Saturday, April 22, 2006

Competitive Soccer

Jean-Alexandre has been playing for quite some time in the recreative league and just recently one of his former coaches wanted him to play for a competitive team. The thing is, it is a club from the next county over. The Club in our county is the Celtix. The other one is the Attak. It works by region apparently. You are supposed to try out for the club in your own region. Except that the Attak is level A and the Celtix is level AA (a level higher). We were trying to get Jean-Alexandre to try out for the Celtix anyway, so his coach said let him try out, if he makes it, let him stay there, it's a higher level, it'll be even better for him, if not then they won't have any reason not to sign the lease letting him go play in a different club. (Apparently the whole thing is all very political, and it wasn't all that politically correct for the coach of the U12 Attak team to even approach Jean-Alexandre, but I'm glad he did anyway.)

So today was the end of the evaluation for plays wanting to try out for the 12 year old Celtix team. There were five of them and I think none of them made it. That is fine for Jean-Alexandre. He didn't want to play for them anyway, he prefered to play for the Attak. Now they won't have any reason not to let him go.

But what really got me at the end of the practice, is that the coach told him that he should keep playing in the recreative league (he had no idea that the Attak wanted him, so figured he'd still be playing in the recreative league) and just work at getting better there, and that sometimes, when they needed a player, they went and got them out of the recreative league.

Excuse me, he may have been trying to let him down easily, so he wouldn't be too discouraged, but that is just bulls**t. Jean-Alexandre has been playing year-round in the recreative league for three years now, winter, summer and fall. He is one of the best players in the recreative league. His coaches keep telling us so. Heck, even the guy who is making up the teams for this year's summer program called us up, because he'd heard that Jean-Alexandre was trying out for the Celtix, and he wanted to know how that was going because (he said it, we didn't) Jean-Alexandre was one of the better players and he needed to know if he was playing or not, so he could make the teams as equal as possible (not have too many good players on one team). So if he's been playing all this time and he's already one of the best players, but he's still not good enough for the Celtix, do they REALLY think we believe that someday they just might fish him out of the recreative league once he gets good enough? Come on, we're not that stupid. You only get better by playing against people who are better than you. There is not much room left in the recreative league for Jean-Alexandre to get better. If he is not good enough now, it is not by playing in the recreative league that he will get better. Every year, the difference between the competitive team and the recreative one is going to be GREATER, not lesser. Every year that goes by is going to make it HARDER for Jean-Alexandre to make it in the Celtix. It's already too late for him. They're never going to come and get him, not unless they have no other choice. They'd have to lose a heck of a lot of players before they finally started looking at the recreative league for replacement. The thing is, right now, it would probably only take the boys a few months of practice to catch up. But they have enough players, and they aren't interested in taking on new ones that they'll have to break in. The son of another of Jean-Alexandre's previous coaches was also trying and said coach didn't think they had much of a chance because the team was already pretty much made up, they didn't NEED new players.

I don't care so much that he didn't make it. He's going to play for the Attak anyway, in a more competitive league, so he'll get a chance to better himself. If he ever wants to try out for the Celtix again (or for a different AA team), he'd probably have a much better chance than if he stayed in the recreative league. But it just irks me that the coach for the U12 Celtix team would say something stupid like that and expect us to believe it.