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Author Topic: Four Four Two: Parents rightfully demanding more from inconsistent youth soccer  (Read 3372 times)

sounderfan

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https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/features/us-soccer-youth-player-development-parents-understand

Parents rightfully demanding more from inconsistent youth soccer experience

Youth soccer is losing players – down from 11.2 million in 2011 to 8.9 million in 2015, according to Project Play.
Not coincidentally, parents are getting smarter every year. The ignorant parents telling the coach to just let their little Mia Hamm kick the ball hard make for great YouTube satire, but their numbers are shrinking.


Just posting for conversation...

Squash

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https://www.fourfourtwo.com/us/features/us-soccer-youth-player-development-parents-understand

Parents rightfully demanding more from inconsistent youth soccer experience

Youth soccer is losing players – down from 11.2 million in 2011 to 8.9 million in 2015, according to Project Play.
Not coincidentally, parents are getting smarter every year. The ignorant parents telling the coach to just let their little Mia Hamm kick the ball hard make for great YouTube satire, but their numbers are shrinking.


Just posting for conversation...

$$$$$ is why it's shrinking ......pure and simple. It costs too much

Tacoma Soccer Dad

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Great article.  Thanks for sharing.

Loved this part: "Parents also may question why travel soccer is getting to be less about “soccer” and more about “travel.” Clubs have splintered long-standing regional leagues into competing “elite” leagues that leave clubs driving past each other every week. The “elite” leagues may look good on paper, but they look less appetizing on a map."

Also, the points about birth year and DA vs. high school were great.
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tripleplay

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Soccer officialdom is obsessed with BS like "development". It applauds small clubs with a few players who win things. Growth occurs when the goal is providing a fun experience, good competition and high participation. The mindset of people posting here is the perfect example of what is wrong with soccer. As long as their kid has a spot, they don't give a crap whether soccer is growing or shrinking. Per school high school participation drops 10% in a year, no problem. Attitudes like that are cancer.

Cost is way down the list in terms of importance. Most people understand that there is no free lunch. You pay big time to lower the cost of soccer too much.
« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 08:17:31 AM by tripleplay »
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ForTheKids

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Soccer officialdom is obsessed with BS like "development". It applauds small clubs with a few players who win things. Growth occurs when the goal is providing a fun experience, good competition and high participation. The mindset of people posting here is the perfect example of what is wrong with soccer. As long as their kid has a spot, they don't give a crap whether soccer is growing or shrinking. Per school high school participation drops 10% in a year, no problem. Attitudes like that are cancer.

Cost is way down the list in terms of importance. Most people understand that there is no free lunch. You pay big time to lower the cost of soccer too much.

Cost ... and the resulting pay-to-play .... is in fact the biggest killer of the youth game's potential.  For the majority of cases, kids are sorted based upon ability to pay. Don't say it ain't so.  It is factually true.  This creates a false narrative in the minds of the parents and players, and to a lesser degree the coaches. The narrative being we are the best.  The consequences is an entitlement mindset versus a growth mindset.  Kids then opt out of matches and trainings at an 'elite' level to do other things and the upward pressure for others to secure those spots is suppressed because its so damn expensive the average family does not have the $5K-$7K to throw at this stuff.

It is not that more complicated.

Entitlement. Complacency.  Atrophy.









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kitsapdad

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The birth year change hit my DD hard.  She's a fall birthday, so got bumped from U12 to U14 this year.  So not only is she playing with girls who are now much bigger than she is (she played against an outside back this week who was about 8" and probably twice her weight), but 75% of the girls she plays against now have an extra year of experience on her also if they all started club soccer at the U10 age.  US soccer wanted to increase the likelihood of finding the next US national team member - so why did they mandate that the age changes go into effect for older kids? I know my daughter isn't ever going to be national team level.  Now we're just in the position of hoping her attitude toward soccer stays positive until her size can catch up.

Not mentioned in the article is that as parents get more "knowledgeable" about soccer, they also become more opinionated.  They think they know what a coach should do, and get mad when the coach doesn't fulfill their expectations.  I fall into this more often than I should.  Thankfully, a good friend is an experienced coach, and he tells me why I'm wrong or tells me I'm right, but for completely different reasons.

