Westfield Soccer Association

A Word From Our Director Of Coaching

May 2021

Spring Season – Tryout Season

WSA Members,

The Spring season is also known as the tryout season. The season in which every year teams are formed for the upcoming Fall and Spring seasons. In this case we are getting ready for the upcoming Fall of 2021 and Spring of 2022. It seems far away, but we will be there before you know it.

Our objective, as shared before, is to place players in an environment that suits them based on where they currently are in their development. The needs of every child involved in the program can change from year to year. This means there is a necessity to be thorough every year. We have a good process in place, although we will never state the process is perfect. There is a lot of data to go through. We take this very seriously and want to make the best decision possible for every child in the travel program. I lose a lot of sleep over decisions that need to be made, as I want to do what is best for all players.

I have been involved in youth soccer in New Jersey for almost 15 years and have seen the landscape change drastically. Some of the changes that have occurred in youth soccer have probably also taken place in other sports. And I would argue that most of the changes that have occurred have not made the environment much better. However, this environment has evolved over time into what it is right now because of what people ask for. In short, we are a lot less patient and need things right now; we need to always be on the best team; most coaches have turned in to salespeople or recruiters (instead of being actual teachers of the game) and there is always a place where it is better (is that actually true?).

For many children and their parents this has created a lot of stress and anxiety. We want the best for our children, we always do, but struggle to work out what that means. Personally, I would say that someone needs to be placed in an environment in which they are given a chance to truly love playing; an environment in which a child can grow and develop at a pace that suits each of them; learn the many valuable life lessons that can be learned from playing the sport and play with friends and/or develop new friendships.

I highly recommend listening to the below podcast by John O’Sullivan and Jerry Lynch from the Way of Champions podcast. They provide some particularly good insight on how to move through the process without losing sight of what is important.  I will share 1 quote from the podcast that I find worth sharing:

“You can prepare your child for the path or prepare the path for your child”.

https://wayofchampions.libsyn.com/220-surviving-and-thriving-during-tryout-season-with-john-osullivan-and-jerry-lynch

Lastly, I would like to add that we are always willing to have a conversation with parents who have questions, concerns or need to gain a better understanding of the process. These are often better had over the phone, then via lengthy email exchanges.

Be well.