Tryout season, is it the season of false promises?

Everyone has been promised something by their coaches, to entice them to stay on the team. It could be that they will play in the position that they want to play. It could be that the coach is the one and only path to play in college. It could be even more playing time or being able to move up to a higher team. Everyone has been told promises. Which promises do you believe, who do you believe, what do you believe. Do you just distrust all coaches, if you have been lied to in the past by one.

Only one person can achieve all of the promises made by a coach and that is the player. The secret is that a player who wants to play in college and works hard, contacts the schools they wish to attend will have the opportunity to play. You need to be honest with yourself and know what level of soccer you are able to play, but the opportunity is there.  The same applies to playing professionally. Even if you are at a lower college, if you wish to play pro there are lots of paths to take to make your dream come true. Every path starts with hard work and patience by the player.

Often coaches are seen as used car sales men because they have given promises and then don’t deliver. As a club we pride ourselves on our reputation of delivering. We can not promises that your child will play in college, most of that is up to the player. We can promises that we can take them to the level they wish to play. As a club we have the highest percentage of players that have gone to play in college after high school, than any other club. As a club we can never promise your child will play a lot or play a position that they wish to play. When to talk to any of our coaches they will be honest and let you know how your child can achieve their goals of more playing time and playing a different position, these can never be guaranteed.

Just as parents will also do what they feel is best for their child. Coaches must do what they feel is best for the team as a whole. A good coach will re-evaluate each player and not just place them on a team or in a position and leave them there. To often players and coaches judge themselves in one area and never change their minds. Remember you are a soccer player first and your position is second. Many players play different positions on different in high school and college than they did in club.   The world is full of coaches that are seen as good, because there teams win, that only train players to play one position. If your child is unhappy with their placement on a team, you should be honest with your current coach and let them know you are looking to leave. This is when the promises usually start. Know that the past is the best predictor of the future. Not every coach is good for every player. We as a club strive to have the best coaching staff, but this doesn’t mean we will be the best fit for every player. We don’t take players or teams into the club to increase our coffers. The founders of the club take no money for themselves from any team or player, that they don’t coach.

Our philosophy is different than any other club in town. Many other clubs do not understand why players on teams they feel are stronger leave to go to what they see as a weaker team in our club. Our philosophy is player centered. Our motto is, “We develop great players for good teams”. This doesn’t mean that we offer equal playing time or don’t try to win games, especially when the players are high school level. Players working hard and pushing themselves and their teammates is one of many ways they improve to reach their highest potential. What this means is that we train every player to be a strong soccer player, not just a handful on the team, but every player. As a club we strive to push each player to their highest potential. At times while the team is young and we are working on skills or when the team is middle school age and we start working on tactics, we will loose games. Remember when asked how you played in a game. You as a player are more than the score of the game.

When you hear people talking poorly about Kansas City United or any other coach or club, know that they are attacking not only what they don’t understand but what they fear. What they fear, is what they know to be true because it has happened before. That is the fear loosing players/money. As a club Kansas City United doesn’t make money on players or teams.  Our club, coaches and teams are often attacked and lied about from other clubs and coaches, due to the lack of understanding and fear. Just as with the  promises to keep players on their teams, the lies are unfounded. They do not have the tradition, respect or honesty that our club and coaches have.

The best advice I can give anyone at tryouts, to help them find the right team for their child,  is to listen to the coach talk about his team and his goals, for the team. But when at tryouts also talk to parents about the team and coach and what they liked or didn’t like. Talk to parents about other teams. Find out who else they played for and why they left or are at a different teams tryout. Know that not only are players are tryouts looking to join another team. On many of our teams we tell players to tryout for other teams, for the experience of the tryout. This better prepares them for tryouts in High School. Find out as much information as you can online. Most coaches also coach other teams. Talk to players who have played for them in the past. Players often are your best source of honest information, as they are the ones who lived it.

Good luck to everyone this tryout season.

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