I have been an assistant coach for the last couple of years for my son's soccer team. Last year, he played in the select league and we had a pretty terrible year from a record standpoint. We went 1-15-3 for the Fall and Spring seasons. We were very competitive but lost so many games by 1 goal. Quite honestly, our problem was that of the 11 players we picked coming out of tryouts, we lost 4 to travel teams during the season. Two of the players never played a game for us. Then we lost 1 after two games, and then we lost another to travel at the start of the Spring season.
If you take 4 of your better players off of any team it will be a struggle. This year, I am taking over as head coach. I am implementing a more disciplined system and laying out my very high expectations early. We will still have a lot of fun - I do think that is the most important thing in youth soccer - but I also want to win (it does make it more fun).
I wrapped up a pretty good summer soccer session. We ended up 2-3-1, but I only had 5 of the 11 players on my team who are on my select team (there was one more select player assigned to my team). The rest of my players were recreational (less talented) players. We were playing teams that were 100% select and/or travel players, so I constantly felt like we were playing 6 vs. 4 on the field. We ended up winning our last two games and I really felt we gelled nicely. Hopefully this will carry over into the regular season as we add more talent to our team with our regulars.
My select team has 5 new players - all of whom are talented. I can't wait to see what happens next week as we play in a tournament against the other 7 select teams. For the upcoming season, I fully expect to have a winning record overall, and know we will be very competitive against everyone. There won't be a game we play this season that I feel we will be a clear underdog in - that will be a nice change.