Bringing Soccer to Pinellas County Families Since 1970



Much has been written about College scholarships and how to acquire one. Well, I want to put my perspective on this topic and clarify my thoughts.
As we move towards the end of the season for many, the thoughts of Tryouts are on the lips of everyone, with players and parent alike being promised all sorts of things to try something new?
My first thought is to beware of Club Coaches that promise the world and guarantee College scholarships to players that either play for them or are looking to jump ship for this very reason. I want to make it absolutely clear that no club coach can promise this? So, Buyer beware!
In some situations players do get a scholarship, but where to? Perhaps to D1 schools that are not soccer power houses and tucked away in the middle of nowhere! Perhaps it’s better to consider a top quality D2 school in these situations, in a strong conference and a chance to play for a national championship! Remember playing time is important so go to a school where this is a possibility.
The lure of playing for club with aspirations of a State cup Championship always seems attractive to players who are looking to play at Collegiate level. However this can be a fallacy for these very reasons.
As en Ex- College coach of 10 years I can assure you that State Cup teams did not impress me, I was never interested in teams and results, but players and the coach that coached them. I will quantify that statement. Did the coach prepare the individual for College and the demands that are put on players over that 4 year period? Or was it just team driven with no value on the individual?  Did they instill the core values that are so important to make it at the next level? There is a marked difference between the two, coaching to win and coaching to develop are two different things. There one thing getting a player to College and then graduating?  
As we see 75% of players from the age of 14 and up leaving the game we need to be sensitive to burnout and overzealous coaching.
We are in an enviable position as we continue to grow and have other clubs in the Tampa Bay area wanting to join a winning team and coach with a winning formula! There are no shortcuts to success, so you need to entrust your child’s future to a club that has professional expertise with people that have played and coached at the professional level, with the highest licensure in the world of soccer!  But above all a club that holds integrity above all else with no compromise.
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On a final note:
Nothing feels better than being told by a coach from another club you are good player and that you should wear the colors of their club... Of course this is a sales pitch. 
If these approaches are made before tryouts is an infringement of FYSA poaching rules and highly illegal. Please be sure to let me know if this happens to you, as they might not value the rules, however we do and take this extremely serious as the playing field needs to be equal if we are to succeed.
So, on that note I look forward to seeing you all at St. Pete Raiders Tryouts.

Tony Paris
Executive Director
St. Pete Raiders

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