They do it for the right reasons - most people want their child to succeed.  Some are living vicariously through their children.  Regardless of the reasons, most parents have a hard time seeing flaws when it comes to their own child when compared to other kids on the team.  I wonder how many of the kids who drop out of soccer as they get older do so because of overzealous parents who put too much pressure on them?
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bebu

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Birth year change happens to cause negative effect on your DD but you have to understand that under any system, some kids are disadvantaged compared to others. In the old system, kids born in July suffered the most. In the new system, kids born in Dec suffer the most. Your DD used to play against kids who are up to 1 year younger. Now she plays against kids who could be almost 1 year older. If she finds it hard in her current level, she can learn ways to compensate for her physical disadvantage (quicker decision making, better positioning) and/or drop down a level (from A team to B team for example) and wait to catch up on the physical side.

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stusm

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Birth year change happens to cause negative effect on your DD but you have to understand that under any system, some kids are disadvantaged compared to others. In the old system, kids born in July suffered the most. In the new system, kids born in Dec suffer the most. Your DD used to play against kids who are up to 1 year younger. Now she plays against kids who could be almost 1 year older. If she finds it hard in her current level, she can learn ways to compensate for her physical disadvantage (quicker decision making, better positioning) and/or drop down a level (from A team to B team for example) and wait to catch up on the physical side.
I agree with BEBU, someone has to be the youngest in yhe team, regardless of the way it's structured. My DK has a march Birthday and he "benefitted" from the change, however he has played up most of the time,except for one season. He is playing up now.
I think the biggest reason for the decline is cost. I know clubs offer scholarships but they can only do so much.


Pay to play mostly benefits those who have the means to pay. People should stop by a Sounders academy practice and see the cars that most kids get dropped off from.
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EagleclawFootballAcademy

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I know clubs offer scholarships but they can only do so much.


It's true.  Clubs can only do so much.  But some clubs do much, much more in the way of scholarships than others.  I'm not aware of any club in the Seattle area (or Washington, for that matter) offering 32 full year training/playing scholarships.  Eagleclaw is trying its best. But its hard. At the end of the day, it costs money, a lot of money, to pay for quality coaches, equipment, fields, league fees, US Youth/US Club fees and, most importantly...employment taxes, unemployment insurance premiums and worker's compensation premiums.  So any club wanting to make a dent in pay-to-play must either reduce wages and expenses, possibly lowering the quality of training programs, or rely on charitable contributions which are hard to come by for youth soccer.  But the most outrageous part of all of this is that the clubs who charge and rake in the most money from players are not paying their fair share of taxes, giving them an extremely unfair advantage.

There are many, many clubs in Washington state who treat their coaches as independent contractors, when the law would likely say the coaches are misclassified and they are employees.  This storm started on the East Coast and will soon be here.  Click here


Some clubs are writing contracts with coaches stating that the coach has the sole discretion to decide the content of what is taught to players.  If that's true, then every coach at a club can teach what they want.  But that can't be true if the club's website or directors tell parents that players are taught according to a club mandated curriculum.  So which is it?  Either they have a curriculum and are breaking the law by not paying employment taxes and premiums, or they don't have a curriculum and the coaches are free to teach whatever they choose under the umbrella of the club.


Some local clubs who treat coaches as independent contractors even state on their website that they give their coaches training session plans and expect them to follow them.


In the end, we find that the clubs who do the least to chip away at pay-to-play and provide the least amount of financial aid, are the ones who skirt the law and pay the least in taxes.


« Last Edit: April 25, 2017, 02:37:56 PM by EagleclawFootballAcademy »
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kitsapdad

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Birth year change happens to cause negative effect on your DD but you have to understand that under any system, some kids are disadvantaged compared to others. In the old system, kids born in July suffered the most. In the new system, kids born in Dec suffer the most. Your DD used to play against kids who are up to 1 year younger. Now she plays against kids who could be almost 1 year older. If she finds it hard in her current level, she can learn ways to compensate for her physical disadvantage (quicker decision making, better positioning) and/or drop down a level (from A team to B team for example) and wait to catch up on the physical side.

I agree in part - part of it is due to the fact that before she was 3 months past the deadline - now she's 11 months past it and is the youngest on her team.   But she's adapted to playing the older girls.  If it had changed when she started playing club soccer with a bunch of other new kids at U10, it wouldn't have been as big an issue.  The biggest issue with mandating a change like this to older age groups was 1) it broke up teams that had bonded and played together for a while, for no apparent benefit, and 2) my DD is now, in effect, playing up (if they hadn't made the change, the team she's on now is primarily spring/summer birthdays).  She had her U10, U11, and U12 seasons with the club.  The Jan-Jul birthdays had U10, U11, U12, and U13 seasons.

