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Being a soccer parent is tough

Written By: Terry Foster | August 29, 2011

Filed Under: Family, sports

The family is a little drained now. The kids are sleeping later and going to bed earlier.

We are suffering from soccer fatigue and it won’t be letting up any time soon now. My daughter Celine plays for the Bloomfield Hills Force U-13 team and we got home Sunday night around 10 p.m. from her second straight weekend of soccer. Last weekend her team won a soccer tournament in Ft. Wayne, Ind. Last weekend they tied for second at the Grand Rapids Crew tournament with a 2-1-1 record and this weekend we finally get a break.

Celine is still playing in a soccer tournament but at least it will be home during the Force Invitational in Oakland County.

Kids sports is draining and becoming more grueling and sophisticated. The teams use these tournaments to make teams better and give players experience. And the clubs and towns use them to make money. I know we were good for the Grand Rapids economy because we ate out several times and spent our money in food, hotel and snacks.

This stuff is big business and we are at ground zero. She loves soccer and she loves her team so it looks like we are in it for the long haul. But it is so much different than when I was growing up. We got balls and bats and entire neighborhoods walked to the neighborhood park or playground to play baseball and football.

We also played football in the street. We shot hoops in the alley and played strike ‘em out on the back of a building. There is no way our kids would do that. They wouldn’t even think about it.

Instead they join organized teams now that cost big money. I feel like I am following the Pistons or Red Wings when I travel with Celine. We have one weekend coming up where she plays a night game in Bloomfield Field Hills and a morning game in Grand Rapids the next day.

I know it is the same in travel hockey, baseball, softball and basketball.

Whatever happened to the good ol’ days of walking to the park for a free game of baseball or soccer?


5 Responses to “Being a soccer parent is tough”

  1. Dave Says:


    I feel your pain! My 9yr old daughter puts us in the same boat as your family. By the time Sept. 12th rolls around, she will have played 4 tournaments in 6 weeks! Then we get to start the regular season! Like your daughter, mine just loves the game. A long haul, yes, but one I plan to enjoy until I can no longer take it or the wheels fall off the car! Still…

    I do miss the days of old that you mentioned. Wouldn’t it be fun to get the old gang back together for one more game of “strike ‘em out” up at the schoolyard – and have our kids watch!!

    Take care and enjoy all the running around!


  2. Tom Says:

    I can’t agree more. I’m a former youth hockey and soccer coach. The politics and pressure parents put on the young people is unbelievable. I will never forget the comment made by an older brother of one of my son’s teammates who had played AAA hockey for years, “I will not have my kids play hockey”. Adults have ruined the fun of sports for a lot of kids today!


  3. Mike from Downriver Says:

    I hear ya, T! Bowling Green, Ohio had their fall tourney this weekend at BGSU and it was flooded with teams. People talk about kid’s not coming out of the house to play like we did, but I didn’t play near as much baseball as my daughter plays soccer. We’re wore out today, but seeing those girls form friendships and watching how much they enjoy playing together and learning the game is well worth my money and time.


  4. anthony Says:

    Its all about the money! Its a business for the club.I guarantee you 99% of all coaches don’t know what the hell they are doing.Pay close attention when they are training. Parents don’t know any better. Get your daughter out of there within 2 years you will burn here out and she will lose the passion for the game.


    • Terry Foster Says:

      I do think the coach Celine has knows what he is doing. He played professional soccer in England and the United States and has really helped her skills. And the team is a lot better than I thought it would be. She loves the game and wants to compete and play at a high level. I am not pulling her out unless she wants to be pulled out.


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