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Seeking Others Experiences with Youth Soccer Teams


Jan 25, 2019
Dirty Money
Caveat, this is not a hate thread and I'm genuinely trying to understand the development aspect of the game.

The team my kid plays on I have no complaints we've been a part of this club for a few years now. Coaching staff are 100% paid not volunteers and their openness and passion has fostered a great environment for my kid (as well as the team) to develop and play with confidence.

The league is at a sufficiently challenging level given my kid's abilities. At a U13 level, the kids all move to the 'big' field with 11 a side. The coach has decided for the style of football they want to implement - play from the back, possession focused style, they want my kid to be a CB given a 4-3-3 setup.

On a curve compared to the rest of the team, I feel my kid's strength is in his 1st touch, dribbling, good vision and play off the ball, passing and pace (not the fastest but top 3). I personally feel he could be a better fit with a more offensive minded role. You know, given my experience as an award winning FIFA 2019 manager, but 100% unqualified real world ball boy.

My fear is the kid being type casted and lose development opportunities in other positions. Is this a legitimate concern or should I shut up and enjoy the ride?

Someone having gone through this please fill me in on theirs (or their offspring's) development journeys. Would love to learn and understand more. Much appreciated.


Better Bastard
Mar 28, 2002
Dirty Money
Hi Mike good questions and things a lot of parents wresle with.

I will say this as my son plays center back as well at age 13 and sounds very similar to your son.

The modern game requires center backs who are good on the ball and can play out of the back and break lines. Good vision patience and smarts are required.

They also have to be fast to cover strikers who are getting faster.

It is a very tough spot to play now as you must be a very good two way player and very good on the ball.

In fact based on the games I have watched at u13 level there are very few kids who can play this spot two ways.
By that I mean breaking lines on the offence and being able to defend when on defence.

In the end it really is what is the end goal for your son?

1. If he moves up the field does competion gets much higher as all kids seem to want to be the striker or play mid?

If he moves up will he be one of the better players or will he be a sub and get less minutes?

If your goal is to just have him enjoy the sport and move on to Mens soccer and he doesnt like playing in the back then definately ask to get him more minutes up the field or look for a new team?

2. If he excels at his spot and does well and you are looking at college etc then he may need to play the spot he is best suited for. This may not be the spot he wants to play and that is where you need to talk to him and get his feedback. If he doesnt enjoy the postion he wont play it for long.

Having said that he should still be able to get minutes playing other spots when the team is up or down a few goals,exhibtion games etc. Coaches can make that happen and should be moving kids around at that age when they can.

End of the day the sport is suppose to be fun and if he doesnt enjoy the spot he is playing then he may not want to play soccer at 16 or 17 as it just wont be fun anymore which is not what you want.

This is a convo you need to have with him to find out what he likes. Maybe he loves playing center back and its a win win?

This discussion is also not even touching on the whole discussion on what ages kids should specialize in a postion. I am only assuming the coach has already assigned him to center back and he wont play elsewhere much.

Whether kids should be pigeonholed at 13 in a postion is another discussion but is related to this topic. I dont think there is a clear answer to that question. Having said that kids should habe been exposed to all postions in youth but given parent coaches who just want to win and never kicked a ball in their life that may not have happened?

Hope that helps...
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