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Jacko

Its High Time for a Head Shake at the CSA

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I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of the U17 WNT parents this past weekend. What they had to say was disconcerting to say the least.

Because of all the time missed attending camps and qualifying games this past year it seems that some of the girls were not able to complete their grade 11 school year and are so short of course credits they will not be able to graduate next year with their school mates. When I asked what resources, tutoring CSA had provided for these girls the answer was zero. When I asked why they didn't hire their own tutors the parents said that hey simply can't afford it. So CSA travels with a entourage that is bloated to say the least and not one educator among them to help the girls during their downtime???? Ridiculous!!!

Don't they realize that these players are still kids going through their formative years. There isn't a lot of money to be made in the Woman's game in the first place with the average WPS salary being 35 K. For many of these girls their most lucrative and immediate payback will be a full ride to a top American university. Why would CSA jeopardize their academic future? Why burn a year or two of NCAA eligibility because of poor planning, poor judgment and a complete lack of forethought by the CSA?

Time for a collective head shake at the CSA!!!

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I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of the U17 WNT parents this past weekend. What they had to say was disconcerting to say the least.

Because of all the time missed attending camps and qualifying games this past year it seems that some of the girls were not able to complete their grade 11 school year and are so short of course credits they will not be able to graduate next year with their school mates. When I asked what resources, tutoring CSA had provided for these girls the answer was zero. When I asked why they didn't hire their own tutors the parents said that hey simply can't afford it. So CSA travels with a entourage that is bloated to say the least and not one educator among them to help the girls during their downtime???? Ridiculous!!!

Don't they realize that these players are still kids going through their formative years. There isn't a lot of money to be made in the Woman's game in the first place with the average WPS salary being 35 K. For many of these girls their most lucrative and immediate payback will be a full ride to a top American university. Why would CSA jeopardize their academic future? Why burn a year or two of NCAA eligibility because of poor planning, poor judgment and a complete lack of forethought by the CSA?

Time for a collective head shake at the CSA!!!

Embarrassing. It should be illegal.

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I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of the U17 WNT parents this past weekend. What they had to say was disconcerting to say the least.

Because of all the time missed attending camps and qualifying games this past year it seems that some of the girls were not able to complete their grade 11 school year and are so short of course credits they will not be able to graduate next year with their school mates. When I asked what resources, tutoring CSA had provided for these girls the answer was zero. When I asked why they didn't hire their own tutors the parents said that hey simply can't afford it. So CSA travels with a entourage that is bloated to say the least and not one educator among them to help the girls during their downtime???? Ridiculous!!!

Don't they realize that these players are still kids going through their formative years. There isn't a lot of money to be made in the Woman's game in the first place with the average WPS salary being 35 K. For many of these girls their most lucrative and immediate payback will be a full ride to a top American university. Why would CSA jeopardize their academic future? Why burn a year or two of NCAA eligibility because of poor planning, poor judgment and a complete lack of forethought by the CSA?

Time for a collective head shake at the CSA!!!

I am assuming you knew nothing of the elite sport system in Canada.. CSA is no better and no worse then most sports... talk to ski parents, talk to skate parents ... all elite atheletes in Canada take extra time to graduate High School or university if they study in Canada and continue in thier chossen sport.

Parents are expected in Canada to fund the elite athletic system its starts at 20k per year and goes up... so .. frankly as the CSA gives it head shake.. give yourself one and ask your politician friends why the funding is so so thin at the base of the elite system.

I have seen two children through the elite athletic system in Canada... it was a investment in the range of over 400k or more, most family refuse to add up the bills its to scary.

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I don't see how they lose any years of ncaa eligibilty.

From the CollegeSoccer USA website as it pertains to schoalrship athletes attending NCAA Division I schools:

There is an age limit of 26 for players in the NCAA I, which means you must stop competing on the day you turn 25 and any scholarship must finish at the end of that semester.

