Club Soccer verse high school soccer

Discussion in 'Air Force Academy - USAFA' started by soccerdad03, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. Stealth_81

    Stealth_81 Super Moderator 10-Year Member Founding Member

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    I guess it depends on the kid, but both of my sons are avid gamers. My oldest graduated with honors from USAFA and has been #1 in both of his flight classes since graduating. He had a gaming console in his room his whole time at USAFA and still did well. He has said the the dexterity practice from gaming has made it easier to learn the HOTAS while flying the F-16. My younger son is a junior in high school and is looking at both USAFA and USNA and wants to be a pilot as well. I don't think that the gaming has been detrimental to either of them. Just my opinion.

    Stealth_81
     
  2. soccerdad03

    soccerdad03 Member

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    He has game systems now. He knows how to manage his time now. It was $250 well spent to make a point at a young age.
     
  3. melindayching

    melindayching 5-Year Member

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    Getting back to your original question, I think the avenue that allows him to be as highly competitive in his sport as possible is the best route, even if it is not sponsored by the school. There are lots of other opportunities to show leadership at school outside of the sports team, and as long as he remains committed to his sport and shows leadership there, I don't think USAFA really cares. My DD was captain of her team and she pursued her sport outside of school and I think it was just fine. She did alot of other stuff through school that was not related to her sport.

    And on the other tangents, I totally understand your support of your son and his ambitions, so the best thing you can do is make sure that decisions he makes does not limit his options. He's still young yet and he will surely change in the next few years. Good luck and way to begin the prep early!
     
  4. soccerdad03

    soccerdad03 Member

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    You are correct high school soccer here in the Dallas area is not near as competitive as club soccer. He would love to support his school team if at all possible. H would play every day if he could. Lol
     
  5. WestPoint2017

    WestPoint2017 Member

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    Side Note: He is allowed to play high school ball if he is not playing on the premier level. So if he is Division 1 or Super 2 or whatever, as long as he is not on the premier squad is allowed to play high school ball. FC Dallas is known to have strong premier league teams so I am not sure what level he is at (cannot be on the premier level until U14 or something like that--its been too long haha). I imagine he is on a development squad right now.
     
  6. soccerdad03

    soccerdad03 Member

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    You are correct. His goal is to play on the premier team. If he is on the premier team he may not be the captain. Is it better to play at a lower level and be the team captain?
     
  7. WestPoint2017

    WestPoint2017 Member

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    It's better to be recruited than not be recruited, lets put it that way. Who says he can't be captain if be makes the premier team? A lot of it is politics, I know, but my team had nominations for team captains and it wasn't solely based on who is the best on the team. I joined a new team freshman year and was elected captain immediately after summer training, so it is possible! :thumb: I would say go for premier, no need to limit his ability for a captain spot, but let him tell you what he wants, if he doesn't like the guys on the premier team and wants to stay on the lower team, that is completely okay.
     
  8. soccerdad03

    soccerdad03 Member

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    Thanks for the advise. FC Dallas pays for everything if you are on the premier team. That is a big bonus.
     
  9. JMC0759

    JMC0759 S-USMMA '12 SUNY 15, D-USAFA '15 TTUHSC '20 5-Year Member

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    My daughter and Melinda's are on the same AFA team. Mine did not play her sport in high school. As you probably already know there are lots of sports in Texas that not not offered through UIL and if you want the competition you have to play club. It was more expensive for the family but most college coaches know that if you want the competition you have to play club. Our only problem was the lack of a varsity letter but going to JO's looked good in her resume. As Melinda stated, being captain of a club team helps fulfill the leadership position if you are not playing a school sport.

    soccerdad03 - you said that FC Dallas pays for everything. You will see that the NCAA Clearinghouse asks lots of questions about who has paid for what when you start the college process. Be careful and make sure that somebody in that organization knows the bylaws. Be careful.
     
  10. USCGA_2018

    USCGA_2018 Member

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    soccerdad03,

    When I read these posts regarding a 6th grader, I can't help think of a tragically comical scene from the movie "Parenthood" with Steve Martin...

    Student 1 at College: Someone's gone to the roof of the bell tower with a rifle!

