So we had our club try-outs last week and were glad to have had so many girls come out and try out for a spot. We are fielding teams at each age group from u13 to u18. One of the hardest aspects of try outs is that as a coach, you have only two nights to look at players who are there for a variety of reasons from wanting to work on their personal game to the social component of the team, and you are trying to make decisions of who will best fit the team dynamic you are hoping to create. This means inevitably, some one si going to get cut or not make the team which can lead to disappointment, hurt and frustration.
As I was leaving the 1st night, I overheard a parent make a comment to the effect that they would not want to be in any of the coaches shoes (we had a large number of new players challenging for positions) when it came to dealing with the cut players, but that was one of the things we were paid for. Her comment sparked a train of thought that I has been on my mind for the past few days.
So yes, most club and high school coaches receive a small (very small) stipend for coaching. Can we say we are paid, yes, is it commiserate to the job we perform, the answer to that lies with you, our clients. Do you come back season after season because you are satisfied with the investment in your players development, or is it because there are no other choices available for you? I would hope it is the former and not the latter.
In the past when I have asked players to come and try out for our club soccer team, I have had the question posed to me asking how much was I willing to pay to have them come out. In trying to be realistic in my answer, I sat down and did some basic math to come up with my answer for parents coming from this point of view.
In a typical club season, we will do team training sessions twice a week for about 16-18 weeks, we also do SAQ sessions once a week for 15 weeks to be in-game condition, then of course, we have the games themselves. So, let’s see how this adds up:
Administration and planning: 20 hrs
Training sessions: 32 sessions @ 2 hrs each = 64 hrs
SAQ sessions: 16 sessions @ 2 hrs each= 32 hrs
Season games: 10 x 2 1/2 hrs = 30 hours
Tournaments: at least 2 with 4 games each: let’s just call it another 45 hrs
By my math (and this is extremely conservative), we have spent 191 hrs in our pursuit of helping our players develop into the players they wish to be. So, the question remains, how much am I willing to invest in my players development? At my current salary as a professional, I can tell you that the time represented above is in excess of $6700.00. If we divide this by our roster of 18, we could tell that parent that I will put in $375 towards that players development this season.
So, I have yet to meet a coach that coaches for the stipend they receive. Their dedication to the youth that they work for goes far beyond any tangible compensation they might get. And yes, coaches come in all shapes, sizes and personalities, but at the core of each beats a heart driven by a desire to help a child achieve something that will have merit for them in their lives beyond the pitch.
just my 2 cents worth for what its worth today….
till I see you on the pitch.