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I am assuming you knew nothing of the elite sport system in Canada.. CSA is no better and no worse then most sports... talk to ski parents, talk to skate parents ... all elite atheletes in Canada take extra time to graduate High School or university if they study in Canada and continue in thier chossen sport.

Sidney Crosby born in 1987 graduated high school in his 18th year ( 2005 ) as did Johnathon Toews. Two fairly elite athletes I would say. In any case multiple wrongs by Sport Canada don't make a right and nobody would disagree that all programs are underfunded in Canada. My point is CSA should get their heads out of their collective butts and come up for some fresh air once in a while.

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I have a son who was a carded elite athlete from age 16 and part of the national team development program starting in Ontario then in BC, a member of the U-17, U-20 and U-23 player pools with all the training, camps and travel that involves. He graduated from highschool a year ahead of his peers with a full International Baccalaureate diploma, turned down multiple scholarship offers from US schools and completed a four year degree with a double major at Simon Fraser University while starting every game the Clan played during that period. He finished university with a positive bank balance and paid his own way on scholarships for both tuition and residence, yes, at a Canadian university. I acknowledge that this is a little unusual - he is an exceptionally bright lad - but nevertheless the incremental cost to his parents for his participation in the provincial allstar in both provinces and national team programs over what we would have spent anyway for the highest level of recreational competitive soccer was relatively trivial, never mind $400,000.

Shake your head, you would have been better off in the long run investing even a fraction of that money in an RESP to pay for university and buying a few lottery tickets. Most Canadian kids who go to US colleges on scholarship offers don't finish the program then often find what credits they do get are not accepted by Canadian universities. Only a tiny fraction of kids end up playing professionally, far fewer women than men, and most of those are scouted in their early teens. Even then most of those who do make the pros only manage to scrape a living at it for a few years anyway. Nobody can live on hope alone.

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Richard, regarding the 'stat' that many kids don't complete US degrees on US scholarships... any info on that? I am curious, never heard of that before.

I would like to know more about it.

Thanks,

JM

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I have a son who was a carded elite athlete from age 16 and part of the national team development program starting in Ontario then in BC, a member of the U-17, U-20 and U-23 player pools with all the training, camps and travel that involves. He graduated from highschool a year ahead of his peers with a full International Baccalaureate diploma, turned down multiple scholarship offers from US schools and completed a four year degree with a double major at Simon Fraser University while starting every game the Clan played during that period. He finished university with a positive bank balance and paid his own way on scholarships for both tuition and residence, yes, at a Canadian university. I acknowledge that this is a little unusual - he is an exceptionally bright lad - but nevertheless the incremental cost to his parents for his participation in the provincial allstar in both provinces and national team programs over what we would have spent anyway for the highest level of recreational competitive soccer was relatively trivial, never mind $400,000.

Shake your head, you would have been better off in the long run investing even a fraction of that money in an RESP to pay for university and buying a few lottery tickets. Most Canadian kids who go to US colleges on scholarship offers don't finish the program then often find what credits they do get are not accepted by Canadian universities. Only a tiny fraction of kids end up playing professionally, far fewer women than men, and most of those are scouted in their early teens. Even then most of those who do make the pros only manage to scrape a living at it for a few years anyway. Nobody can live on hope alone.

I will not quibble about the investing your right.. but i will suggest from u16 on you did not pay a single coaching fee, some sports dont work that way... two words Figure Skating .. training lesson at 15 minutes minimum cost 12 bucks ... requirement at least two per day five days a week, and thats for a Level 2 coach .. go up the food chain and it gets more expensive, and yes both mine graduated from bachelors degrees with positive bank balances and indeed will both soon have Masters degrees.. much in part to their athletic involvement and no Richard there are no scholarships for figure skating and damn few carded athletes and you lose your carding once your off the national team....

