The Oregonian tells the story of Kalil Konate, a former semi-pro player who moved to America two years ago to be with his wife Alicia. He promotes a philosophy of “peace through soccer” and both players and parents have taken to him.
These unique enrichment opportunities are rarely found in the classroom and these players are certainly fortunate to have Mr. Konate as their coach.
Are there any similar stories in your organization? Let us know in the comments below!
The article mentions two local clubs and team formation practices centered around competitive teams. In one situation, there’s even a competitive ‘non-tryout’ process for teams as young as Under 9. In those situations, they don’t ‘cut’ players, but players can be ‘inactive’ for games.
The semantics are important – both in the ‘non-tryout’ situation and as far as how the article is framed.
In soccer organizations (and sports) nationwide, there is an increasing push to field competitive Travel teams that contend for championships.
That said, there are almost always Recreational opportunities that exist in those same organizations. The organizations realize that a vibrant Recreational department is a terrific feeder system for kids ready, able, and interested in playing for competitive Travel teams.
The responsibility falls to the parents to evaluate these opportunities properly. The article spends time talking about the psychological implications for a young child of not making a team, but with proper framing and opportunity, this seems to be a non-issue.
What do you think? Are organizations really ‘cutting players younger’ or is this article just highlighting a worst-case scenario?