What makes SSSC different from other clubs?

December 31, 2021

The landscape of youth soccer is forever changing with new leagues popping up daily, new clubs forming, and new events being created every year to help a soccer club meet its marketing and financial goals. In the Central Maryland region, this is no different to the rest of the country. With youth soccer growing and changing daily, there are many youth soccer clubs in the region to choose from. Some with the sole purpose of recreation, others with a mix of recreation and competition, and others who just focus strictly on competitive soccer. So in what would be considered one big mix of everything soccer, how do you select which club/organization is the best fit for your child? 

This is the golden question and one that doesn’t have a one size fits all approach since the needs of every player is different. However, I will break it down as if I had three children, one who solely played recreationally, the other who was in a club program with the recreation to competitive pyramid, and one who already played at the competitive level. 

Recreational Player 

Looking for a club that is all about fun is the main objective for a recreational player and parent coached soccer clubs can help you to meet this objective. But make sure that it is a team where the parent has never played soccer before, because if it is a team where the parent has played, then expect the competitive spirit in him or her to eventually show in the long run. Another trait to look for in a club that supports the recreational player is to find a club that doesn’t stress the need for player development or for players to play in college or professionally, rather one that just lets the players have fun. 

So how do you know if your child is a recreational player? This player tends not to make soccer his or her primary sport and just meeting friends and kicking the soccer ball around tends to be satisfactory enough. As a parent, try not to invest too much into your child’s soccer at this level because he or she won’t need the expensive pair of cleats or expensive ball. Support your child’s enjoyment of soccer even if it means that he or she will never aspire to play competitively. 

Recreational to Competitive Player

When a soccer player has aspirations to move from recreational soccer to competitive, that is always a great feeling. In the mind of the parent, you want to see your child compete against great competition because as the saying goes, competition makes everyone better. During this transition a lot will happen with your player, so it is important that you find a club that supports this transition. When a player finally decides to make a jump to the competitive level, expect to join teams that are already established. Now, this can pose as both a positive and a negative. Let’s look at the positive: the player doesn’t have to worry about being apart of a team that has just formed because a new team can pose various challenges ranging from will there be enough players to how good will the coach be in developing the player. All of the above would be resolved prior to trying out for the team. 

Now the negative to joining an already established team, the politics. It is everywhere in the world, and everywhere in youth soccer. Now, the degree of politics will vary from team to team, so finding a team with the least amount of politics is always a huge plus. The second negative is will the coach meet your child’s player development needs. This is always questionable and a risk because you do not know how your child will click with the coach. It is important to speak with the coach prior to joining the team to learn more about his or her training and coaching philosophies to see how your player’s needs fit.