Age Cutoffs: "If You're Good, You're Good"
Erin Chastain (@ChastainErin) has served as DePaul University Women's Soccer Head Coach since 2007. Earlier, she spent five seasons at national soccer power Santa Clara University as an assistant coach. During her tenure with the Broncos, the program reached the championship game of the 2002 NCAA Championship, the semifinals in 2004 and the quarterfinals in 2005. She also helped the program to West Coast Conference titles in four of her five seasons. Erin also spent time during her first three seasons at Santa Clara working with several youth teams in the Bay Area, including the DeAnza Strykers and the North Valley Tornadoes.
Parents whose children are near the age cut-off dates for starting school sometimes hold their children back, thinking that later admission into the same age group of sports may create a competitive advantage. However, Erin says, "If you're good, you're good!"
That means if you have the talent and drive to succeed as an "old" 11-year-old, for example, then you can probably also succeed as a"young" 12-year-old. Moreover, Erin says, the ploy rarely works and she considers the mentality of holding back a socially-ready kindergarten-age child from starting school is a "ridiculous mindset."