Choosing the right soccer club is important. In fact, it can be the difference between a fun, good season or a poor one.
In this guide, you will learn some of the factors you should look at when choosing a club.
First, you will learn the differences between rec and select. These are the two main levels of soccer. Whichever you choose, can affect what club you choose.
Differences Between Rec and Select
Here’s a brief overview of the differences between Rec and Select:
All players start at the recreational level, and some stay there their entire soccer career. Some info:
- Rec is cheaper than select because the coaches are not paid.
- Rec is mainly about fun; skills are not developed as much as select.
- Practices are usually laid back and games are less competitive.
- Teams are put together randomly.
- The level of play in rec drops significantly once players become old enough to join select.
When players get around the age of 10, they usually can try out for a select team (sometimes it is referred to as Academy for the younger age groups).
- Competition is much higher than rec.
- Costs much more, usually more than 1000 dollars a year.
- The coach(s) in select are professional.
- Select is more intense than rec.
- The level of play depends on your team’s division.
Factors in Choosing a Club
These are the most common factors that you should consider when choosing a soccer club. Note that some of these factors depend on the specific team you will join, not the entire club.
Location is – for most players – the most important aspect to consider when choosing a club. Most parents (or most players) can’t drive two hours twice or three times weekly, so the club has to be reasonable close.
This doesn’t mean you should choose the club closest to you. There are other factors to consider.
A top-class player should play for a top class team (otherwise he will get bored); a beginning player will never make a top-class team. These are the two main factors that largely determine where players play.
It is also important to know how important playing time is. If you are border line between a Division one team and a Division two team you will probably not get much playing time on the Division one team. However, you would probably get a great amount of playing time on a Division two team.
Coaching is a huge part of choosing a club. Coaches can demoralize kids or they can motivate them to be much better soccer players. They can make practices relatively fun while improving player’s skill or waste time with boring, useless practices.
It is important to analyze your coach before joining a team. Ask players that have played under him, ask the league director, ask other coaches, and talk to him. You need to make sure that you are dealing with a good coach.
Good teammates can make playing soccer fun while bad teammates can make playing miserable.
This is a hard factor to accurately gauge at first, but worthwhile. If you have trouble with negative teammates, you should consider switching clubs.
Soccer should be fun, so you shouldn’t let mean teammates get in the way.
Think about each of these factors when choosing a club. Try to find the best fit possible.