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Post by yellowcard5 on 09/06/16, 09:50 am

Not really sure why it is so hard for many to understand the concept of ECNL or any other league that forms outside of LHGCL.

Business and revenue stream absolutely play a role in this and anyone that thinks otherwise is fooling themselves. However, that revenue stream is guided by a group that first recognized, we (girls soccer) needed something better. What ECNL has done is provide more meaningful matches for girls ages 13-18. It is no secret that pretty much every age group has 3-5 teams that are way ahead of the other teams in a 10 team LH league. As such, half of the league games played by these teams are meaningless, non competitive games. While you still find a dominant team or two in ECNL, that league provides much better overall competition.

While it is still possible, you very rarely find a team in ECNL that finishes the season with 55 GF and 2 against...this is very common with the top few teams in LH in each age group. History said that the vast majority of the time that the top 3-5 teams in each age group were typically the top teams from the big clubs. Certainly, there are exceptions to that rule but if you look at the top 5 in each non-ECNL age groups, they are consistently, FC Dallas, Texans, Solar, Liverpool, Sting. D'Feeters have dropped off over the years but at the inception of ECNL they were a team rich in historical success.

Bottom line is that ECNL stepped in and offered these clubs a structure to play against each other more and also the better teams from other areas. If any of you have had kids on top LH teams, then you know it is very possible to go 4, 5, 6 games over the course of 6 weeks, with none of them being competitive games. Games that are 5, 6, 7, 8-0 are not good for either team. The only thing ECNL did was bridge that gap and provide a way to play the better teams more often.

If doing away with the blow out games isn't making kids develop better than I am not sure what it is that some folks are after. People can moan as much as they want, and those that play for clubs that aren't part of it are typically the loudest - but to say it doesn't provide a better way of developing players is extremely short sighted.

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Post by Tiki-taka on 09/06/16, 10:03 am

4-3-3 wrote:I'll play.  Of course ECNL resulted in a stronger market position for big clubs at the expense of non ecnl clubs BW. The composite thing is the next move to capitalize further on that position.  It's not about the total teams in play for the big clubs. It's about having full control over the rules, playing structure  and costs for all revenue players without interference or competition from USYS.

I don't have the numbers but a good measurement of market share would be the number of independent teams prior to 2009 versus 2016, and then number of Big five teams per age group prior to 2009 versus now. My guess (and only a guess and probably somewhat biased) is that independent clubs have shrunk/disappeared and big five (even with D'Feeters) has increased.
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Post by Guest on 09/06/16, 10:19 am

Tiki-taka wrote:
4-3-3 wrote:I'll play.  Of course ECNL resulted in a stronger market position for big clubs at the expense of non ecnl clubs BW. The composite thing is the next move to capitalize further on that position.  It's not about the total teams in play for the big clubs. It's about having full control over the rules, playing structure  and costs for all revenue players without interference or competition from USYS.

I don't have the numbers but a good measurement of market share would be the number of independent teams prior to 2009 versus 2016, and then number of Big five teams per age group prior to 2009 versus now.   My guess (and only a guess and probably somewhat biased) is that independent clubs have shrunk/disappeared and big five (even with D'Feeters) has increased.  

Tiki-Taka, you are my straightman!

I've actually done that exact analysis, and the results were somewhat surprising. I'll put together a more detailed breakdown and post it a little bit later. Don't have the time to do it right now.

The net is that the ECNL clubs share of LHGCL teams has stayed essentially flat since 2007 (2 years before ECNL), while their share of LHGCL D1 teams has actually dropped since ECNL was introduced in 2009. If you compare D1 + ECNL % since 2009, to D1 only in the pre-ECNL years, it's flat. Suggesting that as the clubs pulled their ECNL teams, the D1 slots are being taken by more non-ECNL club teams, than ECNL club teams. Even with the rule change LHGCL put in place in 2014 to allow the ECNL teams to keep their U14 D1 byes, and even with adding CPP in 2014, the percentages have stayed consistent.

Like I said, I'll post much more detail on this later. However, if ECNL was supposed to be a money grab, or an avenue for the ECNL clubs to gain market share and squeeze out their competition, it wasn't very successful.

Now... 4-3-3's point about controlling the rules and the environment, I think may be dead-on, as is yellowcard5 statement about more consistent quality competition.

Again, more to come later...

