School Sports vs. Club Sports
In the battle of school sports vs. club sports, I say surrender. Let kids do both if you can and if it makes sense for your child and your family. Burnout (9-signed your child is struggling with burnout) is for real and playing MORE soccer or whatever their sport is, might not be the best decision for your child at that time. But if it does makes sense, it can be a great experience.
These days club reigns supreme, especially in soccer. But if you are on the fence, like I was, about whether or not to allow your child to play for their school, I am now a firm believer that they should!
At the time it seemed impossible to fathom how we could fit anymore practices or games into our three very busy children’s schedules. Adding more soccer to an already busy club season seemed a little excessive. But my middle daughter insisted we let her tryout for soccer at school. She and two of her buddies made the 6-8th grade team and it was one of the best experiences she’s ever had.
I should also note, we are fortunate to have an amazing club coach who supported his team playing school sports and told the kids to choose their middle school soccer game over their club practices when they overlapped.
7 benefits of playing on both the school and club sports team
1. SKILLS/ENDURANCE INCREASED: Kids played soccer twice as much for almost two months, so their skills noticeably improved and they had more endurance.
2. CONFIDENCE BOOST: For my 6th grader and her friends, making a team that included good 7th and 8th grade players was not an easy feat.
3. PLAYING NEW POSITIONS: They were able to try positions they don’t typically get to play on their club team.
4. INCREASED PHYSICALITY: They had to play against a lot of 8th graders, which increased their mental and physical toughness and now the bigger and stronger girls their own age don’t seem very big or strong.
5. PRIDE OF SCHOOL: It becomes a more personal event when your classmates and peers can watch you play and you get to experience something along with them that you’re passionate about.
6. NEW FRIENDSHIPS: Playing with older or younger girls created bonds and friendships with different kids from their school that they otherwise wouldn’t have gotten.
7. MENTORS: For my 6th grader, one of the best experiences was getting to know the older players. They were supportive and kind and became great role models and mentors to my daughter and her friends. Something I hope she will do for the younger players next year.