Podcast 9 – Pay to Play Model

Check out my episode “Episode 9 – What you may not know about the Pay to Play Model” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-9—What-you-may-not-know-about-the-Pay-to-Play-Model-e2etmb

My lasted problem with “The Problem with Youth Soccer” deals with the Pay to Play Model and how the system perpetuates the Problem. It is not always about the money for the clubs. Unfortunately the cost of doing business continues to increase and the more clubs that pop up, the more the problem persists. I don’t have the answer only details of some of the challenges that lead to the high prices that get passed to the parents.


Coach Rich Rant Podcast- Multi-Sport vs Sports Specialization

Check out my episode “Episode 8 – Multi-Sport vs Sports Specialization ” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-8—Multi-Sport-vs-Sports-Specialization-e2dalr

A perspective of a former multi-sport athlete who is the parent of specialists. A coach and club administrator. Not necessarily a recommendation as much as it is a Compare and Contrast of each side of the discussion. Since these are always unscripted and on the fly, typically while driving somewhere, you may have to excuse the randomness of some of it. Feel free to share and/or provide feedback.

Sports Parents- it is over before you know it- Senior Night

Check out my episode “Episode 7 – How quickly it ends- HS Senior Night ” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-7—How-quickly-it-ends–HS-Senior-Night-e2cgjf

Brief unplanned and unscripted Podcast Episode about Senior Night and the Realization with how quickly it all goes. Parent note: take time 3 -4 times each year to reflect on where you are, your worries, your kids concerns and then ask yourself if they are legit. Use that same time to reflect on the experience and the success and the enjoyment. Take that time at each season transition. Otherwise it may all be a blur and you will wonder where the time went.

Podcast Episode 6 – Soccer Tournaments

Check out my episode “Episode 6 – Soccer Tournaments” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-6—Soccer-Tournaments-e2bcpe

Soccer Tournaments have always been a big part of the club soccer experience and something that most players, parents and coaches look forward to. Within the last 5 or so years, the entire tournament process from selection, to travel to team placement and prestige have completely changed. It has become more of a necessity to stay relevant as a club and while the intentions are always good and for the right reasons, the reality of the challenges posed in these events on both the parents and the coaches have become a bit of a double edged sword. Have a listen if you want to hear my take on some of the challenges posed both to the families and to the clubs and their administrators.

Thanks for reading and/or listening.

Podcast Episode 5 – My Take on 10 Signs your Child’s Coach May Be a Bully.

Check out my episode “Episode 5 – Review of 10 Signs your kids Coach is a bully” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-5—Review-of-10-Signs-your-kids-Coach-is-a-bully-e2arnc

This podcast reviews my take on an article that I saw this weekend on social media. The article was written by the author of a book that recounts a situation that shouldn’t happen in youth sports. The author is an educator who took up to support 14 students who were not being treated fairly by the coaches to the point of abuse. This blog article What is her own recount of the book and signs that she warns are evidence of abuse or bullying. Based on some of the feedback I saw on the social media post, I felt as if multiple perspectives should be evaluated before jumping to or drawing some conclusions based on some of what she outlines as signs. While some of these very well could be signs, I sense that a lot of people see them as blanket statements against coaches and teachers which I’m sure is not her intent. I am not at all intended to brush things under the rug, or support coaches blindly, I agree with a lot of what she says and I also think that some of what she highlighted should be up for discussion. I will warn you that this is a bit long and somewhat of a ramble because I am not interested right now in production value as much as I am in sharing my perspective. This is a low-budget affair driven by my love for the sport and passion for youth athletics.


Podcast 4 – “Episode 4 – this is club soccer why are we losing 10-0”

Check out my episode “Episode 4 – this is club soccer why are we losing 10-0” from Coach Rich Rants on Anchor: https://anchor.fm/rfh8/episodes/Episode-4—this-is-club-soccer-why-are-we-losing-10-0-e29nqc

This is a topic that comes up at the beginning of every club season. There is struggle for coaches and parents alike in creating the balance between development and winning. Feel free to comment if you have thoughts to share.

The problem with youth soccer – Pay to Play invades specialty training.

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 8 $25 – $125
Program 2 8-10 $295-$385
Program 3 8 $150
Program 4 6 $225
Program 5 7 $180
Program 6 8 $175
Program 7 8 $225

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