Props to your son, but my comment was directed at our national sport system which is designed on family pay basis... again go ask the ski types or those in swimming etc... the cost over ten to fifteen years add up... its not like paying 1000 bucks to your local soccer club and ... thinking your paying for elite sport development... your not .

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Jacko you definitely spoke to an odd sample because most of the girls in our programs are serial overachievers with extremely high averages. And if you're arguing that a year of school is better for a national soccer player than a World Cup, good luck telling them that. 100% guaranteed response - mind your own business, you know nothing, and let me live my own life. And they're right. Read Tony Waiters comments on Daniel Fernandes again. Heroes.

Edited by Vic
72

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Richard, regarding the 'stat' that many kids don't complete US degrees on US scholarships... any info on that? I am curious, never heard of that before.

I would like to know more about it.

Thanks,

JM

Don't have any hard data, kinda difficult to come by as people are reticent when it comes to failed ventures. My comment was based on subjective observation/experience over a period of years up to and including the time my son was at SFU, tracking what happened with kids he played with during his youth soccer years. For a time my wife made it her business to keep herself well informed about US scholarships and was frequently consulted by parents on an informal basis. I would estimate that more than half the kids who went south with high hopes were back home within two years, for a variety of reasons but probably chief amongst them was disillusionment, unrealistic expectations on the part of kid and/or parents, hidden costs or inability to handle the academic requirements at some schools. Sorry I can't be any more specific. This was also ten years ago now so can't speak to the current situation though I have no reason to believe anything has changed much. This in no way is meant to put down those kids who make a success of their scholarship opportunities, of which there are still plenty.

I am still flabbergasted that anybody would spend $400,000 on their kid's soccer before they even get to university in the hope that they get a scholarship and/or a pro contract and not wake up to reality long before that total is reached. There are much better ways to invest that amount of money in your kid's future in my opinion.

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I will not quibble about the investing your right.. but i will suggest from u16 on you did not pay a single coaching fee, some sports dont work that way... two words Figure Skating .. training lesson at 15 minutes minimum cost 12 bucks ... requirement at least two per day five days a week, and thats for a Level 2 coach .. go up the food chain and it gets more expensive, and yes both mine graduated from bachelors degrees with positive bank balances and indeed will both soon have Masters degrees.. much in part to their athletic involvement and no Richard there are no scholarships for figure skating and damn few carded athletes and you lose your carding once your off the national team....

Props to your son, but my comment was directed at our national sport system which is designed on family pay basis... again go ask the ski types or those in swimming etc... the cost over ten to fifteen years add up... its not like paying 1000 bucks to your local soccer club and ... thinking your paying for elite sport development... your not .

I thought we were talking soccer here, how does the cost of figure skating or hockey come into it?

On the subject of spending nearly half a million dollars on one kid's sporting activities (specifically soccer) before they even reach college age... in my opinion unless a kid has obviously exceptional athletic ability, a well above average grasp of the game at an early age and has proven to be eminently trainable, spending a lot of money on supposedly high quality coaching will undoubtedly make them a better player, but only in the rare instance will it produce a professional level player. Like trying to turn a pig's ear into a silk purse, just won't happen, even to the above average kid. Any sensible parent should take a good hard look every year at just why they are doing this and redirect their investment. I suspect there is too much of a desire for vicarious fulfilment at play here with too many parents succumbing to exaggerated suggestions of people who make a living out of coaching and need a constant stream of kids into their programs to sustain the revenue stream, and this last point applies to all sports. Buyer beware.

I am not suggesting parents not spend money on individual coaching to improve their kid's enjoyment of the game, there are plenty of good and honourable coaches out there who will do the best they can for your kid. There are also a few parents who have that kind of money to burn who don't really factor into this discussion. If you are not one of them, remove the rose tinted glasses and keep objectively evaluating the investment against the likely return. If you begin to resent the money being spent, think again. If you decide to carry on spending don't ever complain about the cost, especially on an internet forum, because your kid will find out and all your hard work and sacrifice will be for nought.

