For the Player

What difference does “For the Player” make in a program?

Here are some samples of real feedback from our families and community:

"Dear River City Rangers Soccer Club,

I have been wanting to write this email for a few years now and I am just now getting around to it.  I want to thank you for the quality of soccer player that your organization produces.  I have been the head boys soccer coach at Anderson High School for the past six seasons and I can normally tell which soccer club that each of our boys play for by the way they play.  The boys that play for or have played for the Rangers are the best team players.  They know how to pass, move to space and receive a pass.  They are unselfish and truly understand how to play as a team.  Whatever you are doing to foster this in your young players is working and it is a complement to the game.  I have had the pleasure of coaching a number of your players here at Anderson and I hope to coach many more.  Thank you for all that you are doing to improve the game of soccer and sportsmanship. 

Sincerely,

Philip Reus

Anderson Boys Soccer"

Hello, I just wanted to let you know that my daughter used to play for [club], but transferred to the Rangers this year. We have been very happy with the great coaching and training that she has received from the Rangers. I have seen tremendous improvement in her skills and her attitude. I truly believe that the mega clubs are getting too big and cannot accommodate all skill levels and types of players. Many, except the very best get left behind. I want my daughter to enjoy soccer, improve her skills, and work to the best of her ability. The Rangers provide what she needs to accomplish her goals.

I would like to say as a new family to the Rangers that we think that this is a fabulous club. We have been treated so wonderfully and we love the girls, their families our great coach and team manger. It is very rare to walk on a team, be a starter and be so welcomed. Most teams are not that kind. All the girls welcomed our daughter and made her feel as if she had been with this team all along. That says a lot about this club. Thank-you all and if you are thinking of leaving this club DON’T, because you'll never find such a great bunch of people.

After having recently having spent 2-yrs at [club] and earlier 6-yrs at [club], I agree… smaller is better for the players. Go Rangers! 

I have two daughters - one 7 and one 10. Part of what parents do at practices and games as part of the getting-to-know-you ritual is talk about their children’s experiences in soccer. Its something we have in common, and usually very interesting. In my daughters first years of playing soccer, I was always involved in coaching. I still dont know all the rules of the game, but I love kids, and we had a good time. Since then, we have been lucky enough to play for [rec coach] (my 7 year old) and [rec coach] (my 10 year old) - and both girls have come to love the sport - teammates, practice and games. 

Last night after our 7-year old's game, most of the team went out to eat dinner together. During the night the 'Blue Cheetahs' were all piled in the sandbox, or on the playscape, with the big sisters (all of them NASA/Ranger players) watching them and chasing them, and the parents all visiting. I don’t know how many kid-years of soccer was out there - 40+ I would guess. So there were a few 'horror team' stories, but not very many. We have had teams that won a lot, and teams that didn’t do so well.

I don’t think there was ever a connection between the enjoyment of a season and the number of games won or lost - not that the kids did not care. Playing hard and losing is just part of the game.

This season is our first one at the more competitive levels. I was apprehensive, as was my 10 year old, that perhaps the pressure would be too high. That winning would become so important that other lessons might get lost. That the parents and coaches might not be as nice if you have a bad game - or even a bad play. That you might not even meet your teammate’s expectations.

And then it happened. The half from hell. When nothing was going well, and tempers started to rise. As a parent it was hard to find much to encourage - just a total stinker of a half. I listened to the parents at half time - they were not upset, but were searching for ways to encourage or praise. I looked across at the girls and their coach. They were quiet - even the coach, and they looked serious. And the second half was a total reversal. It was a loss, but a strong effort. I asked my daughter what was said during the halftime and she smiled and responded: "Coach told us to take a few minutes and go look for her team, because the team that played the first half was not her team". At the end of the game there was praise for a half well played, and a reminder of the next practice. My daughter learned the 'give it 100% lesson' that afternoon, and that team has turned in some really fine games since.

What I learned that day (and have had reinforced since then) is how strong NASA/Rangers is as an organization. Parents that support their children, their coach, and the officials - even when things are not going well. Coaches that have a solid grasp on the levers and limits of 9 & 10 year old girls brains and emotions (thank you Jeana). Coaches that can stop in and offer advice that leaves a child feeling more secure in their new-found abilities (thank you Ivan). Shade when its hot (thanks parents), humor when they are tired (thanks Katie), cheers when they are winning - and losing. 

I didn’t really have a point to all of this when I started except to thank both of you. It’s a big club, and I’m sure you have lots of ups and downs every day. It has been a wonderful time for both of my children. They are both developing the internal desire to improve, and the confidence they will improve with effort.

It has been fun, and hard, and rewarding for them - because they both want more of it. 

Well done gentlemen. Very well done!

Thank you.

Stuart”

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