Competitive Soccer FAQs

What should we bring to the tryouts?
  1.  cleats
  2. shin guards (players will not be allowed to participate without)
  3. soccer ball
  4. water
  5. filled out medical release form (link)
Make-up Tryouts

If you cannot make it to the weekend tryouts please contact the Competitive Teams Coordinator, Mike Barnes (compcoordinator@alamedasoccer.org).  Players are strongly encouraged to attend both tryouts if possible, as the second tryout builds on the first and provides more opportunity to be seen by the evaluators.

Competitive Soccer – Why Play?

There are several answers to this question and one of the most important is: It’s fun! The children and parents who have participated in the past have had a great time. It’s amazing to watch the children come together as a team. The games and tournaments are exciting, but so are the practices where we work hard to achieve a balance between building the kids’ skills and ensuring that they are having a good time…essentially, learning to love the game.

The goal of a competitive soccer program is to challenge players to realize their highest potential through better training and higher levels of competition. The Alameda Islander Program focuses on all areas of skill development and team tactics, while also emphasizing fair play, sportsmanship, teamwork and the development of character.

It’s certainly reasonable to believe that competitive soccer might not be ideal for everyone but if you have a child that enjoys the game, wants to improve, and has natural aptitude, please bring them to the tryouts.

Player Evaluation

Evaluation and selection will be based solely on how players perform in the four evaluation areas. Evaluation of players presently playing for ASC do take place during the competitive soccer season (practices and games), as well as during tryouts. Former and potential competitive soccer players will be evaluated in four areas (if you have any questions about the meaning of these terms, please ask the coaches):

  1. Mental dimensions (character, discipline, and leadership)
  2. Physical dimensions (endurance, strength, and speed)
  3. Technical competence (soccer skills)
  4. Playmaking ability and positional play (making runs, reading the game)

During the player evaluation and selection process, please give us the consideration of informing us about whether or not you will commit to playing on a competitive team if your child is asked to join one of the teams. Too often a player is selected, to the exclusion of another player, only to drop out of the competitive soccer program before the playing season even begins. This is not only unfair to the player who may have been bumped by the chosen player, but it is also unfair to the rest of the team and ASC. Your understanding regarding the player evaluation and selection process is important, for just as players and parents have the freedom to select a soccer club they wish to be a part of without undue influence or pressure, and with a full understanding of what is expected, the coach and the club must have the same freedom to select and place soccer players on various teams based on objective criteria.

We may not always see eye to eye with respect to the decisions made about player evaluation and selection. However, we trust that you will respect our attempt to be objective in these matters and to make decisions that are good for ASC and its teams.

Time Commitment

Spring Season

The selected players will come together for pre-season practices starting the beginning of March. During the school year/season practices will be held twice a week, lasting between 1 ½ to 2 hours and continue throughout the season. Spring practices are run by both coaches and the Challenger Sport professional training staff. ASC understands there are a variety of other sports to choose from during the spring. Please discuss these conflicts with your coach and don’t consider playing multiple sports in the spring a limiting factor. Game play usually starts the first weekend of April and continues into the first week or so of June with approximately 8-10 games. Games are on Saturdays or Sundays, usually just one day a weekend. The furthest that the team will travel for away games is about hour to an hour and a half.

Summer

During the summer there will be one team camp and skill specific training sessions. There may also be scheduled practice depending on the coach’s preference.

Fall Season

The selected players will come together for pre-season practices typically starting in late August. Game play typically begins the weekend prior to or following Labor Day weekend and can run into December, depending on tournaments and State Cup. During the school year/season practices will be held twice a week, lasting between 1 ½ to 2 hours and continue throughout the season. Fall practices are run by both coaches and the Challenger Sport professional training staff. Fall is considered the main season for competitive soccer. Games are often on both Saturdays and Sundays each weekend. The furthest that the team will travel for away games is about hour to an hour and a half.

Tournament Play

ASC Islander teams will also play in several tournaments during the year. The tournaments are usually held on the last complete weekend in August, September, and October, with games being held on both Saturdays and Sundays. The tournaments give the players the opportunity to meet players from other areas and face different competition. The tournaments also prove to be wonderful opportunities for team building (players and parents). Tournaments can range from 30 minutes away, to weekend overnights that are over an hour away.

This is usually not viewed as excessive travel but obviously this is a personal opinion. Additionally, to help families with busy schedules, we have always taken advantage of carpools within the team and have found families are very good at coming together and helping each other when needed.

Exactly how competitive is the Islander program?

The Islanders program is not “overly” competitive. In playing against other select teams, you will no doubt see a high level of play and commitment on the field. All sports tend to be competitive, but in coaching the children we try to emphasize that they are engaged in “play” as much as “sport.”