Edited by Richard

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I thought we were talking soccer here, how does the cost of figure skating or hockey come into it?

from my original post Richard...

I am assuming you knew nothing of the elite sport system in Canada.. CSA is no better and no worse then most sports... talk to ski parents, talk to skate parents ... all elite atheletes in Canada take extra time to graduate High School or university if they study in Canada and continue in thier chossen sport.

Parents are expected in Canada to fund the elite athletic system its starts at 20k per year and goes up... so .. frankly as the CSA gives it head shake.. give yourself one and ask your politician friends why the funding is so so thin at the base of the elite system.

I have seen two children through the[bb] elite athletic system in Canad a... it was a investment in the range of over 400k or more, most family refuse to add up the bills its to scary.

Richard... the bolding shoulld help point out how many times I indicated Elite athletic System versus talking of soccer only where the driving force ten years ago when your child particpated was to have soccer seen as the low cost sport, with competitive registration fees of a few hundred dollars a year... today a top club on the youth side is looking at a fee of close to 5000 dollars to be on a team and take in all the training the club demands for participation and that is spreading a coaches fees or group of coaches fees over 16 to 18 players, bring that down to a team cost and you have 75k plus a year .... so yes because its a team sport and because clubs have not gotten to having all the ancillary support... Tutors, fitness coach, sport psychologist.. costs are not in the range of individual athlete sports.. but trust me they are climbing.

I suspect there are programs in Canada where to play youth soccer at the highest level you need 10k a year or your child in playing... perhaps some OYSL parents will comment or some parents of national pool players at u17 on what the costs are of participating.

Richard if all families followed your philosophy ... we would have no Olympians .. no gold medals in Vancover, no golds to come in London... so dont ***** about parents investing, ask why your tax dollars dont fund elite sport at a level to compete internationally ... or pull all the funding, dont invest in Olympics or facilitys etc.. and just have sport as recreation and participation.... you cannot have it both ways.

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Don't have any hard data, kinda difficult to come by as people are reticent when it comes to failed ventures. My comment was based on subjective observation/experience over a period of years up to and including the time my son was at SFU, tracking what happened with kids he played with during his youth soccer years. For a time my wife made it her business to keep herself well informed about US scholarships and was frequently consulted by parents on an informal basis. I would estimate that more than half the kids who went south with high hopes were back home within two years, for a variety of reasons but probably chief amongst them was disillusionment, unrealistic expectations on the part of kid and/or parents, hidden costs or inability to handle the academic requirements at some schools. Sorry I can't be any more specific. This was also ten years ago now so can't speak to the current situation though I have no reason to believe anything has changed much. This in no way is meant to put down those kids who make a success of their scholarship opportunities, of which there are still plenty.

I am still flabbergasted that anybody would spend $400,000 on their kid's soccer before they even get to university in the hope that they get a scholarship and/or a pro contract and not wake up to reality long before that total is reached. There are much better ways to invest that amount of money in your kid's future in my opinion.

As is usually the case. a kid that has an academic focus, good work ethic and some smarts will do well no matter what University he/she attends. My point is that parents of female players specifically should probably look at a scholarship as being the highest payback in monetary terms that the child will ever attain. As such messing up high school does not help in that regard.

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from my original post Richard...

I am assuming you knew nothing of the elite sport system in Canada.. CSA is no better and no worse then most sports... talk to ski parents, talk to skate parents ... all elite atheletes in Canada take extra time to graduate High School or university if they study in Canada and continue in thier chossen sport.

Parents are expected in Canada to fund the elite athletic system its starts at 20k per year and goes up... so .. frankly as the CSA gives it head shake.. give yourself one and ask your politician friends why the funding is so so thin at the base of the elite system.

I have seen two children through the[bb] elite athletic system in Canad a... it was a investment in the range of over 400k or more, most family refuse to add up the bills its to scary.

