Massapequa SC Teaching Skills, Not Selling Scholarships
July 11, 2014 | by Kevin McCrudden, Publisher & Editor, Soccer LI Magazine
I recently had an opportunity to be part of a Verizon FiOS feature about the Massapequa Soccer Club, along with MSC Director of Coaching Richard Nuttall and current Cosmos star Jimmy Nealis (an MSC alum), that discussed the club’s philosophy of focusing on fun and skill development in young players, and the value of growing up in a community-based youth program.
In the piece, I discuss the unfortunate movement towards "premier" soccer clubs and all the pressure being placed on our kids to perform and “win”, rather than enjoying the game of soccer and learning the fundamentals of the game and how to play properly.
American kids have less than a 1% chance of getting a "full ride” college scholarship," and yet parents continue to believe trainers that tell them their kid has the potential to play at the highest levels, regardless of their current level of play. Parents are paying extraordinary amounts of money for “premier” training. Look up what "premier" means. If you have more than one team in your county playing "Premier" then you are foolishly paying for nothing. Parents need to understand that some trainers are using terms like “premier” and “elite”, playing on parents’ emotions, in an effort to encourage participation, but it comes at a heavy price. Not only do the trainers get rich, but parents will be surprised when an “elite” group grows to very high numbers and the training becomes less than “ekite”. When it comes time to actually face tough competition at U13, U14, U15 and U16, and many of these players can't compete well, play with both feet, or juggle the ball 100 times, parents are surprised that their kid isn't getting a scholarship.
Listen, parents are being misled. That's all there is to it. Almost every "scholarship" is bundled between academics and athletics, and for those kids that have done well in school, there is more money, A LOT more money. And for those parents that think their kid is the next superstar, all I can say is snap out of it! Unless you already have the Red Bulls, Cosmos and US Soccer speaking to you about a professional contract when they are 13, then your kid probably isn’t the prodigy you envisioned several years and several thousand dollars ago. If your young player can't go in the yard and juggle the ball 200 times, or can’t play with both feet, then he or she doesn’t have the fundamental skills to succeed at the highest levels. More importantly, if your child doesn’t have at least a B average in school, then a significant college scholarship is probably not in your future either.
In case you missed it, check out the video feature by clicking here.