    Dean at College: It's Kevin Buckman! His father totally screwed him up!

    Student 2 at College: What's he yelling?

    Kevin Buckman Age 21: YOU MADE ME PLAY SECOND BASE!

    I'm just attempting a little humor here, but in all seriousness you might need to reel in your expectations. I speak from experience as my DS (a senior soccer player recruited by USAFA, USMMA, USMA and USCGA) has played at a cost free US Development Academy Club and he along with several others chose high school over club.

    First off, most of the academies offer student guidelines for prospective candidates on their websites. Most start at 9th grade, but I found this on AFA website...

    Advice for 6th - 10th grade students

    While you are still too young to apply to the Academy, it is never too early to start preparing. As a matter of fact, the earlier you start, the better your potential to be accepted. There are four things we look for in a future Academy cadet:

    Academics
    Athletics
    Leadership
    Character

    So how do you prepare for a future at the Academy?

    Study hard. Get the best grades you can in all subjects — especially English, math and science.

    Join a sports team. If your school does not have an after-school sports program, you can usually find one at your local community park or recreation center.

    Become a leader. Join a scouting program like Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts or Civil Air Patrol. Or join another school or local club and go for a leadership position like club president or secretary.

    Demonstrate character. Consider activities that help others. Get involved with church groups or other organizations that may be helping members of your community.

    These activities will help you demonstrate your academic performance, athletic potential, leadership and character traits. Starting early and being prepared are your best shots for earning an appointment to the Academy. We hope to see you in a few years!


    So beyond this basic good advice what can I tell you about soccer based on my personal experiences and that of others that I have observed. Parents seeking scholarships for their child is all too common especially in "Elite" soccer. Parents see their child achieving athletically at a very young age and just assume that they will only continue to improve and remain atop their game relative to their peers. This is just not the case.

    My son participated in ODP (Olympic Development Program) here in Virginia for 3 years. He made the State Team, but not the Region or National Pool. This is still a nationwide program that is run by state US Youth Soccer. This is a very good alternative to USSDA and you can play high school. It also gave him the opportunity to travel to Spain and Portugal representing VA State ODP.

    More to the point I wanted to make though. The best players at U12 are often not the best players at U15 and are almost most certainly not the best players at U18. That's a fact. That was one of the first speeches given to parents that I remember hearing when my son was trying out for State ODP. Players mature physically and mentally at different times. The 12 year old that is already 5' 10" 160 lbs and totally dominates most average sized peers will likely not always enjoy that physical superiority. Many of these players get frustrated as other begin to grow, but they are often more technically proficient. They could not have been more correct as I watched this play out.

    Another club coach once said that you really can't determine a players potential until after his "boys" drop. Again, this varies widely from player to player. Point is, many of your sons current teammates will not likely be his teammates in 5 years. He will leave some in his dust and he will likely be left in other's dust.

    Maybe what I'm really trying to say is that just simply deciding in 6th grade as to whether or not you will play HS or Club is silly. That decision might very well not be yours to make anyways. It is just way too far off in the future to concern yourself or DS in my opinion.

    My DS also played for a Virginia Development Academy Club that was 100% cost free. That aspect was awesome, but the thrill and pride of wearing his school uniform and playing in front of his HS fans was more important. There were over 20 players between the Richmond Kickers and Strikers that chose to leave academy for HS soccer. Of those players, there are commits to VCU, WVU, Georgia Southern, USCGA, Navy, VMI and Longwood.

    By the time your DS needs to worry about these things the USSDA may have been replaced by a new structure? High school soccer might be allowed again due to lawsuits or scheduling changes? Your DS could find he likes lacrosse or baseball? God forbid, injury derails the hopes and dreams of many young athletes.

    My DS has played in the Summer and Winter Academy showcases. He has also played in the Jefferson Cup, CASL, Bethesda, FC Delco, etc.. tournaments. College coaches attend all of the top tournaments and recruit far more than just Academy players. More importantly, not all Academy players are recruited.

    My DS will be accepting an appointment to USCGA. He will play soccer, but it is secondary to his passion to be challenged, lead and serve.

