Transitioning Experience to Upper House - Grattan
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- Why did your team decide to make the jump to UH from the Recreational Division?
Part 2 - was there something you saw in your players or team?
Our team is quite strong, both individually and as a team. Many of the players have older siblings who play (or played) competitively in UH, so there was a general desire to play in UH, as well as familiarity of what that would mean in terms of level of commitment and competition level.
- How was your first season in UH?
Part 2 - Was it what you expected? Did you win/lose?
It was pretty much what we expected. You'll have to check what our record was, but I think we won about 50% of our games. I'd like that to have been higher, but I do want the team to know how to lose gracefully as well. With there being only a single UH division in the Fall, there was a pretty wide variation of skill level, so we were hoping for more divisions in the Spring to have finer tuning in competitiveness levels. This Spring, we are in Group B, which is working out well so far...
Part 3 - If you lost, why did you persist when a drop to the recreational divisions could have been easier...
Our goal is not easy opponents, but rather ones that are at our same level. When we played in a rec division, it really wasn't fun (or challenging) for our players, even though we were undefeated all season. With the promise of more than one UH division in the Spring, we felt that we would be able to be more closely matched with other teams.
What advice can you share to parents/managers/teams/players who have made the jump and are struggling right now?
When we were getting absolutely demolished in the summer season, we tried to focus on player and team improvements week to week rather than our Win/Loss record. Did we play better this week than we did last week? Why? What did we do differently? It was still tough, but helpful in getting the players to see the bright side, even in a loss.
For this season, I do wonder if there wants to be some kind of a 'mercy rule' in the UH. I've been looking at the Group A results, for example, and games that are 14-0 seem unnecessarily brutal.
What are the good things you have found from playing in the Upper House divisions?
It's so amazing getting those glimpses of beautiful soccer in kids these young, and seeing how they improve week to week. The general level of commitment you get going in is helpful in terms of coaching and management. Players and families are a bit more dependable.
How is it going for you? What are you worried about?
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