Richard... the bolding shoulld help point out how many times I indicated Elite athletic System versus talking of soccer only where the driving force ten years ago when your child particpated was to have soccer seen as the low cost sport, with competitive registration fees of a few hundred dollars a year... today a top club on the youth side is looking at a fee of close to 5000 dollars to be on a team and take in all the training the club demands for participation and that is spreading a coaches fees or group of coaches fees over 16 to 18 players, bring that down to a team cost and you have 75k plus a year .... so yes because its a team sport and because clubs have not gotten to having all the ancillary support... Tutors, fitness coach, sport psychologist.. costs are not in the range of individual athlete sports.. but trust me they are climbing.

I suspect there are programs in Canada where to play youth soccer at the highest level you need 10k a year or your child in playing... perhaps some OYSL parents will comment or some parents of national pool players at u17 on what the costs are of participating.

Richard if all families followed your philosophy ... we would have no Olympians .. no gold medals in Vancover, no golds to come in London... so dont ***** about parents investing, ask why your tax dollars dont fund elite sport at a level to compete internationally ... or pull all the funding, dont invest in Olympics or facilitys etc.. and just have sport as recreation and participation.... you cannot have it both ways.

Actually my neice who plays in the OYSL for Brams United which are in the top tier and twice provincial Champs told me that her registration costs are around $800 for the summer season and a bit more for out of town tournaments, etc. She says that they spend under $2000 a year on her soccer. She has had letters of interest from a number of US schools so her payback to money spent over all of these years will be huge.

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I had the opportunity to speak with a couple of the U17 WNT parents this past weekend. What they had to say was disconcerting to say the least.

Because of all the time missed attending camps and qualifying games this past year it seems that some of the girls were not able to complete their grade 11 school year and are so short of course credits they will not be able to graduate next year with their school mates. When I asked what resources, tutoring CSA had provided for these girls the answer was zero. When I asked why they didn't hire their own tutors the parents said that hey simply can't afford it. So CSA travels with a entourage that is bloated to say the least and not one educator among them to help the girls during their downtime???? Ridiculous!!!

Don't they realize that these players are still kids going through their formative years. There isn't a lot of money to be made in the Woman's game in the first place with the average WPS salary being 35 K. For many of these girls their most lucrative and immediate payback will be a full ride to a top American university. Why would CSA jeopardize their academic future? Why burn a year or two of NCAA eligibility because of poor planning, poor judgment and a complete lack of forethought by the CSA?

Time for a collective head shake at the CSA!!!

Great thread. This is something that I have seen first hand as well, an absolute lack of vigilance and support in relation to the girls academic pursuits in conjunction with youth national team, and full national team camps.

As a parent of a former youth national team player, I was horrified when my daughter was involved in the program to hear stories of players that slipped very far behind academically because of being pulled out of school for national team camps. In particular my daughter was friends with one player, but who took an extra 2 years to graduate from high school (and barely managed) because she was not very strong academically and was constantly on the road with the youth and full team. I asked my daughter if this player was receiving tutoring of any sort, and she told me that no, she was on her own, and was struggling because of it. I understand that she is now playing NCAA D 2 or junior college level soccer because of her poor grades, when this is a kid, who could have gone anywhere she wanted, if her grades were at an acceptable level. This is also a kid, who if she had had a career ending injury before she left for school, could have gone nowhere. And I agree with what has been posted; at the end of the day, supporting these girls in getting a university education should be the goal, as even at the level of the top league in the world, the average players are pulling in, little more than 30-40K a year.

I guess we can argue then, if it is up to the parents to call the shots, and tell the girls they can't attend camps if their grades are suffering, but to be honest, I feel the CSA should have some kind of onus to provide academic support if they are going to be pulling the girls out of school for camps in the middle of the school year. I have read people on here in the past, bashing kids like Sydney Leroux for going to the US, but from what I know about the US' youth team staffs, there is a high emphasis on academic support, in a way that Canada does not even come close to.

