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Club Serving As Feeder For High School

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This resource stems from a question submitted to the Ask PCA blog. Responses come from our experts including PCA Trainers, who lead live group workshops for coaches, parents, administrators and student-athletes.

"My two young children play in a local non-profit athletic club that has undergone a transition toward becoming a feeder program for the local high school. Many of the high school coaches run the club's meetings, and they want players as young as seven to run the high school 'system.' Most of the kids in our club don't even end up playing high school sports, and I think the high school coaches are overly involved. What do you think?"

PCA Response by Will Jackson, PCA Trainer-Atlanta
Your question addresses one of the major shifts in youth sports today: in many places the philosophy has changed from an emphasis on maximum participation to a goal of developing elite youth athletes to stock winning programs.

Wise high school coaches realize that the longer youth athletes stay involved with their sport the more likely more of them will evolve into athletes who can contribute at the high school varsity level. That means the better the experience can be for all athletes, ultimately the high school program will benefit.

Many high school coaches bring a high level of expertise to a youth program that can benefit every child in the program, which is a win-win. However, if they are rigidly focused on channeling players into their system in a way that doesn't contribute to a good experience, it can be a problem. Creating a local culture built on positive support for all kids in sports is a worthy goal, and I hope you'll choose to dive in to make a difference.

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