The Legion Of Doom

My sons have been playing at Philadelphia Soccer Club for years. We were always happy there until last year, when it seemed like the entire organization went from “kids having fun” to “win at all costs.” So, Kyle’s team bailed and started playing at Academy Sabres.

Best move we ever made.

Sabres is a small organization and there is little to no pressure to win. It’s exactly what both Kyle and Erik needed at this stage in their playing careers.

Kyle Showing Off His New Orange Goalie Jersey

Kyle, a goalie, is enjoying the fact that his team is firmly ensconced in second place, and that they are averaging four goals a game. The playoffs start in two weeks, and they have a legitimate shot at a championship.

Erik, a forward, is playing a year up. He should be playing U-9 (9 years old and under), but because there are a few older kids on the team, he is now playing U-10. Not that that matters, because Erik is a beast, offensively. The boy has three goals this season on a team that has probably scored less than ten goals all year.

Bottom line: They’re both playing well and both having fun. That’s the point.

Erik Playing Midfield

9 thoughts on “The Legion Of Doom

  1. Robert B.

    You have a super family, Wyatt. You are truly blessed with wonderful kids and a loving wife. And they are blessed with a caring father who takes time to be with them.

    Roll sate, M8.

  2. Jim Scrummy

    Kudos to you and your kids (and the missus). Winning is secondary until around 13-14 years old. Kids need to be taught skill fundamentals, teamwork, and hard work which will then lead to winning. I’m a enjoy the journey type of person, but competitive as all heck when I play sports or games. I try to teach my kids to work hard and play hard, but mostly have fun while playing sports. Winning usually takes care of itself if you and your teammates put in the hard work and effort into your sport or whatever the endeavour may be in life.

  3. bob (either orr)

    Kids under 12 should be playing (and being coached) to develop skills, not just for winning. You want to see their teams win at least once in a while, so they can see the benefits of their practice. Now that doesn’t mean teaching them to become comfortable with losing… but it does mean teaching them to learn from each defeat. It’s cliche 856, but it’s true: You’re never as good as you think you are after a win.

  4. drewski1013

    Wyatt, as a former President and Trustee of our local soccer club, I salute both your perspective and your courage in following through in withdrawing from PSC. In my younger days, I coached both my kids’ recreation and travel teams, and at least one (the girls’ U12 and U14 teams) were pretty good. We played in the State Cup finals in three successive years against what were otherwise “select” clubs, losing each time in well-played games.

    Nonetheless, the girls’ success led to many undesired consequences – many parents in town immediately sought to replicate our success by hiring professional coaches, practicing 5-6 times a week, and entering ever-distant “select” tournaments. They failed to realize that if you don’t have the right team, or the right players, or the right motivation, the result will always be the same – the kids hate the time commitments, and fall out of soccer as a sport. Meanwhile, the parents continue to throw their money and their kids’ time away in the hopes of living a vicarious thrill through their kids’ soccer team. I can’t imagine how many parents that I’ve seen around town wearing their kids’ warmup jerseys or team jackets.

    Your way is far better. The parents, however, rarely realize that, even when you tell them the basis of your experience. They merely ramp up the “soccer cold war”, by bringing in European trainers, high-tech equipment, and demanding more and more practice time on already too-thin playing fields. It becomes a decaying orbit, and the kids are the ones that end up paying the price. Not every kid is the next coming of Pele, and there is a surprisingly small number of full scholarships to NCAA soccer programs available.

    When will they ever learn?

  5. rd

    My son’s, 15 and 17 yo hockey Midget Rep players are both playing on the same team this year(Hockey Mom Holy Grail!)in the same organization they’ve been with since pre-novice days. We’ve seen some of the win-at-all-costs people pass through, but its never been the entire associations agenda. Its appalling when sport parents and officials act like the game is all about them and their bragging rights. If you want to win so bad that your kids enjoyment of the game and your kids broader education in team-spiritedness and advancement of skills become secondary or actually non-existent? Go pull on your own f**king cleats/skates/ whatever’s, and leave your kid to play and to be coached by better examples than you yourself can provide.
    Good for you and the Missus for pulling your kids out of that mess.

  6. Wyatt Earp Post author

    Jim – They both want to win, but it’s not the be-all and end-all for them.

    Bob – Kyle’s team lost on Saturday to a team they beat, 7-0 earlier in the season. They thought they could walk onto the field and win. Not so much.

    Drew – We’ll be happy if they can get a little money from a small college and play while they get their education. I played lacrosse in college and had the time of my life. And that’s more important than a win-loss record.

    RD – Kyle’s CYO team was split up this year. Kyle and a few of his friends were bumped up to varsity as 6th graders. (Varsity is usually 7/8th grade.) The one coach was a win-at-all-costs type. She took her pic of talent and left the rest – and all of the 6th graders – for Kyle’s team.

    Kyle was named starting goalie and they lost every single game. Kyle didn’t care. He was happy to be playing with his friends and classmates.

Comments are closed.