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Post by soccersounder on 09/06/16, 10:27 am

4-3-3 wrote:I'll play.  Of course ECNL resulted in a stronger market position for big clubs at the expense of non ecnl clubs BW. The composite thing is the next move to capitalize further on that position.  It's not about the total teams in play for the big clubs. It's about having full control over the rules, playing structure  and costs for all revenue players without interference or competition from USYS.

Not picking on 4-3-3, but leave it NTX parents to completely make things way more complicated than they really are...

Composite Teams are teams with ECNL Clubs and ARE directly affiliated with ECNL. Composite teams started popping up a few years ago initially as replacement teams during Showcases when other teams could not make it into town, ie: weather... And in a short time, ECNL ended up with Composite Showcase Events. Here in NT, the Composite Teams were normally the LH D1 team at the Club. They have been around for at least two years.

So this year, with Age Pure starting, ECNL Clubs have found themselves with 40 or more ECNL players already with the Clubs for what will be the new oldest age group, because of the AP change. So the idea was ECNL Clubs needed two teams for the oldest age group. ECNL met and decided to approve the idea. They also: decided to use the term Composite, since it was already in use, they decided to have Composite Teams in age groups every other year and not just the oldest group, they decided to make it optional to each ECNL Conference. Texas Conference decided for Composite teams..

The Composite Teams will play the same or similar schedule as ECNL teams and attend two ECNL Showcases. Now, the latest news of LH administering the ECNL Texas Conference Composite League makes sense for everyone... LH has already previously handled ECNL games for Texans and Solar, though not any longer... And the ECNL Clubs will not have to administer 50 plus additional game each year.. And LH will not just flatly lose another 15 teams worth of players...
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Post by Guest on 09/06/16, 11:27 am

Tiki-taka wrote:
4-3-3 wrote:I'll play.  Of course ECNL resulted in a stronger market position for big clubs at the expense of non ecnl clubs BW. The composite thing is the next move to capitalize further on that position.  It's not about the total teams in play for the big clubs. It's about having full control over the rules, playing structure  and costs for all revenue players without interference or competition from USYS.

I don't have the numbers but a good measurement of market share would be the number of independent teams prior to 2009 versus 2016, and then number of Big five teams per age group prior to 2009 versus now.   My guess (and only a guess and probably somewhat biased) is that independent clubs have shrunk/disappeared and big five (even with D'Feeters) has increased.  

Tiki-taka, I've debated with BW enough to know he already had the #s and was setting a trap for whomever wanted to dive in it. Laughing

Wait till the dust settles in this discussion though... I think a case will still be made this is at least as much about business as it is about anything else.

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Post by Guest on 09/06/16, 11:49 am

4-3-3 wrote:
Tiki-taka wrote:
4-3-3 wrote:I'll play.  Of course ECNL resulted in a stronger market position for big clubs at the expense of non ecnl clubs BW. The composite thing is the next move to capitalize further on that position.  It's not about the total teams in play for the big clubs. It's about having full control over the rules, playing structure  and costs for all revenue players without interference or competition from USYS.

I don't have the numbers but a good measurement of market share would be the number of independent teams prior to 2009 versus 2016, and then number of Big five teams per age group prior to 2009 versus now.   My guess (and only a guess and probably somewhat biased) is that independent clubs have shrunk/disappeared and big five (even with D'Feeters) has increased.  

Tiki-taka, I've debated with BW enough to know he already had the #s and was setting a trap for whomever wanted to dive in it. Laughing  

Wait till the dust settles in this discussion though... I think a case will still be made this is at least as much about business as it is about anything else.

The ECNL move may have been about business, and these new moves may also certainly be about business.  The ECNL move, and U14 bye rules, and CPP may have helped the ECNL clubs maintain market share, but if the intention was to increase market share and push out the little guys, it wasn't very successful based on my analysis.  Maybe these new moves are a reaction to ECNL not having it's intended effect, who knows?

ECNL also hasn't driven up my club dues over the past 5 years either.  I paid $2800 in dues at U11 in 2011, and $2900 in dues at U15 last year.  <4% TOTAL increase in dues over 5 years, or <1% increase per year.  Now, don't know how that compares to 2008 since I didn't have a DD in select back then, but over the past 5 years, the clubs my DD has played for surely haven't driven up their revenue via dues increases, and they also haven't driven up revenue via market share growth.  They have grown, but that growth is due to the overall select market in NTX growing (total # of teams in LH + PPL + APL), and they haven't grown at a significantly greater rate than the non-ECNL clubs.