At the end of the day, I don't know who the responsibility should fall on. But what I do know, is that if there is no accountability, no checks and balances, as I have seen in the past, at the end of the day it is the players that suffer, especially the ones that are weak academically. Coaches are paid to win games, and unfortunately, many are focused on that, as opposed to protecting the future of these players. Regardless, I commend whoever started the discussion, as it is a very important one.

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From the CollegeSoccer USA website as it pertains to schoalrship athletes attending NCAA Division I schools:

There is an age limit of 26 for players in the NCAA I, which means you must stop competing on the day you turn 25 and any scholarship must finish at the end of that semester.

The NCAA also specs the eligability requirement to enter from high school. See the quote below from the Eligability Guide 2010:

" Requirement to graduate with your high school class

You must complete the 16 core-course requirement in eight

semesters, which begins when you initially started high school

with your ninth-grade class. If you graduate from high school in

eight semesters with your class, you may use one core-course unit

completed within one year after graduation (summer or academic

year) to meet NCAA Division I initial-eligibility requirements."

In speaking with a D1 Student Athelete advisor they advised me that a prospect must come directly from high school with the proper 16 core courses in order for their eligability to qualify based on the above.

When asked about a student taking a "victory lap" in order to increase their grades etc....I was advised they would not be eligable.

Maybe this is new news for some.

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Ultimately the responsibility for a child's welfare rests with the parents who should not try and transfer this to others, including the CSA and its coaches. If your kid cannot handle high level, elite sport involvement and at the same time maintain adequate school grades I think the right decision is obvious.

It is unwise to put it mildly, to rely on a child's perceived athletic ability to fund post secondary education, that's little better than a pension plan that relies on buying lottery tickets.

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To the best of my knowledge (and it is limited) the only sports organization that really does a good job a providing eduction (whether it is high school completion or future university scholarship) is Junior Hockey. I suspect that hase more to do with the money being made off the game and a desire to continue to ensure that parents will encourage their kids to play in their league than it does with genuine concern for the well being of the player.

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Ultimately the responsibility for a child's welfare rests with the parents who should not try and transfer this to others, including the CSA and its coaches. If your kid cannot handle high level, elite sport involvement and at the same time maintain adequate school grades I think the right decision is obvious.

It is unwise to put it mildly, to rely on a child's perceived athletic ability to fund post secondary education, that's little better than a pension plan that relies on buying lottery tickets.

Well that being said, if the attitude is to say that it is what it is, then those that share your attitude should be the last people to come forward and complain when the Sydney Leroux's of the future, choose to go to other countries that place education first and work hard to build a sound structure, that includes academic support for high school players. I will also say that it is far too easy to sit and armchair debate and go for the simple answer of "just stay home", when you have a player that gets the opportunity to represent her country. I still say, as even as a parent that had a daughter that was educationally sound, that the CSA does need to take some responsibility for this. Having a staff member that is there solely as an academic tutor for the high school girls should be a no-brainer when putting together a staff roster. Do things right, or don't do them at all.

At the very least, I think it is positive that those outside of the small circle of parents that have seen things first hand, get a glimpse of what the top looks like. I know as a parent, my wife and I were ignorant as to the kinds of things that go on, before we had a chance to see ourselves first hand; the lack of educational support being one, that both disappointed and surprised me, in terms of the professionalism that I would have expected at that level.

Edited by Pete K

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Ultimately the responsibility for a child's welfare rests with the parents who should not try and transfer this to others, including the CSA and its coaches. If your kid cannot handle high level, elite sport involvement and at the same time maintain adequate school grades I think the right decision is obvious.

It is unwise to put it mildly, to rely on a child's perceived athletic ability to fund post secondary education, that's little better than a pension plan that relies on buying lottery tickets.