I know the birth year/school year debate has been hashed out a million times.  I definitely don't like it because of the negative effects it had with my DD while providing no tangible benefit to our program.

My DS will be dealing with it also, but at least he's just a kindergartner playing against first graders. He'll at least start playing competitive soccer at the same time as his peers, and will learn to play against boys a year older than him at the start.
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tripleplay

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At the end of the day, it costs money, a lot of money, to pay for quality coaches, equipment, fields, league fees, US Youth/US Club fees and, most importantly...employment taxes, unemployment insurance premiums and worker's compensation premiums.  So any club wanting to make a dent in pay-to-play must either reduce wages and expenses, possibly lowering the quality of training programs, or rely on charitable contributions which are hard to come by for youth soccer.  But the most outrageous part of all of this is that the clubs who charge and rake in the most money from players are not paying their fair share of taxes, giving them an extremely unfair advantage.

There are many, many clubs in Washington state who treat their coaches as independent contractors, when the law would likely say the coaches are misclassified and they are employees. 

This analysis is inaccurate. While Eagleclaw is correct that classifying coaches as independent contractors is incorrect, it is not accurate to say that this is an important handicap.

First, the payroll taxes (unemployment and workers comp) are insurance programs that pay out to covered employees. These obviously have value. If you don't like the details of the coverage (as many employers don't), it is possible to self-insure. Second, youth sports non-profits are mostly exempt from Washington's B&O excise tax. This exemption is not available to coaches acting as independent contractors (although some might be exempt if their gross receipts are too low). So, in general, being an employee gives you benefits (that your employer has to pay for) but saves you and your employer from paying taxes that don't get you anything.



« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 02:29:42 AM by tripleplay »
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EagleclawFootballAcademy

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...it is not accurate to say that this is an important handicap.


)

It is indeed a significant financial handicap if we comply and pay the taxes, while other clubs break the law.  The tax payments are substantial.

Because we treat our coaches as employees, we pay 7.65% payroll tax and the employee also pays 7.65%.  This goes to to cover FICA and FUTA

Clubs that treat coaches as independent contractors pay ZERO, and leave the coach to pay 15.3% as self-employment rate.  The coach also pays a self-employment tax when filing their annual income tax returns.

So, clubs like Eagleclaw face unfair competition from clubs who are breaking the law by treating coaches as independent contractors.  Clubs that misclassify coaches as independent contractors save an estimated 30% in payroll costs.  That is a very important handicap.

Assume a club pays a coach $1,300 per month for a team, and then gives the coach three teams for 10 months.  That translates to a gross income of $39,000 per year.  If the club treated the coach as an employee, they would pay $2,866.50 in payroll taxes for just that one coach.  Now consider all the teams and coaches in that club and you can see how the club is saving an enormous amount of money by breaking the law.  This also means the club can offer higher coaching compensation because it is shifting all of its tax obligations to the coach.  A club that complies with the law has to consider the "burden" of payroll taxes and unemployment compensation, workers compensation and other premiums that must be paid.  This kind of money is not chump change to a youth soccer club that complies with the law and is also focused on putting a dent in the pay-to-play model.

A 2013 report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration concluded that employers can save an approximate average of $3,710 per employee earning an annual income of $43,007 when they misclassify the employee as an independent contractor.

Think about it this way.  Eagleclaw complies with the law and awards 32 full year training scholarships.  Other clubs break the law, charge increasing annual fees and do very little to change the reality that high quality soccer training is mainly for affluent families. Perhaps this kind of information should be on the minds of parents when then choose a soccer program.  Perhaps they should ask the club whether their coaches are paid as employees or independent contractors.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 08:03:35 PM by EagleclawFootballAcademy »
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metz123

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More likely the customer doesn't give a hoot about your internal business concerns. My company and my profession makes internal business decisions all the time on where to invest resources and where to scale back. What we pay our employees and how we compensate them is not their concern. We never expose any of that to the customer for a couple of reasons.

1) They don't care. They buy product from us and expect us to make a quality product we stand behind. That's their level of concern with our business.

2) We don't use our internal decisions as excuses for failing to do the above. The fact that we used to have 30 people supporting the product and we decided to scale it down to 20 doesn't mean that we are allowed to make excuses for bad customer support.

