AIBU to want them to move him up (football)

(12 Posts)
Narnia72 Tue 06-Sep-16 14:28:21

My 4 year old DS has been going to a kids' football group since January. He started with 4 other friends, all around the same age.

Every week there are 2 trophies awarded, one for achievement and one for concentration.

Over the last term all his other friends won the trophies several times and were moved up to the next class, except one. Ah well, I thought, at least he has one friend to go with.

His friend has just been moved up too.

DS has only ever won the trophy once, when my OH had a word with the coach to say DS was sad that all his friends had won it and he hadn't. He won it the next week, so purely through parental pressure.

DS doesn't seem to be any better or worse than the kids who have moved up. I would say 2 of them are slightly better at football, but one of those has terrible concentration. One has been moved up who seems worse than DS on both counts.

They're 4. There is a limit to how much skill and concentration can be expected of them. If DS was clearly a lot worse, or didn't concentrate as well I would understand it, but there's nothing really to mark him out as different from the others. He's beginning to mess around a bit apparently, but I suspect that's because he's doing the same things week in week out.

The guy who runs it has a new influx of little kids, as you'd expect with a new term. He has too many in the class imo, and as DS is now one of the older ones, he doesn't spend any time either helping or observing him.

I don't want to be THAT parent - if the coach can say he needs to demonstrate x and y before I move him up, then we'd feel that at least some notice was being taken of him. We've had absolutely no feedback at all. OH normally takes him, so this is all second hand, but it's not a cheap class and if he's going to be ignored and feel a bit despondent (he often comes back and says I didn't win the trophy AGAIN mummy), then I don't really want him doing it. He only went because his mates were going. He quite likes football, but likes playing with his mates more.

We had a conversation about it before paying for this term. OH wanted him to keep going and thought he'd be moved up pretty quickly. I left it to him, because I don't have much interest in football and it's the only club OH actually gets involved with. However, now that DS has no friends to go with, I am feeling a bit fed up with the situation.

I have said I'll take him this week. I want to say to the coach - in a nice fashion -
1) why haven't you moved him up yet?
2) what does he need to do to both get a trophy and get moved up

If he can't give me satisfactory answers I want to say to him that we want our money back for the rest of the term and will take him somewhere else. OH thinks I'm being a bit harsh.

It's also (although this is only one consideration) a pain, because we were all sharing lifts until the others got moved up.

Am I being unreasonable, or do you think this is a sensible way to proceed? I have no experience of football clubs - no idea how any of it works and even less idea about skills!

Parky04 Tue 06-Sep-16 17:07:12

I'm a football coach and football should be all about fun especially at the age of 4! There should be no trophies that is ridiculous. Who runs the sessions - is it a local youth football team? I would guess it isn't. It sounds to me that all they are interested in is to develop the supposed better players and just take the money from the others. The ONLY thing that matters is that Ds has fun!

Scholes34 Tue 06-Sep-16 17:14:11

Winning any trophy (which is itself on a weekly basis is a bit ridiculous) is secondary to being able to play in the group with his friends. If I were to ask about anything, it would be from the practical/enjoyment aspect of being in his friends' group.

I'm surprised that at the age of 4 it's being based on ability, rather than just the age group, but if it's a big group, perhaps they have the luxury of being able to pick players out in this way and there are lots of children doing much more than just chasing a ball in a huddle.

Any alternative groups available locally?

HereIAm20 Tue 06-Sep-16 17:32:16

Please also be aware that if this is a local youth team that the coach is probably an unpaid volunteer giving his time to help run an activity for kids (the costs will go towards all sorts of other expenses surrounding the club as a whole such as floodlights, kits for older teams, FA fees if they affiliated etc).

It is good that you have already acknowledged the "that parent" syndrome so keep that in mind too if possible. I agree that at 4 it should be about the fun. I would mention that he is now one of the older ones and although you appreciate the group is big enough for 2 groups all his friends are in the other group. Most clubs will want to retain players as they all develop at different stages and they won't want the next Beckham to slip off to a rival. Explain to retain his interest he really needs to be with his friends.

I have an U15 player. It doesn't get any easier because they do eventually pick on the basis of ability but also need subs too so there are always disgruntled players and parents!

Narnia72 Tue 06-Sep-16 21:19:34

Thanks all. It isn't a parent run group, it's a private money making enterprise, which is why it's significantly more expensive than the usual groups. They don't play games at this stage, they learn skills. The trophies are apparently meant to encourage them to concentrate and do better.

There are alternatives available locally, these are local teams, but it had been suggested by friends with older kids that they get more out of learning some ball skills first, otherwise they tend to struggle in a team situation.

It's just supposed to be fun with his friends, not ability driven at this stage, surely. Maybe he will be the next Beckham or whoever, maybe he wont, but I'm frustrated they're streaming at 4.

Do you think my approach is ok or would you just say he wants to be with his friends?

mummymummums Tue 06-Sep-16 21:40:12

I think your approach sounds fine. It's just like the godawful star of the week awards that often go to a chosen few time and time again.

SpeckledyBanana Tue 06-Sep-16 22:00:32

Is it Little Kickers? If so, IME, there is often a waiting list to get into the next class up.

SpeckledyBanana Tue 06-Sep-16 22:02:38

Meant to add - round here the FA clubs do Creche training from Reception age onwards. They're not a team playing in a league, they just train and have a kickabout match at the end.

Narnia72 Tue 06-Sep-16 22:07:58

No speckledy - it seems to be local to here. If there is a waiting list it's never been mentioned and ds joined a month after the boy who's just moved up and a couple of weeks before the others, so it's not done on seniority.

I know mummy, we had a star of the week in reception and never again for 2 kids. We'll see about no.3. Even worse are the headteacher's postcards, rare as hen's teeth and then promised but never delivered. Don't think these incentive schemes work at all

nancy75 Tue 06-Sep-16 22:13:21

Tell the coach your son only wants to come if he can be with his friends and ask when he will be moved. If you do t ask nothing will happen.
My work is organising sports lessons for kids ( not football) I can always manage to get a child in a class with their mates and think nothing of a parent asking if their child can move. At this age the main aim should be for the child to enjoy the sport

bumsexatthebingo Tue 06-Sep-16 22:31:25

I would ask if the coach knew how long it would be before he'd be going into the group with his friends. I wouldn't mention anything about the trophy. If it's a large group he's not going to get it that often and he'll have to learn to deal with it.

Parky04 Wed 07-Sep-16 07:33:54

As I thought not a local youth football club. I despise these money making companies. My advice would be for him to join the local youth team asap. They can usually start at 5 (usually called a development squad) then they begin to play matches at 6. There will be a lot more fun involved.

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