Again, we'll see if these latest changes in the landscape result in a different scenario, but as far as ECNL goes, I think that some of the common perception that is out there regarding the business motivation or impact to the "Big 5" isn't backed up by the numbers.

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Post by CBTeamworks on 09/06/16, 12:33 pm

Those numbers fly in the face of my hypothesis that it's about market share. How about a variance of the original theory. What if the biggest value of ECNL to the big clubs is stability? How many have gone out of business since inception compared to the other competing clubs? Is stability and ease of making a buck a possible motivation? What about profit per player or per team? Is it possible that the big clubs can negotiate long term leases on fields or loans that keep their profits at higher margins than their competitors?

Who are the biggest clubs who disadvantaged the most by not having ECNL membership? Liverpool or Andro come to mind. How are they disadvantaged? They still have numerous teams but they probably have to work harder. In the 04 group we saw the coach of the top team (Liverpool) give up that team and move to FCD. Is there any doubt why he went to FCD? I agree that ECNL is good for development of the highest level player but it does nothing to encourage the top clubs to develop their own talent when all they have to is wait for the top talent to get old enough for ECNL and the top talent will eventually come to them already developed.
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Post by Read_These_Nikes on 09/06/16, 01:01 pm

CBTeamworks wrote:Those numbers fly in the face of my hypothesis that it's about market share. How about a variance of the original theory. What if the biggest value of ECNL to the big clubs is stability? How many have gone out of business since inception compared to the other competing clubs? Is stability and ease of making a buck a possible motivation? What about profit per player or per team? Is it possible that the big clubs can negotiate long term leases on fields or loans that keep their profits at higher margins than their competitors?

Who are the biggest clubs who disadvantaged the most by not having ECNL membership? Liverpool or Andro come to mind. How are they disadvantaged? They still have numerous teams but they probably have to work harder. In the 04 group we saw the coach of the top team (Liverpool) give up that team and move to FCD. Is there any doubt why he went to FCD? I agree that ECNL is good for development of the highest level player but it does nothing to encourage the top clubs to develop their own talent when all they have to is wait for the top talent to get old enough for ECNL and the top talent will eventually come to them already developed.

I agree with this and they're now starting the JDL and such leagues to acquire the talent even sooner. Not only are they swallowing up talent but now whole clubs!
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Post by kick_tha_ball on 09/06/16, 01:10 pm

When did this turn into a Harvard business class. Who cares about market share. Bottom line, we do live in a bottom line world right, is that we are all gonna pay whatever is necessary for our DDS to play. We'll find a way to make it happen and be happy that we did.
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Post by yellowcard5 on 09/06/16, 01:27 pm

[quote="Read_These_Nikes"][quote="CBTeamworks"]Those numbers fly in the face of my hypothesis that it's about market share. How about a variance of the original theory. What if the biggest value of ECNL to the big clubs is stability? How many have gone out of business since inception compared to the other competing clubs? Is stability and ease of making a buck a possible motivation? What about profit per player or per team? Is it possible that the big clubs can negotiate long term leases on fields or loans that keep their profits at higher margins than their competitors?

Who are the biggest clubs who disadvantaged the most by not having ECNL membership? Liverpool or Andro come to mind. How are they disadvantaged? They still have numerous teams but they probably have to work harder. In the 04 group we saw the coach of the top team (Liverpool) give up that team and move to FCD. Is there any doubt why he went to FCD? I agree that ECNL is good for development of the highest level player but[b] it does nothing to encourage the top clubs to develop their own talent when all they have to is wait for the top talent to get old enough for ECNL and the top talent will eventually come to them already developed.[/b] [/quote]

I agree with this and they're now starting the JDL and such leagues to acquire the talent even sooner. Not only are they swallowing up talent but now whole clubs![/quote]

I'd be curious to hear opinions on when "development" takes place.  If you have a kid that plays for Mickey Mouse FC until they are 13, then moves to FC Dallas and ultimately gets a scholarship to Notre Dame...who gets the credit for development?  Competition is every bit as big of a part in development as the coach is.  Again, there are exceptions to the rule but I would think that the kid that moves to a big club to play ECNL will develop better than the kid that stays with the great coach at Mickey Mouse FC and plays LH D2 until they are 18.

