Whether you are starting your players in club soccer for the first time, or have just moved to a new area, choosing the right soccer club for your kids is important. All coaches are not the same, and all programs are not created equal. It will be worth your time to do some research before choosing a program for your player(s).
- Soccer kids. Check with the players and parents who have been in the a program in previous years. Did they learn? Did they have opportunity? Did they enjoy it? What do they have to say about the coaching staff?
- Coaching ratio. It is important for players at the youth age to get the specialized attention they need to help them develop. Ask about the ratio of players to coaches when checking out soccer clubs.
- Experienced coaches. Find out how long the coaches have been coaching youth soccer, and what are their credentials? The coaches are key to the program. An inexperienced coach could mean a year of chaos for your kids.
- Lesson plans. Ask how the training program for players is set up. Is the structure for younger players different than the experienced players? It should be. Understanding the structure of the program is key to understanding how your player(s) will be taught.
- Weekly sessions. Find out how many weekly sessions there are for the different levels. Introductory teams should be start with two per week, while those practice sessions should increase with the higher skill levels.
- Attend the practices. If you really want to know whether you’ve made the right decision for your player(s), you need to attend the practices. That is where you will see the interaction between the coach and the players. You’ll see how they are being taught and how the players are being treated. You won’t be dependent on your kids to relay this information.