School Sports vs. Club Sports

Asia Mape
In Learn, Soccer
By Asia Mape | February 17, 2017

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!

Can Your Child Not Play Club And Still Succeed?

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.

More: The latest Trend in Soccer Training


  1. Question for those out there. My daughter plays for a comp club volleyball team. She attends a private HS, 9th grade who are not good in volleyball. She made varsity as the starting setter but is having a hard time playing with girls that don’t take it seriously and do not have the skills. She is thinking of quitting the team. They have been in season for 2 weeks. Any advice on guiding her on this decision?

    • Thanks Kevin. I’m going to put your question on our Facebook page. We will get more input there. Let me know if you aren’t on Facebook and I’ll copy and paste the answers for you. Sorry, that is a tough one. My gut is to stick it out. She will make friends that she will be with for four years and possibly try new positions etc since it’s not a competitive 😊

    • Kevin,
      We received a lot of feedback on Facebook. Let me know if you are able to access those and if not, I will copy and paste them for you.

    • Kevin,

      My daughter plays basketball for a small private high school. Her goal is to play college basketball. After two seasons with her school team, she decided to focus on club. The challenge was that her high school team didn’t do much conditioning or skill work. So as we approached the club season, we would have to do a lot of work to get her back in shape and be ready to play at a high level. Also, the size, the speed and the skill level she has to compete against at the club level required a different level of training or competition level her high school team can’t provide. Most college coaches aren’t going to high school games; they are going to viewing tournaments. They have limited travel budgets and they’d rather go to a viewing tournament with hundreds of athletes versus a high school game to see one athlete.

  2. I love all of the articles you post on this site. Sometimes I will read one and say, “That is exactly what I am thinking (or feeling)!” It’s great to know that other parents experience some of the same tensions of youth sports that I do. It’s also great to learn how some have resolved the tensions.

    • Greg,
      Thank you so very much! We love getting feedback and we are so glad to hear that we are helping to make a difference!
      Asia and Alex


Leave a Comment.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.