The Club vs. High School Dilemma
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This resource is from a case study in Jim Thompson’s book, The High School Sports Parent.
The Club vs. High School Dilemma: Your son plays for an elite soccer team. The coach wants him to quit other sports, including his high school soccer team, to play exclusively with the club team. As a Second-Goal Parent®, what should you do?
I start with a bias. I loved playing for my high school team. I was proud to wear green and white and represent West Fargo (ND) High School, and playing with my friends was great. I am sad when I hear of elite athletes passing up their high school team to play exclusively for a club team. So I tend to encourage athletes to try to keep playing for their high school team if they can.
I also understand that people get better by competing against opponents who push them to be their best. Some athletes may be better served by playing for a club team if that is the best or only place they can get the necessary competition. However, it is important to realize that your son’s club coach may have an agenda that doesn’t align perfectly with what is best for your son.
Many professional athletes did not specialize until quite late. Furthermore, they often say that playing multiple sports helped them when they did specialize, often not until college.
To read the full response, including recommended exercises to help you and your child handle this situation, download the book excerpt found below. Perhaps your child can talk with his high school coach about the pressure he is feeling to specialize, and they can think about how to respond to the club coach together.
To purchase the entire book The High School Sports Parent, and to learn more about other PCA books, click here.
These books are used in PCA’s live workshops. To learn more about our interactive sports parent workshops, click here.