3) We don't want them to know. If we started squawking about how the other guys aren't playing by the rules, the conversation with our customers changes from showing why they should stick with us to one where we bring competitors into the discussion.

The fact that other clubs "may" be breaking the law in how they compensate their coaches should have no bearing on your club. No one ever became successful whining about what the other guy was doing.
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tripleplay

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...it is not accurate to say that this is an important handicap.



It is indeed a significant financial handicap if we comply and pay the taxes, while other clubs break the law.  The tax payments are substantial.

Because we treat our coaches as employees, we pay 7.65% payroll tax and the employee also pays 7.65%.  This goes to to cover FICA and FUTA

Clubs that treat coaches as independent contractors pay ZERO, and leave the coach to pay 15.3% as self-employment rate.  The coach also pays a self-employment tax when filing their annual income tax returns.

So, clubs like Eagleclaw face unfair competition from clubs who are breaking the law by treating coaches as independent contractors.  Clubs that misclassify coaches as independent contractors save an estimated 30% in payroll costs.  That is a very important handicap.

Assume a club pays a coach $1,300 per month for a team, and then gives the coach three teams for 10 months.  That translates to a gross income of $39,000 per year.  If the club treated the coach as an employee, they would pay $2,866.50 in payroll taxes for just that one coach.  Now consider all the teams and coaches in that club and you can see how the club is saving an enormous amount of money by breaking the law.  This also means the club can offer higher coaching compensation because it is shifting all of its tax obligations to the coach.  A club that complies with the law has to consider the "burden" of payroll taxes and unemployment compensation, workers compensation and other premiums that must be paid.  This kind of money is not chump change to a youth soccer club that complies with the law and is also focused on putting a dent in the pay-to-play model.

A 2013 report from the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration concluded that employers can save an approximate average of $3,710 per employee earning an annual income of $43,007 when they misclassify the employee as an independent contractor.

Think about it this way.  Eagleclaw complies with the law and awards 32 full year training scholarships.  Other clubs break the law, charge increasing annual fees and do very change the reality that high quality soccer training is mainly for affluent families. Perhaps this kind of information should be on the minds of parents when then choose a soccer program.  Perhaps they should ask the club whether their coaches are paid as employees or independent contractors.
Your analysis went from partially right to almost completely wrong. The FICA tax collected is the same either way. An independent contractor knowing that he will have to pay half of it in one case and all of it in another should factor that in to his decision to take a job. Your original argument (about insurance) was partly right, but neglected the fact that the employee coach benefits from the coverage. And you still ignore the fact that non-profit soccer clubs have a sizeable tax advantage by being exempt from Washington excise tax, where an independent coach is not.

Speaking more generally, the Eagleclaw financial approach should be condemned. Basically, the club's goal is to attract good players (their bread and butter). Instead of building a better mousetrap, the approach is to find one set of players willing to subsidize another set. The problem is that the players who are recipients of these subsidies in general will have neither need nor merit. It's a crass attempt to exploit parental ignorance if you ask me.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 05:17:58 PM by tripleplay »
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ForTheKids

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Speaking more generally, the Eagleclaw financial approach should be condemned. Basically, the club's goal is to attract good players (their bread and butter). Instead of building a better mousetrap, the approach is to find one set of players willing to subsidize another set. The problem is that the players who are recipients of these subsidies in general will have neither need nor merit. It's a crass attempt to exploit parental ignorance if you ask me.

Money is used to entice players all the time at the elite levels. Players not requiring assistance get free.  Crossfire, one you laud regularly for performance nationally, uses money frequently to secure talent.  Just be consistent in your consternation. 
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EagleclawFootballAcademy

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Tripleplay: You may not understand how the scholarships being offered are funded.   At Eagleclaw, there is no circumstance, and there never has been,  where one set of players subsidizes another. These scholarships are available solely because of charitable contributions made to the Eagleclaw Foundation by a handful of generous donors who earmarked their contributions specifically for our Advanced Academy.

Our business model is quite simple. Develop players to the highest level of ability they desire, by providing the highest quality instruction to as many kids as possible, in the best environment possible, for as long as possible, while working to keep the cost as low as possible and paying our coaches  in a way that complies with the law.