It's not different than any other sports.  If you want to be the best, you have to play with and against the best.

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Post by Read_These_Nikes on 09/06/16, 02:08 pm

yellowcard5 wrote:If you want to be the best, you have to play with and against the best.
Not always true! Confidence comes from how prepared a individual is. As long as you have a good foundation and self-belief you can thrive in any environment.
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Post by TatonkaBurger on 09/06/16, 02:16 pm

Read_These_Nikes wrote:
yellowcard5 wrote:If you want to be the best, you have to play with and against the best.
Not always true! Confidence comes from how prepared a individual is. As long as you have a good foundation and self-belief you can thrive in any environment.

I agree.  That comes at different times for our DDs.  Some are ready for it at U9.  Others need a couple of years to get there.  They are all different and that is yet another reason why you shouldn't just flock to the coach who is known for recruiting and putting good teams together.  They will develop on different schedules.  Your DD needs you to actually think for them and be a parent.  Do what's best for them.
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Post by yellowcard5 on 09/06/16, 02:33 pm

I'm not disagreeing with you, but the discussion is about ECNL composite teams, not U6-U10 youth academies.

Once you get to a certain age, you can't just thrive in any environment.  Maybe confidence can thrive, but there is much to being a good soccer player than just confidence.  Being surrounded by mediocrity does not promote development.

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Post by Lefty on 09/06/16, 02:53 pm

yellowcard5 wrote:I'm not disagreeing with you, but the discussion is about ECNL composite teams, not U6-U10 youth academies.

Once you get to a certain age, you can't just thrive in any environment.  Maybe confidence can thrive, but there is much to being a good soccer player than just confidence.  Being surrounded by mediocrity does not promote development.

Where did Steph Curry play college ball before destroying the NBA competition?

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Post by Guest on 09/06/16, 03:00 pm

Busy day so don't have time to get into this deeply just yet. Composite? Do it if you can afford it. But if you're a strong team good enough to play your way into national league, dont ditch usys just yet. It's a proven platform for exposure. Not only that, usys nationals, another proven platform, are in Frisco the next several years. Would be silly for strong, competitive teams to throw away those opportunities .

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Post by CBTeamworks on 09/06/16, 03:01 pm

Lefty wrote:
yellowcard5 wrote:I'm not disagreeing with you, but the discussion is about ECNL composite teams, not U6-U10 youth academies.

Once you get to a certain age, you can't just thrive in any environment.  Maybe confidence can thrive, but there is much to being a good soccer player than just confidence.  Being surrounded by mediocrity does not promote development.

Where did Steph Curry play college ball before destroying the NBA competition?
The baby faced assassin played for Davidson.
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Post by yellowcard5 on 09/06/16, 03:17 pm

Great question. He played at Davidson College, a team that had a combined 85-20 record while he was there. A team that is in NC and played against top 10 non-conference competition every season. A team that made an Elite 8 appearance while he was there. Curry also competed every summer with players from UNC and Duke.

If you want to dig a little deeper, Curry was on an undefeated state championship team in high school and played summer ball with and against many current and former NBA players.

While my response, is tongue in cheek, I get where you are going. To compare the greatest shooter to ever play basketball to a soccer player is a big stretch. There is no comparable skill in soccer to being able to shoot a basketball. That is like comparing a 6'7" left handed pitcher who throws 97 mph that played on a crappy high school team to a soccer player. Doesn't work.

A better question to ask would be: Why do small YourApeeIn soccer academies sell their brightest talents at a very young age (12-16) to bigger academies. The answer is because these small academies know that they can't provide the competition in order for that player to reach his peak.


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Post by Guest on 09/06/16, 03:53 pm

Not really. The small clubs sell the players because the big clubs come in with big offers of real money.

Dont agree with the premise that the league competition makes a great player. Not in soccer. The players effort, training and coaching, and passion matter far more. College coaches Ive talked to confirm. They dont care where talent is found. They just want them found.

Second, even if it were  true that league is a primary factor in development, ntx composite teamst playing against B teams from other areas that struggle to compete against ntx CANNOT represent an improvement in competitive level. Many  NTX non ecnl teams are on par with mid to bottom half ecnl teams from other areas of the country. Having them play OK, houston and austin B and C teams, instead of other strong NTX sides, reduces their level of comp, and forces them to travel to do it.

