Travel Soccer Tryouts... and the stark difference between Travel and Rec

this is a post from a few weeks back
figure I will give it a glance and hit PUBLISH AND POST
or in this new and improved BLOGGER interface.... simply hit PUBLISH
either way... I figure I would share
update... neither Dean or Grant made Travel Soccer

this week the boys had Stoddert Travel Soccer Tryouts
well... there was a session scheduled for last week
but in the classic soccer tryouts sort of way
thunder and lightning rained on that parade and that session was canceled
which was a bummer... my older son had the focus and intensity he needs to stand out in this try out situation

this week the each of the boys had two sessions of travel soccer tryouts
it was the classic soccer mom situation... aside from my not having a uterus

straight from pick up from school I shuttled the boys to different locations
fueling the boys with post school snacks as they suited up in shin guards, cleats, and soccer appropriate apparel
Grant had U9 tryouts at 4 and Dean had U12 tryouts at 6
each session at a different part of town... honestly... there was no real issue getting each kid to their location on time
just needed to hustle back and forth

it is tough... we all want what is best for our kids
we try to push them... we try to motivate them
but in the end... it is up to them
my kids are not puppets and I am not a marionette 
yet I try to work the puppet strings just the same

it is a strange situation this whole soccer thing
there is so much that comes to surface when I think of the notion of kids and soccer
but this rant is on travel... so I will stay with that

my boys each tried out for travel soccer in different age groups
this is the first year that young Grant has tried out for soccer... unlike Dean I think he is better prepared for tryouts

Dean at Grant's age was on a "just for fun" team... a team that was following the Stoddert youth model of "a soccer playdate" so when Dean arrived at soccer tryouts a few years prior he was ill prepared
so many kids were understanding the game at a higher level
playing with more intensity and well... playing with more skill
the tryouts may have been overwhelming for him at that age
maybe he was not ready for that level of focus or that level of intensity

it is tough
if a kid does not make travel soccer at the first set of tryouts it is difficult for them to break in
there is a simple formula

the kids who make travel soccer move from a two day a week-two season a year soccer program that is lead by a parent coach to a three day a week- four seasons a year soccer program with trained coaches who understand the game and the cognitive level of the players

so... in the course of the year
the Rec league soccer players continue moving along on the slow boat to China
while the travel kids are climbing the skills ladder at a faster rate of speed
it takes an exceptional kid to break into the travel game if they do not make it the first year

each year with my older son Dean we go through the same routine
we suit up for try outs... he goes and tries out
not always trying his hardest not always playing his best
not seeming to understand that there is a difference between pickup, practice, game day, and tryouts
just showing up and playing soccer

it is frustrating
in an effort to not have him cave in under the pressure I never asked for much more than him trying his best
being himself... trying hard and trying to display the best he has to offer
yesterday before practice I may have been a little hard on im
telling him that I did not know of any super heroes whose strength is being happy go lucky
this happy go lucky attitude is a wonderful personality trait... but it is not what the coaches are looking for at tryouts


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