Bri started rec soccer this morning. She is 5, so I am trying to keep my expectations low, but apparently I’m not succeeding. Rather than separating kids into teams that have practices and games, they just all 150 kids or so show up on Saturday mornings, where they have some coaches and some volunteer assistants. They divided the kids into groups and then they commenced drills, to be followed by scrimmage.
Some of the coaches clearly knew what they are doing. When you’re coaching 5-year-olds, it’s not about being a soccer expert. You need to know the basics of soccer, and I’m pretty sure what I learned playing in elementary and middle school was more than sufficient. More than that, you need to know how to deal with 5 and 6-year-olds.
Unfortunately, Bri ended up in a group with a guy that was completely clueless. She was literally standing there doing nothing for like 20 minutes. I should have intervened sooner – Jonathan came by after picking up L from dance because they wanted to see, and he went over, and the “coach” started showing more interest. This program costs us $120 for 8 sessions of an hour each – not expensive, but not nothing. They really need to make sure they have enough coaches to handle things. I feel like when someone signs up to coach a team, they understand the responsibility they’re taking on. In this case, they asked for volunteers and advertised that very little would be expected of them.
The other thing that bothered me was that as usual, my gender equality meter was going off. First, NO female coaches or volunteers. Why not?? I am determined to volunteer next year. Coaching soccer is something I’m very interested in, and I do think having female coaches matters. Second, boys and girls were all together. Even at age 5/6, the boys were in general dominating. (I still remember my ridiculously athletic sister getting MVP game after game on her mixed gender soccer team as a kid until the coach privately told my parents that even though she was the best, he really needed to start giving the designation to some of the other kids.) The superstar athlete girls will do fine, but average and below average athlete girls I think are really negatively impacted by mixed gender play, even at young ages.
So, yeah. Underwhelmed. It compared very negatively to the awesome organization of the swim team L was on this summer. That was a lot more expensive, but they also practiced 5 times per week. I’d have to do the math to see which was more per hour.