My dds former team played a stx B team, after having already beaten this particular clubs A team that eventually became their ecnl team. The score was 9-0, and that was with defenders playing forward and forwards playing defense after 5-0 at half time. Any argument that a composite  league with stx and oklahoma B teams increases competitive level for a market like NTX has a tough hurdle to explain away results.

All this does is effectively replace usys rpl where you (used to) have to win your way in, with a us club soccer league where participation is guaranteed every year.


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Post by Lefty on 09/06/16, 03:55 pm

yellowcard5 wrote:Great question.  He played at Davidson College, a team that had a combined 85-20 record while he was there.  A team that is in NC and played against top 10 non-conference competition every season.  A team that made an Elite 8 appearance while he was there.  Curry also competed every summer with players from UNC and Duke.

If you want to dig a little deeper, Curry was on an undefeated state championship team in high school and played summer ball with and against many current and former NBA players.

While my response, is tongue in cheek, I get where you are going.  To compare the greatest shooter (shooting is a skill and he can also dribble, another skill, and see the game another skill) to ever play basketball to a soccer player is a big stretch.  There is no comparable skill in soccer to being able to shoot a basketball. Really? What does Messi do besides shoot the ball, dribble the ball and see the game faster than others? That is like comparing a 6'7" left handed pitcher who throws 97 mph that played on a crappy high school team to a soccer player.  Doesn't work.

A better question to ask would be:  Why do small YourApeeIn soccer academies sell their brightest talents at a very young age (12-16) to bigger academies.  The answer is because these small academies know that they can't provide the competition in order for that player to reach his peak. Think you may be a bit naive.  They do it to make money, why else.


So you clearly feel that basketball is a game of skill which you can develop against 2nd or 3rd tier competition for half your season or more and soccer is not.  

Not sure where you view baseball as there are plenty of 6'7" lefty's who can throw 97+but can't get it over the plate, i.e. the skill part.

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Post by TatonkaBurger on 09/06/16, 04:03 pm

4-3-3 wrote:Not really. The small clubs sell the players because the big clubs come in with big offers of real money.

Dont agree with the premise that the league competition makes a great player. Not in soccer. The players effort, training and coaching, and passion matter far more. College coaches Ive talked to confirm. They dont care where talent is found. They just want them found.

Second, even if it were  true that league is a primary factor in development, ntx composite teamst playing against B teams from other areas that struggle to compete against ntx CANNOT represent an improvement in competitive level. Many  NTX non ecnl teams are on par with mid to bottom half ecnl teams from other areas of the country. Having them play OK, houston and austin B and C teams, instead of other strong NTX sides, reduces their level of comp, and forces them to travel to do it.

My dds former team played a stx B team, after having already beaten this particular clubs A team that eventually became their ecnl team. The score was 9-0, and that was with defenders playing forward and forwards playing defense after 5-0 at half time. Any argument that a composite  league with stx and oklahoma B teams increases competitive level for a market like NTX has a tough hurdle to explain away results.

All this does is effectively replace usys rpl where you (used to) have to win your way in, with a us club soccer  league where participation is guaranteed every year.

Well said.  +1
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Post by Read_These_Nikes on 09/06/16, 04:21 pm

yellowcard5 wrote:Once you get to a certain age, you can't just thrive in any environment.  Maybe confidence can thrive, but there is much to being a good soccer player than just confidence.  Being surrounded by mediocrity does not promote development.

You must of missed my first point, I mentioned preparation before anything else! Being surrounded by mediocrity does not promote development. Where's your proof? A elite player will still be elite no matter the environment.
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Post by yellowcard5 on 09/06/16, 05:02 pm

I clearly feel that shooting a basketball is a skill that can be developed in a gym by yourself with thousands and thousands of reps. The hoop is ten feet high and a rim is 18 inches in diameter, whether in an empty YMCA or the NBA Finals. Let's not make this about Steph Curry - he isn't half the player he is without being the greatest shooter in history.

Realize, I have no animosity toward you opinions, but you can't honestly believe that an elite player is an elite player no matter the environment. There are exceptions to every rule, but odds are an elite 2A running back would not be elite at the 6A level. The best female soccer player in India would most likely not be the best soccer female soccer player in the US. The best player in Norway's top flight could not just walk in to Barcelona's squad. Individual sports, I might give you, but not team sports.