Player Expectations

Once a player commits to joining the team, the player agrees to abide by the rules, policies and regulations of the club and the player’s team. This commitment is for one soccer season only. The soccer season begins in March and continues through the following December. At the end of the soccer season, the player’s commitment to the team ends and the player is free to leave if the player feels it is in the player’s best interest. At the beginning of the next soccer season, the player is again free to tryout under the same guidelines mentioned above. Remember, in the event that the player’s team qualifies for State, Regional or National competition, we expect the player to fulfill his commitment to his team and to ASC by remaining with the team through the end of that level of competition regardless of the player’s status with ASC for the following season.

While we recognize that there are some things more important in life than soccer, the soccer we play is taken very seriously. In terms of priority, family and school work come first. However, a player who is not willing to put soccer above other recreational activities during the season may affect the player’s playing time and/or the player’s status with the Islanders program. As a member of ASC’s competitive soccer program, we expect you to commit to the sport of soccer as your first recreational activity and priority during the soccer season.

We expect players (and parents) to be dedicated, ethical and honest, and to honor their commitments whether they be verbal or written. Therefore, a player and his parents should make their decisions thoughtfully and carefully. Once a player commits to play for the Islanders, we expect the player’s full participation and support for the entire soccer season. Please take into account the fact that when a player makes his commitment to play for the Islanders competitive team, we may need to inform other potential players that they did not make the team. Please be sensitive to others and consider the decision to play at this level carefully.

If the player commits to play for the Islanders, please understand that we will also be ethical and honest, and will honor the commitment to the player. No player will be released from a team during a soccer season unless it is for disciplinary reasons.

Parent Expectations

Support – Parental support and involvement in ASC are essential. If your son or daughter is selected and chooses to commit him/her-self to the Islanders competitive team, your commitment is also necessary. Although not required, it is hoped that you as a parent of player will volunteer your time and energy to the club in some way or fashion. Please contact the Volunteer Coordinator if you are interested in volunteering your time to ASC.

Communication – If players are to make a quality commitment to ASC and their team, parents must see to it that their player attends all team functions including, but not limited to practices, meetings, games, and tournaments. We understand that there will be times when conflicts will be present, and cannot be avoided. We can appreciate the fact that at times there will be other more important events than soccer related events. However, what is absolutely critical to ensure that animosity and resentment do not surface during these times is communication. It is hoped that advanced planning will eliminate or at the very least minimize any conflicts; nevertheless, in the event that conflicts arise, simply communicating in advance the fact that the player will be unavailable to participate in the soccer related event will alleviate any potential problems.

In general, vacations should be taken at the beginning of the summer as training and tournaments will begin toward the end of the summer. When parents or players have an unavoidable conflict, we expect the player (or his/her parent) to bring the conflict to the coach’s attention in a timely manner so that any necessary team adjustments can be made.

No Sideline Coaching

It is important that players not be distracted at practices. Parents and friends must stay off the designated practice area, especially around the goal. Players are given only one set of instructions by one voice before, during, and after practices. For this reason, ASC insists that the coach or the assistant coaches be the only voices directing the players at all practices and games.

There will be no coaching by parents at games. No matter how good your intentions are, or how knowledgeable about soccer you may be, I must insist there be no shouting of instructions to any player or yelling (complaining) to officials during games. Your vocal support and positive encouragement are welcome after a good play. “Go” or “Shoot” are interpreted as instructions and as such are not desirable.

No one other than those listed on the official game roster may sit on or near the team bench before and during games. Parents will be directed to sit on the side of the field opposite the team so as to minimize any distraction to the players and to maximize the parents’ enjoyment of the game. Please respect the space and privacy necessary for the coach and team to carry out their game responsibilities.

Patience and Understanding

While we are interested in developing players who can demonstrate superior soccer skills under the pressure of a game, the primary concern is the long term growth and development of your son/daughter as a person. There will be times when decisions will be made that you may not agree with or understand. Please be patient and understanding. Ask questions at an appropriate time and place if you are unclear about what is happening.

Long term development of the team, and in some instances the club, may sometimes take precedent over individual player development or winning, especially in the years prior to high school. Parents must understand this and conduct themselves in a manner consistent with a healthy team environment. Remember, playing only to win without taking into account the long terms goals of developing players and a team with solid soccer playing fundamentals will result in creating an unstable foundation upon which frustration and dissatisfaction will be built.

Again, whenever appropriate please feel free to communicate to the coaching staff and ask questions about your son and his development as a player and as a person. Please also take the initiative to teach your son/daughter to speak up and communicate with these individuals whenever possible.

Financial Commitment

Last year the registration fees for select players was $650.00 (subject to modification). Our club (Alameda Soccer Club) is not-for-profit. Its objective is to provide all children with a chance to play. Players who are in need of financial assistance in order to play should state this on their registration form. One of the goals of ASC is to afford every child the opportunity to play, regardless of the family’s financial situation