    In my opinion, soccer should always be secondary to the academics. A fine coach and mentor to my son told him that soccer can always be taken away in an instant by injury or replacement by a better player. Make sure you are choosing the school, major and mission first. Imagine yourself being there without the sport.

    My only other thought is to have DS participate in JROTC in HS. That's a great way to gain experience and show demonstrated interest.

    Sorry for the long post. Best of luck and continued success.
     
  11. soccerdad03

    soccerdad03 Member

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    I want to thank everyone for all your help. All this is new to me.


    His academics program he chooses will dictate if he plays high school soccer. He did tell me he wants to drop down to a lower level team that does not travel as much so he can focus on other things. I have him write down the pros and cons on choices he needs to make, and let him make his own choices. If getting into the school he wants meant giving up club soccer he would give it up as long as he could play in high school. He is not in the ODP program because they have the tryouts on Sundays. I gave him the choice to try out or go to church. He told me church was more important. I was very proud of him.

    IB program: No high school soccer, or ROTC

    AP classes: Can play school soccer, and be in ROTC

    Premiere soccer team: No high school soccer

    Lower level team: Can play high school soccer

    We will be looking into the CAPS program this summer.

    I have told him as long as he is taking high level classes now, things will fall into place by the time he reaches high school.
     
  12. MemberLG

    MemberLG 5-Year Member

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    I am just curious why all options include playing soccer? I get an impression that soccer is a passion, not something your or your DS see as something that will get him into college, get him scholarship, and make living from it.

    Perhaps look at the situation differently, what is the goal and see how soccer supports to the goal.
     
  13. soccerdad03

    soccerdad03 Member

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    He has a lot of passions. He loves playing the violin in the school orchestra, playing soccer, and school.

    He did tell me earlier today that he does not care about high school soccer. He said he would rather be in the IB program.

    His only goal for soccer is having a sport that he can play when he is older. He wants to be like his grandfather that is still playing every week at the age of 77. He also wants to coach his own kids one day. I ask him how many kids he was having. He said 5. He surprised me the first time he told me that. Lol

    He also wants to serve his country as a leader one day. I definitely did not put that in his head.
     
  14. Buff-IP

    Buff-IP USAFA '88 Pilot

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    This got a bit off target.

    Some application stuff works in the inverse...

    ...what I mean is, if someone did not play sports in HS the question would be WHY?

    Physically unable? Doesn't like other kids? Lazy? Can't juggle schedule?

    If someone can't play HS sports because he is already in a more competitive group, that says a lot doesn't it.

    The second part about sports is the opportunity for a leadership role...Team captain in 6th grade is nice...but when it comes time for the application...'what have you done for me lately'...leadership at the older ages becomes harder to get, and therefore more valuable.

    Again the question would be why didn't he have any leadership roles soph or jr year? ( I am not saying he won't...just an example)

    See where I am going with this?

    There are lots of ways to gain leadership experience...I coached and ump'd younger kid softball in the summer...I am sure there are oportunites to run soccer camps. Organizing and running a canned good drive would be a small example...there are stronger ones.

    Remember the goal, to get good leaders out in the AF...there are many types of leaders, and there are many ways to get leadership experience.
     
  15. soccerdad03

    soccerdad03 Member

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    The reason for the original post was that I thought he would need letters in high school sports. Now that we know he can just continue to play for FC Dallas. He is happy with the news. He wants to check out the CAP program in the summer. He will not need to make anymore decisions until the end of 8th grade.

    I have told him for now just keep doing what he is doing and have fun. I have no doubt he will be a leader in whatever he decides to do. As long as he loves the things he is doing I will enjoy the ride. For now it is soccer, violin, and school. He is in honors classes getting straight A’s, playing great soccer, and doing very well in the orchestra.

    At the end of 8th grade he will have important decisions to make.

    IB program?

    AP Classes?

    Orchestra? Not sure how the academy looks at orchestra. It does take a lot of time.

    ROTC? Not sure he can be in ROTC while being in the IB program.

    Continue with CAPS?
     