Of course ultimate responsibility lies with the parents but you are assuming that the parents themselves are responsible. Someone has to save these kids from their "stage parents" and themselves. If the CSA is going to monopolize their time there should be a quid pro quo.

Actually since the US universities instituted gender equality for athletic scholarship disbursements it has been relatively easy for a girl that wanted one to get one somewhere, So it has been much much better than the lotto

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If Canadian youth clubs were supporting "a" infrastructure above, the kids who are the elite players in "a" domestic league would have their education looked after to insure they could grad on time or make it to university. Sports clubs and the NSO have a obligation to insure education comes 1st but it's up to the parents to insure that happens or provide what the sports club or NSO doesn't provide, IMO in Canada the best club and league model is junior ice hockey.

The biggest variable between National level sports and their feeder system in Canada is the commercial support they get by getting sponsors for their events and/or the programing of clubs in leagues that generate income from tickets sales and etc. Revenue is needed to develop the players not only on the field of play but away from it as well. Because of this it's very hard to compare say ice hockey's Junior A & B leagues and the ages they are composed of to soccer which has no similar programing. Ice hockey is not alone with being successful in getting commercial sponsorship.

Next biggest variable is youth club soccer in Canada which lacks in infrastructure and culture to support domestic leagues similar to say junior ice hockey. If youth clubs don't have enough revenue, pro coaching, pro administrating, width and depth in player pools there is no sense having leagues. Basically, our current youth structure is not organized to support what is above it which in Canada is not there.

Cases in point -

Uruguay of 3.4M people when compared to Canada, we have basically enough reg'ed players playing that is almost 1/3 of Uruguay population but they have programing and culture for the game. Anyone know how many members UADF/AUDF have?

Netherlands - The KNVB has nearly 1.2 million members and is the largest sports association in the Netherlands. Canada is 2x the civilian population of the Netherlands.

Edited by CoachRich

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Let us assume the CSA was to provide one tutor on staff for the highschool kids when they are at national team camp or at competitions. What subject, bearing in mind that most qualified schoolteachers tend to specialise? Unrealistic to expect CSA to cover all the bases. Then again there is always distance education, but that requires self discipline on the part of the kid.

I am flabbergasted that there are parents here who are surprised at the lack of academic support for their kids from the CSA. What did you realistically expect? Did you not ask any questions at the outset or do some research before letting your kid commit themselves then complain when you did find out but only after your kid became involved? Nevermind the CSA needing a head shake, I am shaking my head right now at the foregoing!

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Let us assume the CSA was to provide one tutor on staff for the highschool kids when they are at national team camp or at competitions. What subject, bearing in mind that most qualified schoolteachers tend to specialise? Unrealistic to expect CSA to cover all the bases. Then again there is always distance education, but that requires self discipline on the part of the kid.

I am flabbergasted that there are parents here who are surprised at the lack of academic support for their kids from the CSA. What did you realistically expect? Did you not ask any questions at the outset or do some research before letting your kid commit themselves then complain when you did find out but only after your kid became involved? Nevermind the CSA needing a head shake, I am shaking my head right now at the foregoing!

My daughter was a straight A student, and did fine academically, as I mentioned above. She was also lucky to be from a family that had the economic means to offer her extra help if she needed it, and that had the time to be invested in her academics There were however, some extremely talented kids on her team that were not as strong academically, who were from families that often struggled financially or structurally (single parents who perhaps were stretched very thin with other children etc), who were left treading water academically, because of a lack of ANY kind of tutor on some of these trips. Do I think it is logical that if a player is being called in to represent her country and being pulled out of her high school classes has academic support for some of these trips that can last up to a month then the answer is yes. Do I think that the CSA should provide this support, like they would a physio to tape their ankles, then the answer is yes.

Richard, based on your assertions throughout this thread, that those who struggle academically should stay home, do you propose then, that we only have straight A students or rich kids whose parents can afford private tutors, represent our country at the youth levels?

Edited by Pete K

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