And, respectfully, we believe we have built a better mousetrap and continue to work hard at it.
« Last Edit: April 26, 2017, 10:32:16 PM by EagleclawFootballAcademy »
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tripleplay

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Speaking more generally, the Eagleclaw financial approach should be condemned. Basically, the club's goal is to attract good players (their bread and butter). Instead of building a better mousetrap, the approach is to find one set of players willing to subsidize another set. The problem is that the players who are recipients of these subsidies in general will have neither need nor merit. It's a crass attempt to exploit parental ignorance if you ask me.

Money is used to entice players all the time at the elite levels. Players not requiring assistance get free.  Crossfire, one you laud regularly for performance nationally, uses money frequently to secure talent.  Just be consistent in your consternation.

Not saying that it is unique, but this example of "let's go buy a good team" is certainly bigger in scale than you usually find in youth sports.

If you care about participation (the original point of this thread) there is really only one concern - improving the quality of the experience by offering what kids want. This is the exact opposite of what adult soccer officialdom (like you) is doing - reducing options, adding restrictions, recklessly breaking up teams ... If you want to turn us into North Korea, don't be surprised when kids start  voting with their feet.

I am continually attacked for bringing up real world issues - let's offer real, meaningful like v like competition (instead of constructing mismatched leagues to benefit whining adults), let's offer kids real choices of teams and clubs (instead of forcing them into the clubs of the most politically astute adults), let's have refs who are fair and can see the game (instead of using reffing as a way of rewarding a politically preferred class of adults). But naturally nobody wants to acknowledge their own role in degrading the sport experience for youth.
« Last Edit: April 27, 2017, 07:12:36 AM by tripleplay »
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EagleclawFootballAcademy

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If you care about participation (the original point of this thread) there is really only one concern - improving the quality of the experience by offering what kids want. This is the exact opposite of what adult soccer officialdom (like you) is doing - reducing options, adding restrictions, recklessly breaking up teams ... If you want to turn us into North Korea, don't be surprised when kids start  voting with their feet.


Who is the "you" in this charge being leveled?
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tripleplay

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If you care about participation (the original point of this thread) there is really only one concern - improving the quality of the experience by offering what kids want. This is the exact opposite of what adult soccer officialdom (like you) is doing - reducing options, adding restrictions, recklessly breaking up teams ... If you want to turn us into North Korea, don't be surprised when kids start  voting with their feet.


Who is the "you" in this charge being leveled?
It was a response to FTK. Ideally though all adults in soccer should evaluate their behavior on these grounds, and am not suggesting that FTK should be singled out (though his fondness for North Korea should give one pause). He's just more vocal than most.
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All for One

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How many youth coaches are paid $1300 per month?
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mudge

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If you care about participation (the original point of this thread) there is really only one concern - improving the quality of the experience by offering what kids want. This is the exact opposite of what adult soccer officialdom (like you) is doing - reducing options, adding restrictions, recklessly breaking up teams ... If you want to turn us into North Korea, don't be surprised when kids start  voting with their feet.


Who is the "you" in this charge being leveled?
It was a response to FTK. Ideally though all adults in soccer should evaluate their behavior on these grounds, and am not suggesting that FTK should be singled out (though his fondness for North Korea should give one pause). He's just more vocal than most.

When you put in one tenth of the volunteer time that FTK has presumably contributed, you might possibly have standing to criticize. :-[
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D@dof442

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Cost is way down the list in terms of importance. Most people understand that there is no free lunch. You pay big time to lower the cost of soccer too much.


As a parent the "Cost of $occer" is a major factor for our family and others that I have talked too.  I understand it costs to hire coaches, field rentals, equipment, etc. we get it.  However; I have to weigh what we can afford and hope/pray it aligns with my sons desire and ability to play/develop.  For now we have moved from rec teams w/parent coaches to select/PSPL paid coaches. I believe he has talent to continue to develop and grow; unfortunately in the not so distant future he may have to go back to a lower cost of soccer regardless of his ability & desire to play at a higher level.
 
This is just a fact, you have to pay to play sports, and as the article mentions its widely inconsistent...
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EagleclawFootballAcademy

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How many youth coaches are paid $1300 per month?

Most of the club contracts we've had a chance to review offer between $1,100 - $1,300 per month per team, with varying levels of requirements for weekly practices, games, tournaments, mandatory meetings, optional meetings, required reports, etc.
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All for One

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How many youth coaches are paid $1300 per month?

Most of the club contracts we've had a chance to review offer between $1,100 - $1,300 per month per team, with varying levels of requirements for weekly practices, games, tournaments, mandatory meetings, optional meetings, required reports, etc.

