About Competitive/Select Soccer
Deciding whether or not your child should play recreational soccer or competitive ("select") soccer is often a daunting task for parents not familiar with the world of competitive sports. The primary deciding factor that you should consider when making the select vs. rec decision is whether or not you wish to accelerate your child's soccer development in a professionally guided training environment.
What Is Select/Competitive Soccer?
In select soccer, the focus is on teaching in an enjoyable manner that is appropriate for the child's age level. Individual skills and team tactics are taught by high-level, professional coaches in order to more fully develop the child's level of play. The end result - young athletes that know how to play soccer at a much higher level than their corresponding recreational players.
Coaching is like teaching - it requires extensive knowledge of the subject and the ability to communicate that knowledge to young athletes. In recreational soccer, the coach is typically a noble parent with little or no competitive or high level soccer experience. Select soccer differs from recreational soccer in that coaches are experts in their field, have the demonstrated ability to share that knowledge with their team, and are paid a professional salary.
Select coaches are licensed trainers, most at Grade D or higher. Their training will have included proper individual player and team techniques, how to conduct efficient practices, and how to motivate a young athlete.
Select coaches are interviewed and go through an extensive selection process before they are hired by the club. They are paid from dues collected from the team.
The "club" will contain many teams at various age and skill levels. As the name implies, a "club" type atmosphere is promoted with clubs often hosting non-soccer related activities such as parties or extracurricular trips to promote bonding. The club will also recognize many cost efficiencies, such as corporate sponsorships, & fundraising opportunities. These savings are passed on to the club members in the form of lower dues.
Recreational and select soccer are the same in that the soccer year consists of 2 seasons (Spring and Fall) with each season containing a schedule of 10 games. Select soccer teams usually play 2 tournaments per season. Select soccer teams will also usually continue to train indoor during off seasons, and play two sessions of games.
In select soccer, teams are formed based on player "grading" during the club's annual tryouts (which take place during the third week of June). In many medium to large clubs, multiple teams exist in a single age group with players placed on a team appropriate for their level of skill.
Costs differ widely depending upon the club you decide to play for. In select soccer, the club forms a budget for the year and the monies due are split amongst the members of the team. A down payment is typically required if your child is selected during tryouts, and the remaining payments are stretched out on a monthly basis with a period of 5-10 months.
In select soccer, teams typically practice twice a week and sometimes three times a week before critical tournaments or games. Select teams also typically play one game a week on Saturday, and could possibly have a mid-week game. The fall & spring seasons both consist of 10 regular season games.
In select soccer, where games are played depends upon which league you are playing in. In the Van Buren Soccer league, teams typically play half their games in their home organization's community (which is at Quirk Park) and the other half are "away" games in the surrounding communities home field. Away games could be in Canton, Livonia, Redford..etc.