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Re: Loyalty?

The only way to keep tryouts on the up and up is to bring in unbiased evaluators. Use High School head and assistant coaches/ skills coaches at the end of their season to come in and evaluate at tryouts or have the coaches evaluate at other levels to avoid conflicts ( obviously not a perfect solution). Once set, leave open a few "wild card" spots so the coach can hand pick a few if necessary. Don't announce coaches until team is picked. That way if his kid is not picked for Elite team than he can coach the team his kid is placed on. You will never, ever make everybody happy, but this might take the bias out. Bias is the issue! You see what you want to see; Boy, what a headsy play, he has intangibles. OR He just tries to do too much himself! Eye of the beholder!!

I would never sign up to play for a team that didn't name their coach before tryouts. Coach is too important. And believe me, if this scenario played itself out everyone would already know who the coach was (they rarely change year-to-year), and the "tryout game" would still go on, it would just be less transparent. It's fine the way it is, just play it smart and be realistic about your kid's skill level and you'll be fine.

Re: Loyalty?

It's much more about bad businesses with inferior products than loyalty. If you're kid is on a good team with a good coach and playing for an organization that focuses on player and skill development you will not see significant turnover. Generally kids who are good enough to make a decent/good club team are coachable and athletic. If they are in a good development environment they will grow and improve as players every year. Sure, there will be the odd player here and there that struggles as their peers get bigger or that doesn't have the aggression needed or that has difficult parents - so a player will get cut every now and then but 12-15 kids will be offered a spot again every year. If a team is constantly recruiting players from outside their organization because they are better than the players inside the organization it is because they do not develop players they recruit them. It is a bad product. Parents share the blame too. Why do parents leave the team that was responsible for providing their player with the environment to develop and improve to the point that they can go out and make one of these recruiting based teams? Maybe it's a club that has a name that they are proud of, maybe the kid that they have always thought was a stud plays for that team, maybe the commute is shorter... Whatever the reason, the environment and system that allowed their player to develop is being undervalued by the parents. Long story short - if a club doesn't display loyalty they are advertising that they don't develop their players and you shouldn't want your player there anyway.