Stow Soccer Player Placement
Stow Soccer prides itself as an organization that has a team for every player meaning that the club is looking to place kids on teams where they will be challenged, but even more importantly, 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. The answer is based primarily on 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 has tried very hard 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 yds, 20 yds, etc.) to rid the process of much of the variability from coach to coach, but it cannot be completely removed. And yet the coaches are the people most familiar with the kids’ soccer abilities.
The Jamboree is a day where the kids’ skills can be looked at by an unbiased group of evaluators to ensure that we are putting the kids at their appropriate level when the fall season begins. We have recently used Play Soccer; 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 we are trying 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 bad day, the weather may not cooperate or the child might even be sick that day.
Our hope is that between BOTH the coaches’ evaluations and the Jamboree results, we get a pretty good idea of where the kids belong so that they can be competitive.
Placing kids too high is a very 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. Had that child been placed on a team that was slightly less competitive, they may have become more confident with their skill set, enjoyed the game more and stayed with the game which we believe can be a sport they can play well into adulthood.
Another thing to consider is that we have seen many kids go through the Stow Soccer Club program that weren’t competitive at the U8 level and were placed at lower U10 levels. At those lower levels, they developed their skills, gained confidence and moved 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 skill sets 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.