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"No lines, No laps, No Lectures" - Karl Dewazien

 Parenting Articles - Learn what parents want from Youth Soccer and what kids say they need from parents:


    Parenting Articles:

Parents' Answers:What did other fellow parents say when asked about their ranking and their child's ranking of goals for sports?

"I gave my top ranking to 'have fun,' because the day it's no longer fun is the day I stop shuttling my kids to and from practice."  - Yael, parent of kids 7 and 12, Oakland, CA

"They're all important, but I don't think a college scholarship is realistic. So I emphasized "life lessons." Especially since my kid probably won't get a scholarship, that's the best thing he can take away from football."  Mike, parent of 16-yr-old, Hamden, CT

"Fun and physical fitness are big for me. I think that too many of our kids today spend too much time playing video games and sitting in front of their computer or the TV. I want sports to be fun for my kids, and I want them to develop a love of physical activity they can carry into the rest of their lives." - Chris, parent of kids 9 and 12, Baltimore, MD

"The greatest thing I ever got out of sports was confidence. I gave that the top ranking. There is no way I ever would have made it through school and some of the professional situations I've faced without the confidence I learned from playing soccer. Passing that on to my daughter would be my greatest gift to her."    Lindsay, parent of 7-yr-old, St. Louis, MO

"I wrote in that I want my kids to learn that if they give maximum effort, it will pay off. I think this is an important lesson sports can teach."

     - Vivek, parent of kids 15 and 17, Houston, TX

"Scholarship was my top priority, but my son put 'fun' at the top of his list. I'm not ready to give up on that scholarship, but it was important to see where we differed on priorities, and I understand I have to be careful not to pressure him too much.  Brian, parent of kids 11 and 14, Minneapolis, Mn

We encourage you to have this dialog with your son or daughter and really begin to understand what your goals are and the goals of your child for their youth sports experience.

MoreLearn To Champion Responsibility in Youth Sports

 How do Parents Perceive the Value of a Soccer Experience for their Children?


Survey Results Are In: 

by Mary Boyer Rapid City Journal       U.S. Youth Soccer conducted a “grassroots survey” this past year to try to figure out the relationship between kids and organized soccer. The focus was on learning how parents perceive the value of a soccer experience for their children. The results are rather interesting.

Parents were asked what are the most valuable and least valuable benefits of playing organized soccer. The most valuable benefits were:  Fun (96 percent), physical development (91 percent), soccer skills development (91 percent), lessons in teamwork (90 percent), character development (86 percent), lessons in self-discipline (84 percent) and competition (84 percent).

It's nice to know that others are recognizing what Koach Karl from CYSA North has been saying for 30 years - keep the focus on FUN by using the "9-Step Routine".

The least valuable benefits were (in order of least to most): Mandated playing time (14 percent), winning (15 percent), national level competition (16 percent), exposure to professional coaches (18 percent), low-cost sports alternative (22 percent), opportunities in sports parent did not have (24 percent) and opportunities for college scholarship (30 percent).

These would indicate that most of us are looking for an activity that offers kids fun, exercise, friendship and competition as distinguished from winning. The vast majority of kids playing soccer do so because they have fun and not because they (or their parents) see the sport as a potential college support opportunity. 

There are a smaller percentage of kids who are highly competitive and who desire play at the highest levels making the need for professional coaches and top-flite tournament competition. A good soccer program will offer the full spectrum of experiences for every soccer player, PeeWees through adult, and make it easy for players to move from one level of competition to another.

In Rapid City, Rapid City Youth Soccer League is where players begin at age 4. By the time they are 8 or 9, they begin to sort out what they want to do with their soccer experience.  Some like playing for the fun and exercise and to continuing playing with friends. Others want to play more often, regard practice as fun and a means to achieve personal best and choose to try out for the classic (challenge) teams. Still others have sunk their teeth into the experience and always have a ball at their feet. These kids are constantly dribbling, juggling, shooting against any available vertical surface and generally absorbed in the game. These are the players who eventually move into the premier teams at Rushmore Soccer Club.

In an effort to develop better cooperation between these separate organizations, representatives from both RSC and RCYSL have been meeting to discuss possible areas of cooperation such as a single tryout procedure with players indicating the level of play they desire; a single registration fee; increased cooperation between RSC and RCYSL coaches so kids get to know both styles and coaches could encourage players to consider additional opportunities, and increased communication between the two organizations. Nothing has been decided but there are some creative possibilities that would mean better choices for all soccer families.

A “premier” level team should be made from the best possible players that are playing. In Rapid City, that means the player agrees to increased practices, travel to top-level tournaments, dedication to self-improvement and a willingness to commit to playing at regional and national tournaments if the team qualifies. 

A “classic” team (sometimes called “challenge”) should be made from players who are serious about improving their skills and game knowledge.  These players agree to somewhat increased practices, travel to some tournaments, dedication to self-improvement, and a willingness to play in the Classic Cup tournament in May. It is from these ranks that the premier teams will draw new players each season, if the player is ready to move to premier competition.

Not every player wants (or is able) to devote the time and finances to these teams.  Older players are faced with the need for jobs, increased academic pressure, family budget restraints, etc.  For them, recreation soccer is an opportunity to get some excellent exercise, play with friends when time permits, and have fun. The local soccer organizations provide for all these types of competition and must continue to do so.