We upset people on regular basis. There are a thousand players, as many parents, and over a hundred dispersed volunteers trying to get along. Do the math. We won’t all be happy with any decision. Yet I think you’ll find a consistent attitude and culture from any of our members that have been around the club for a decent amount of time. Soccer can be a great activity to teach kids about getting along, improving ourselves, setting goals, and being a part of something bigger than ourselves. It is not the only place to experience this stuff and soccer is not the only thing to be taught. There is just a good balance here.
Putting teams together is probably the most challenging aspect of club management when it comes to things that can upset the peace. Putting together a single good team is easy. Trying to figure how every kid gets on a team with all people they like and every kid of the thousand that register (many late) is put on a team that fits them equally well is impossible. Oh yeah, this has to happen twice a year, every year. It’s obviously not possible and nobody would expect that level of perfection. Each season most parents are pretty satisfied with their experience and many more, though not completely satisfied, realize each season is roughly ten weeks of their child’s life and they’ll learn a variety of lessons from their NASC experience and try to lay the groundwork for better options in future seasons. We have limits based on age and the number of kids on a roster, as well as the advanced timing of team declarations we have to commit to the state association to allow schedules to be made before everyone even registers. Thankfully, tireless volunteers jump through hoops and ask parents forgiveness trying to make this elaborate puzzle fit together so every kids wanting to play, gets to play. On top of that they need to be on a team where they are challenged, improve their skills, aren’t put in dangerous situations, and the events don’t conflict with the rest of their other activities. You get the picture.
We’re not the only game in town. Indeed, there are many other sports and soccer clubs predicated on more intense training. I’m glad they exist so you have a choice for the experience you think is right for your child. Hopefully your child sees these opportunities and you have a good enough relationship with them that they can openly let you know their preferences. Even further, may you find that experience enjoyable and beneficial and helps them grow as a healthy person. Our game and philosophy are not for everyone, but I think we serve our purpose well and am proud of all the North Allegheny parents and kids that make it an enjoyable part of growing up here. I’m thankful that there are other places that will take your money to deliver a more intense experience and that the door is still open for you to come back if you decide our approach fits you at another point in your soccer journey. All I ask is that you treat the people volunteering to help your children with the respect and patience they deserve. They and their families give up a lot of their time for our community. That example of class and compassion is your job as your kid’s primary coach.