Interesting. I know a lot of coaches in the Portland/Vancouver area that get paid that amount per year, not per month! And some of these are coaching "A" teams at the RCL club.

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raddad

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sounders development academy discovery program is free, they take 20 kids a year. also the eagleclaw scholarship opportunity mentioned earlier. there are more and more avenues for highly skilled players to get their freight paid.

As a parent the "Cost of $occer" is a major factor for our family and others that I have talked too.  I understand it costs to hire coaches, field rentals, equipment, etc. we get it.  However; I have to weigh what we can afford and hope/pray it aligns with my sons desire and ability to play/develop.  For now we have moved from rec teams w/parent coaches to select/PSPL paid coaches. I believe he has talent to continue to develop and grow; unfortunately in the not so distant future he may have to go back to a lower cost of soccer regardless of his ability & desire to play at a higher level.
 
This is just a fact, you have to pay to play sports, and as the article mentions its widely inconsistent...
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EagleclawFootballAcademy

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Here's an example of the payment schedule from the contract of a Seattle area club attempting an independent contractor relationship.  Our sense is that this is where the prevailing market compensation rate stands in that type of deal structure.  Its different in the employee context where the compensation is an hourly model.

Total annual compensation:  $11,150
July 2017 $350
Aug 2017 $1200
Sept 2017 $1200
Oct 2017 $1200
Nov 2017 $1200
Dec 2017 $1200
Jan 2018 $1200
Feb 2018 $1200
Mar 2018 $1200
Apr 2018 $1200
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ForTheKids

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It was a response to FTK. Ideally though all adults in soccer should evaluate their behavior on these grounds, and am not suggesting that FTK should be singled out (though his fondness for North Korea should give one pause).

I needed a laugh today. Thank you TP, that's pretty funny.  I now know you serve a purpose.
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tripleplay

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Cost is way down the list in terms of importance. Most people understand that there is no free lunch. You pay big time to lower the cost of soccer too much.


As a parent the "Cost of $occer" is a major factor for our family and others that I have talked too.  I understand it costs to hire coaches, field rentals, equipment, etc. we get it.  However; I have to weigh what we can afford and hope/pray it aligns with my sons desire and ability to play/develop.  For now we have moved from rec teams w/parent coaches to select/PSPL paid coaches. I believe he has talent to continue to develop and grow; unfortunately in the not so distant future he may have to go back to a lower cost of soccer regardless of his ability & desire to play at a higher level.
 
This is just a fact, you have to pay to play sports, and as the article mentions its widely inconsistent...
Whatever the price level, there will be people who find it a struggle. One kid's parents have a 7-figure income. A teammate's family struggles to make the $400 team fee (coach is a volunteer but there are still team entry fees at tourneys) Welcome to America (or Seattle metro for the higher income example).

The point is that it doesn't make sense to cater to either financial extreme when designing the system. Coaching is one of the first things you should spend money on, just after basic organizational things like fields and equipment. What drives the cost much higher is lots of travel to bogus events organized by adults for the benefit of adults.

Free-coaching will not grow soccer. Not saying I am against it, or that it doesn't have a place, just that it isn't relevant to growth.
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ForTheKids

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What drives the cost much higher is lots of travel to bogus events organized by adults for the benefit of adults.

Please explain.  What adults are benefiting from the bogus events. I'm not arguing against the point but I'm interested to know who you think is benefiting. I check the flight manifests and it is a coach, a team manager (usual reluctantly traveling), one or two parents per team that may have family/friends in the area, and a platoon of kids.  Which adults are benefiting from the travel again?
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tripleplay

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What drives the cost much higher is lots of travel to bogus events organized by adults for the benefit of adults.

Please explain.  What adults are benefiting from the bogus events. I'm not arguing against the point but I'm interested to know who you think is benefiting. I check the flight manifests and it is a coach, a team manager (usual reluctantly traveling), one or two parents per team that may have family/friends in the area, and a platoon of kids.  Which adults are benefiting from the travel again?
The "benefit" is being connected to an allegedly "prestigious" event. That helps recruiting, makes the teams better, and therefore "benefits" the entire affiliated adult establishment.

What is interesting is that many of the top local premier clubs aggressively compete to be the most expensive. It's common sense. People value things that cost more. Being the most expensive is a status symbol.
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