Preparation through competition is what gets athletes to the top. It's the reason that potential top 20 draft picks give up playing time and go to Kentucky to play basketball, become the 6th man and still get drafted in the 1st round. It's the reason that the Championship, League 1 and League 2 are littered with United, Arsenal and Chelsea academy cast offs. It's the reason that Alabama is a top college football team year in and year out. It's the reason that the best player in LH D3 that scores 3 goals a game isn't on one of the ECNL teams. In order to get to the top you have to be challenged in practice and in games. The sooner it begins the better you will become.

Being elite has everything to do with the environment and you can't (or very, very rarely) be elite if you are not competing at the highest level.

Disclosure - if you are talking about 6-12 year old kids, then I somewhat agree with you. But at some point (not exactly sure when) you have to prove yourself against the best.

I could go off on a tangent here, but won't because I don't have the time. But, I would argue that men's soccer in this country is where we are because too many have the same thoughts as you lot. Too many parents would rather have their kid be surrounded by mediocrity and be the superstar than they would being the 7th best player on a very strong team. Then they complain when the time comes to move to better competition and they can't cope with the speed, the physicality, or the soccer IQ of kids that have been playing at higher levels in their youth.

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Post by Lefty on 09/06/16, 05:29 pm

yellowcard5 wrote:I clearly feel that shooting a basketball is a skill that can be developed in a gym by yourself with thousands and thousands of reps.  The hoop is ten feet high and a rim is 18 inches in diameter, whether in an empty YMCA or the NBA Finals.  Let's not make this about Steph Curry - he isn't half the player he is without being the greatest shooter in history.

Realize, I have no animosity toward you opinions, but you can't honestly believe that an elite player is an elite player no matter the environment.  There are exceptions to every rule, but odds are an elite 2A running back would not be elite at the 6A level.  The best female soccer player in India would most likely not be the best soccer female soccer player in the US.  The best player in Norway's top flight could not just walk in to Barcelona's squad.  Individual sports, I might give you, but not team sports.

Preparation through competition is what gets athletes to the top.  It's the reason that potential top 20 draft picks give up playing time and go to Kentucky to play basketball, become the 6th man and still get drafted in the 1st round. It's the reason that the Championship, League 1 and League 2 are littered with United, Arsenal and Chelsea academy cast offs.  It's the reason that Alabama is a top college football team year in and year out.  It's the reason that the best player in LH D3 that scores 3 goals a game isn't on one of the ECNL teams.  In order to get to the top you have to be challenged in practice and in games.  The sooner it begins the better you will become.

Being elite has everything to do with the environment and you can't (or very, very rarely) be elite if you are not competing at the highest level.

Funny, I always thought that elite players make the environment elite rather than an elite environment making the players elite.

Disclosure - if you are talking about 6-12 year old kids, then I somewhat agree with you.  But at some point (not exactly sure when) you have to prove yourself against the best.

I could go off on a tangent here, but won't because I don't have the time.  But, I would argue that men's soccer in this country is where we are because too many have the same thoughts as you lot.  Too many parents would rather have their kid be surrounded by mediocrity and be the superstar than they would being the 7th best player on a very strong team.  Then they complain when the time comes to move to better competition and they can't cope with the speed, the physicality, or the soccer IQ of kids that have been playing at higher levels in their youth.

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Post by keep22 on 09/06/16, 05:47 pm

Lefty - "Funny, I always thought that elite players make the environment elite rather than an elite environment making the players elite."

and that's what it should be Elite Player(EPNL) and not Elite Club(ECNL)

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Post by yellowcard5 on 09/06/16, 06:46 pm

Funny, I always thought that elite players make the environment elite rather than an elite environment making the players elite.

Correct, and I never said otherwise. You can't have one without the other.


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Post by Lefty on 09/06/16, 07:21 pm

yellowcard5 wrote:Funny, I always thought that elite players make the environment elite rather than an elite environment making the players elite.

Correct, and I never said otherwise.  You can't have one without the other.

Sure you can.  

During the developmental years, don't think that they necessarily go together per the earlier example of Steph Curry and you could add Larry Bird.  Other example is you don't have Alabama running backs and quarterbacks dominating the NFL as players in significantly less elite environments than SEC/Alabama in college developed into much better players.

Seen many cases where a players weaknesses are hidden and development inhibited by being on a top team during the developmental years, and they flopped at the next level. Witnessed it first hand with one of my DD's teams that was one of the top teams in the country.

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