Stow Soccer Player Placement
As a kids' first organization, the Stow Soccer Club (SSC) prides itself on having a team for every player. This means that SSC is looking to place kids on teams where they will be challenged and where they will also have success.
One of the most common questions asked by parents is how kids are placed on the various soccer teams.
For Grades 1 and 2, teams are chosen by that season’s coaches based primarily on the coaches’ evaluations from the previous season. The Grade 1 / 2 Coordinators look at the full number of kids and make efforts for the teams to be "even" including ensuring a distribution of first and second graders on each team.
For Grade 3 and 4, the teams are chosen by Grade 3 and 4 coordinators primarily based upon two pieces of information: coaches’ evaluations from the previous season and the results from the Jamboree.
Regarding the coaches’ evaluations, all coaches have the best interests of the kids at heart; however, the process is subject to differences of opinion even between coaches and assistant coaches. Stow Soccer strives to make the process more objective and less subjective. Grading categories have been adjusted to make them more quantifiable (i.e., can consistently kick the ball 10 yards, 20 yards, etc.) to rid the process of much of the variability from coach to coach; and yet the coaches are the people most familiar with the kids’ soccer abilities.
The Jamboree is a day where the Grade 3 and 4 kids’ skills are examined by an unbiased group of evaluators to ensure we are placing kids at their appropriate level when the season begins. We have recently used GPS, the same organization that runs our summer camp and Munchkins & Transitions program, to run our Jamboree. By including professional evaluators who don't know the kids, Stow Soccer tries to remove some of the biases which may be inherent in the coaches’ evaluations. However, there are other issues that make this an inexact process as well. The Jamboree is just one day and kids can have a good day or an “off” day, the weather may not cooperate or the child might even be sick and miss the Jamboree.
Our hope is that between BOTH the coaches’ evaluations and the Jamboree results, we get a good idea of where the kids belong so that they can be competitive.
It is worth noting that placing kids on a team much higher than their ability is a serious concern. As parents, we all want our kids to do well. However, when kids are put in the situation of being on a team that is too much for them, the season becomes a struggle. They become frustrated and, occasionally, quit the game altogether. In this example, had that child been placed on a team more commensurate with their currently demonstrated skill level, they may have become more confident with their skills, enjoyed the game more and stayed with the game which the SSC Board believes can be a sport they can enjoy into adulthood.
The goal of SSC program is for kids to develop their skills, gain confidence and move up to more competitive teams through future seasons. Each season we go back and evaluate the kids again to see if they are on appropriate teams for their skills and we move them if we feel it is warranted and in the best interest of the child
The bottom line: we want all the kids to enjoy the game and experience success in soccer and placing them on appropriate teams is a critical part of that equation.
Please let us know any feedback on this process by contact Stow Soccer Club’s President.