As a long time coach and specialty skills trainer, I have used my passion for the sport to be a disrupter in my local market. I have trained thousands of players from 3 years old through college as a coach at every level from volunteer to paid professional. I have been a volunteer, sat on several boards, a club founder, a club trainer, club director, club Executive and coach. I have obtained multiple licenses and certifications and have coached from the grassroots to the top regional leagues. The purpose of the quick resume is not to thump my chest but to provide a background of the unique perspective that I bring to the table. Perhaps the most important perspective that I will mention is that I am also a Soccer Parent of a player who has played Rec, Club, Regional ODP, Trained Internationally, and is currently in the USSDA System.
I was not only compelled to write about this topic but also to act, at least within my sphere of influence. I am taking a stand on something that which I can control.
As I sat in the stands at a local high school soccer game, I saw a notification on my phone of a tweet. I checked it out and saw an announcement for upcoming winter skills training programs from a local soccer club. Curious, I read further because my company Runfast Jumphigh Soccer is in the same business. What I could not believe when I looked into the details was how out of touch this Organization seems to be with the local market and the needs of the players. The structure of the age groups, the number of training sessions per program, and the age groups that the different levels of the programs offer seem to be in alignment. What is not in alignment (in my opinion) is the cost for the players to participate. While I absolutely take issue with the fee structure for the older players, I just can’t accept the fees that they are trying to charge the youngest players.
So I was compelled to respond but rather than respond to the organization, I thought that I would lead by example. I will be offering an 8-week winter training program this winter for 4 and 5-year-olds for $25. I had previously decided to reduce the fees for our fall programs because players are paying club fees or league fees. Even after researching several other organizations’ fee structures for similar programs, I have decided not to raise fees and in several cases will reduce fees on all programs for the foreseeable future.
Having trained more than 3000 players in our programs, we have received continuous feedback that players have really enjoyed our programs and parents have said that the quality of programming is among the best in the area. While we were typically on the lower end of the pricing scale, we will ensure that we will now remain the lowest cost option for players for the most unique training programs in our market. We could justify a premium for what we offer, but that would not be very disruptive, and it would not encourage change.
Here is a table resulting from research on other Local Training offers for the fall/winter. Some are certainly in alignment with the market, but not all, at least in my opinion.
|Runfast JumpHigh Soccer
||$25 – $125
If you are a parent, I encourage you to take a stand, before registering for specialty skills training, consider the quality and the value that you will receive for the investment.
If you are a coach who offers this training, reconsider the model to ensure that you are covering your costs and receiving compensation for what you offer that is unique, but consider how much of a premium you are charging and ask yourself the tough questions that justify your opinion of premium.
If you are a coach who is looking to recommend a program to your players or to validate a program for your players when asked, consider having an understanding of what is being offered before you respond.
I hope that others are compelled to do their part in their community to continue to provide solutions to solve some of the issues that youth sports are currently facing while at the same time, providing solutions that move the game of soccer forward.
Feel Free to share this article with others that may find this to be of interest.
If you are interested in learning more or registering, check out http://www.runfastjumphighsocccer.com
In soccer, in sport, and in life.
CoachRich8 aka RFH8