When I was a kid, way back in the 80s, someone's father (or mother) volunteered to coach each youth soccer team.
But that's not exactly how it is for the soccer league my little ones just started playing.
Parents still do coach the non-competitive games on Sundays.
Except weekly practices have been *outsourced* to a private company. On Tuesdays, I drop my son off at the field for an hour with all the other kids (80?) in his league. They are split up into four random groups and rotate between about 6 private (i.e. paid) instructors (teenagers?). They're also very particular about calling it *training* rather than practice.
After some knee-jerk cynicism, I realized that this new way of doing youth soccer makes a whole lot of sense.
Because, in this day and age, which parents really have the time and flexibility to be at the soccer field to volunteer coach at say 4pm on a weekday?
Plus, I believe the kids get much better instruction from young people WHO'VE ACTUALLY PLAYED SOCCER than from the breed of coaches that I grew up with.
Of course having *professional* instructors costs a little more....but at $125 for the whole 9 game season, a shirt, socks, and
And kudos to whichever guy/gal dreamed up this business - which probably makes some nice coin, hiring cheap and eager 16 year olds, and going from town-to-town, up through all the age groups, all week long.