Top 8 Things to Think About When Considering Competitive Soccer for your Child or Youth
As your children and youth get older, you may be trying to decide between recreational soccer or competitive soccer for the upcoming season. It’s always good to be informed to help determine the best fit for your child and family.
1. What are the guiding principles of the soccer club?
The focus of the Murfreesboro Soccer Club (MSC), in existence as a non-profit organization since 1977, is the development of each individual player. MSC maximizes the development of the individual through programming that challenges each player and a coaching staff that adheres to the highest standards. MSC is resolute in dedicating its time and resources to the technical, tactical, physical and psychological aspects of playing soccer. Murfreesboro Soccer Club is an affiliate member club of Tennessee State Soccer and U.S. Youth Soccer. MSC also is an academy partner club of the Wolverhampton Wanderers (Wolves) out of England. This partnership through Global Image Sports (GIS) allows our players to participate in GIS tours, camps and coaching from a pool of world-class coaches.
MSC offers two primary programs:
***Recreational (ages 4 through 19), focusing on helping players learn the game of soccer in a fun and stimulating environment to be the best soccer players they can be; and
***Select (ages 8 through 19), focusing on helping players master higher level technical skills and fundamentals with a rigorous fall and spring schedule.
MSC’s beliefs: The pursuit of excellence in the areas of academics and soccer helps develop maturity and self-confidence in young people. The experiences a player has with MSC will be beneficial throughout his or her lifetime.
MSC’s approach and commitment to the soccer community: MSC staff and volunteers work hard to develop each and every player to his or her highest potential. This means that as players grow and learn new skills, they will have different opportunities to practice together and play in games and tournaments. MSC constantly assesses each player’s skill levels and adjusts each player’s opportunities in an engaging, supportive, instructive environment. “Uniting our community by creating a passion for soccer”.
2. What is the coaching philosophy of the competitive program?
MSC’s competitive program is based on a developmental model and is designed for players who want professional coaching, a more competitive environment and are committed to a longer season and area travel. The program and philosophy aligns with U.S. Youth Soccer guidelines, which means these guidelines facilitate intra-state, inter-state and international play. As a member of U.S. Youth Soccer, we provide a fun, safe and healthy game for all kids. This includes big kids, little kids, tall kids, short kids, young kids, older kids, kids who want to play for one season, kids who want to play for a lifetime, kids who play strictly for fun, and kids who want to compete at the highest level possible. Kids are different, and because they are different, their physical, social and psychological needs are different. We at U.S. Youth Soccer recognize this, and our programs are aimed at meeting the different needs of all kids. Many of our youth players continue to play with MSC in our Adult league.
For the player with advanced skills and greater ambition, highly competitive leagues are offered. This player might have his or her sights set on a college soccer scholarship or playing for the U. S. Olympic or National teams.
3. Who is the coach of the team your child or youth will be playing on? What is his or her background?
While the strength and reputation of the overall program is heavily influenced by its volunteer leadership, staff, history, and set of standards and practices established over time, your child’s or youth’s coach is the primary influence at practices and games.
Soccer coaches are required to be licensed to coach. What are your coach’s credentials and background? Having this information gives you insight into the coach’s experience and track record.
What kinds of coaching leaders are involved with the club? MSC employs a professional Director of Coaching and a professional Assistant Director of Coaching, who plan the season and curriculum, train and supervise the individual coaches, and organize and provide training for all coaches and players. Our coaches have several years of experience and many also coach at the high school level.
4. What are the safety procedures of the competitive program?
To help keep our children and youth safe, all coaches---volunteer or professional---are background-checked and have completed the concussion and sudden cardiac arrest training.
5. What do the fees include? What is not included? Are scholarships available?
Competitive program (Strikers) fees include registration fees for MSC and Tennessee State Soccer, MSC coaching fees, and technical sessions as well as goalkeeping sessions. Being a member club of Tennessee State Soccer provides all players with secondary insurance in case of injury.
Fees do not include out of town travel, meals and accommodations. There are also team fees that cover referee fees, tournament fee, indoor practice field rental and other miscellaneous items. Uniforms are not included. All MSC Striker teams are required to wear the club Under Armour uniform.
Recreational program fees include registration fees for MSC and Tennessee State Soccer, jersey and socks, and referee fees. Tennessee State Soccer provides all players with secondary insurance in case of injury.
Need based scholarships are available for both programs.
6. What is the time commitment of the competitive program?
MSC’s competitive program is offered year-round, from July 1 through June 30.
The fall season lasts approximately four months, August through November. The spring season runs from March through May. Each team generally has two practices per week for approximately 1.5 hours per practice, and schedules one to two games per week. Games are usually on Saturdays or Sundays. Technical and goalkeeping sessions are also available for those needing or wanting more practice.
MSC’s competitive teams generally play teams in the local Middle Tennessee area. Teams participating in state league play may travel to Memphis or Knoxville.
In addition, competitive teams generally participate in three to four tournaments per season. Some of these can be local tournaments (within Middle Tennessee) or some may be out of town travel where overnight stay is required. Generally speaking, most out of town travel is within a four-hour radius.
7. What are the club’s volunteer expectations of the parents?
Murfreesboro Soccer Club uses our tournaments and other events as fundraisers to help defer some of the costs associated with competitive soccer. We cannot participate in these events without the help of volunteers. All MSC families are expected to volunteer for four shifts per player for each full season of registered commitment. Two shifts of volunteer service must be completed by December 15 with the remaining two shifts to be completed by June 1. Shifts are usually 2-3 hours.
8. Are parents required to sign a contract? What does the contract entail?
The competitive program participants (Strikers) are required to sign a commitment letter. This commits the player to Murfreesboro Soccer Club for the seasonal year (July 1-June 30). This commitment letter is a standard form that is required by Tennessee State Soccer.
There is no contract or commitment letter for the recreational program.