice skating, tennis.

In sports like Little League baseball, it is a different coach every season...the teams are usually mixed up that way. There are club teams later, but probably not for 6yo's. Travel soccer will give you more of a consistent team but there will be changes (ie, a parent coach plus different trainers in and out, a lot of towns use professional trainers from the UK). That starts at age 7 with a tryout that gets you on the team or not (and they usually have to re-tryout every year).

I like the European model you describe but it doesn't exactly exist here. And NJ has many small towns, so each town runs their own programs and there are differences in the way each are run.
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Old 05-07-2012, 12:18 PM
14,781 posts, read 37,581,349 times
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You're not going to find anything like that for that age group and even when he is older, it will be harder. The only regular sports that have "clubs" like that are baseball and soccer and those tend to be spread out. The reason you find them in those sports is not really to provide the environment you are looking for, but to take the level of competition among better players to the "next level". In most cases you need to try out to even have the opportunity to join them.

If you go into more 'irregular' sports like swimming, lacrosse and ice hockey, those are universally club dominated sports like what you are looking for. There isn't a lot of that here in the US for mainstream sports because town leagues and school teams are present everywhere it takes up some of the need. So, with the exception of the 'best' who want to play year round and a higher level, there isn't much demand for them. So, it really comes down to what sports your son is interested in and what he is good at. After that it's all about what you can afford. For instance, if he LOVES ice hockey, you better be able to afford $7,500-$10,000 a year for him to play.

At his age, I would be more focused on letting him try a variety of sports and seeing what he likes. If he's not really into any particular sport, then just let him play a variety at the town rec level and get the exposure. If he takes an extreme interest in and is very good at something in particular, then it may be time to seek out a club, if one is even available.
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