  16. melindayching

    melindayching 5-Year Member

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    If I could offer a thought...my daughter had no clue that USAFA would be in her future until her junior year in high school. She never did anything specific to gain her appointment except pursue what she loved, assume leadership positions when it was a natural progression, and hold herself to high standards academically and personally. She took the hardest classes she thought she could handle and worked hard at her sport. I actively discouraged her from activities that she was considering because all her friends said "it would look good on a college application." Why? Because the motivation wasn't true. So who knows what could happen for the next few years. My daughter didn't do JROTC, CAP or anything that was militarily related. She certainly took her lumps during BCT but she's doing great and in her sophomore year.
    So don't worry too much about planning the path the USAFA...if he's a good, smart kid which he seems to be, and you are a supportive parent who wants what's best for him, which you seem to be, it will all work out fine.
     
  17. Pima

    Pima 10-Year Member

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    :worship::worship::worship::worship::worship:

    Soccer,

    Sorry, I still can't wrap myself around why as a parent of the class of 2025 you are researching this now when he is 11.

    I am not trying to be antagonistic. I am trying to understand if he is on this path now, how can we assist?
    ~~~ I would suggest reading the threads on the AFA/Nom/DoDMERB and ROTC to see the stress level these posters are feeling.
    ~ Can't fathom why anyone would want to be put on the rollercoaster for 6 yrs.

    Nobody can tell you what the AFA, or the MOCs will be looking for come 2020. Nobody saw in 2010 saw the AFA apptmts drop by 20% for 2011 and 12.

    Bullet and I were on top of things, we were like melinda stated. DS commissioned 2012, and is at UPT today.

    Want to know my biggest regret?

    I did not spend one more minute with him, one more hug, one more stupid joke. He is getting married in May. His life will be AF wherever they send him. He will be home for Xmas for the 1st time in 2 yrs. He hasn't been home for Thanksgiving since before he commissioned. My house was the Friday night sleepover home.

    Just my opinion.

    You know your family, and we are here to support, just hope you remember that this path truly is 6 yrs away at best.
     
  18. soccerdad03

    soccerdad03 Member

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    I know now what he has to do to achieve his goal.


    Even if he does not want to go to the AFA, he will be prepared for most collages. I retired at a young age because I worked hard and had a plan. Great success in life comes with hard work and a plan. I find it hard to believe that a kid can play around until 9th grade, and then all of a sudden take on a heavy load. We talk together about his goals, and what it will take to achieve them. He can decide at that point if the work is worth it. I am definitely not going to stop him from working hard. He does not consider soccer, and orchestra work. He loves them both and has a great time with his teammates.

    Do you regret that your son went to the AFA?
    Does your son regret it?
    Great info.
    Thanks
     
  19. icarus

    icarus Member

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    If it were your son actually asking the questions, it may appear as if it is not you who is chomping on the bit. There's plenty of resources such as USAFA admissions and forums such as this that aims to inform would be candidates all the requirements and specifics. Most of the cadets I know didn't make their minds up to apply to USAFA until junior year in high school. There's plenty of time for your sixth grade son to grow and explore all options. My ALO pulled me aside during my interview and offered me an out (promising that my parents will never know why I wouldn't be offered an appointment) making sure that it was the applicant that truly wanted to get in and not the parents. Sitting in front of the congressional panel, I had to dissuade them on why they thought I was spread too thin with all the activities I was in. To convince them that it truly was my passion to be concert master of my orchestra, letter in cross country and track + be an officer in CAP (doing activities I liked and enjoyed) and not just make my resume seem appealing. There are a myriad of ways to attain one's goal. If it is to serve our country as an officer in the Armed Forces, getting into a SA isn't the only route. I'm sure you want what's best for your DS. In time, your DS will have to decide for himself what path to take.
     
  20. soccerdad03

    soccerdad03 Member

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    I do tend to do a lot of research on things that are important. I want to know exactly what they are getting into so I can have a smart conversation with them.
    After all I have read I will not be pushing him toward the AFA. If he goes the AFA direction it will have to be his own decision with me making sure he knows what he is getting into. I think his mom would go crazy not seeing him for a year. It is her only child. I really thought they would be at home every Thanksgiving, Christmas, and summer break.