I hate tryouts. I’ve always hated tryouts. Kids are stressed. Parents are stressed. Coaches are stressed. Some of it reasonable, some of it not. In some areas with large programs, it amazes me the intrigue and drama that goes on with the ‘B’ teams and the accusations (sometimes valid, sometimes not) of clubs considering things other than skill in their evaluations. For smaller clubs like ours, I hate the uncertainty each year about which teams will return enough players to continue playing and which will cease to exist. I hate the animosity that can be generated between area clubs trying to get a leg up on a neighboring club. Used to be flyers in schools, signs near other club’s fields. Now thanks to online payment processing, one of our area clubs is demanding answers from players within 24 hours AND requiring a $150 non-refundable deposit to simply accept the slot. The hope is they’ll lock players in before they hear from other area clubs so the kids can’t choose what is best for them.

Don’t get me wrong. I love travel soccer – I think for many players it provides a great environment not just for developing soccer skills, but also for building friendships, seeing new places, and experienced new styles of play. But I hate the tryouts that make it possible. Adults act like children and make the children even more stressed than they should be.