Why I never make the top team

He is the scenario:

You struggle to make the “TOP TEAM” in your club no matter how hard you try or how long you train. You are not the most athletic player at your club, but you work hard and never seem to make it to the next level.

If this describes you, you are one of thousands of disappointed parents, goalkeepers, and field players who have worked for years and yet haven’t made the “top” squad!! WHY?

Here is the sad news:

Unfortunately, in many situations, it boils down to which coach you know and which club is prepared to spend time DEVELOPING YOU. Developing should be a priority at every club in the country, but clubs are typically more concerned with records and image.

However, decent, athletic, and prepared athletes will always be given first priority in top teams, which account for only about 10% of the total club. Yet what about the other 90% of athletes that want to make the top squad yet only 2-3 teams are truly elite but on 20 players make the top team out of 2,000+ more kids in a club?

Let’s be clear about how things are done:

This does not apply to every club, but it is the general rule. When tryouts begin, youth club coaches frequently already know or have pre-selected who they want on their teams; even before the kids arrive at tryouts, they have known or have seen them play before. So when the new youngster arrives to tryouts, he or she is essentially auditioning for the lower teams. Unless you are a truly excellent player or goalkeeper, you will be treated differently.

I decided to interview several youth club coaches who’ve been around the youth club system for many years, and I’ve also spoken to hundreds of parents from the area who are dying to have their kids in a higher team:

Here are some of the reasons why kids and parents desire to be on the top team:

  • Bragging rights
  • “College showcase”, kids are promised that if you play for X,Y,Z team & play on these tournaments, you will get recruited by colleges. (expensive trips)
  • Promises that their kid will get to play for the National Team.
  • They think the best team means the best training
  • Better coaches. Almost all clubs will say “we have the best coaches”.

There is also another serious and unfair issue:

On a weekly basis, there are goalkeeping organizations or coaches who work for a specific youth club. However, they also have their own private or independent camps. If you are not participating in their private weekly programs, you will most likely never make those teams, especially if these coaches are in a position to make teams.

So who you know, plays a big part. What if you don’t have the money to pay for expenses weekly sessions from these outside organizations or coaches? Then I guess you will never make the team!..

At the same time, if you are just an average player who is not really making much progress & not improving, then there’s work that you must do..

Whatever the reason, there is a problem in how clubs select players for top teams. As a result, there are so many great keepers & field players who will NEVER play for top teams.

If you are one of those goalkeepers or field players, you must focus on things that are in your control rather than things that are out of your control.  You can continue to train and push yourselves but also do your own work and search for better opportunities. If your goal is to play in college there are so many ways to do that that are not just about what team you play on.


A college coach wants to win games in order to keep their job. As a result, they will choose the player who can play well regardless of where you come from or what level you play; if you are a vital player, they will find you wherever you are.

Please know that there are hundreds of angry parents and goalkeepers out there. Parents have the ability to influence this issue and affect how things are done in clubs today. As parents, you must demand more from the clubs and coaches for which you pay.

However, I understand that many parents are scared to speak up for fear of retaliation from the clubs.

As players, you must continue to work on improving and concentrate solely on that. Your mantra should be hard work and dedication, so focus on that and move on!!

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