DiscoverThe Soccer SidelinesPlaying Varsity Soccer Without Breaking the Bank
Playing Varsity Soccer Without Breaking the Bank

Playing Varsity Soccer Without Breaking the Bank

Update: 2019-08-26
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Support the ShowToday, we're talking about playing varsity soccer. This is a dream for many young players. It's a motivator, a status symbol, a chance to get noticed for some, and for others, it's considered a mixed bag. Do we need to spend thousands of dollars on "select" or "travel" programs to get on a varsity team? Let's talk about playing varsity soccer. This photograph shows the fall 1983 Varsity "A" Soccer Team. Front Row Left To Right: James Core '84, Michael Jaeger '85, Peter Melnick '843, Dan Pearl '84, Chris Waddell '84, Philip Thorogood '84, and Nick MacShane '84. Back Row: Coach Jack Jones, Craig Freeman '84, Aaron Wertheim '84 (Now Aaron Ford '84), Robert Warth '84, Victor Batista '84, Mark Davy '84, Tony Jaccaci '84, Erik Koenigsbauer '84, Leon "Beano" Andrew '84, and Coach Kirk Koenigsbauer.The Allure of Playing Varsity SoccerAs this episode is coming out, we're in pre-season for Fall 0f 2019. At this time of year, high schools in Maryland are finishing up their tryouts, we're in second or final cuts, pre-season conditioning is underway at some schools, and at others, kids are just now finding out if they made their Varsity team. When I was a kid, making a varsity team was a big deal. It still is today! I'm dating myself, but letterman jackets were worn with pride. More letters meant that you had "lettered" more than once or in more than one varsity sport. And I think the Varsity experience pretty much topped to pyramid of potential athletic options and it meant no one questioned that you were an athlete. I lettered in three different sports when I was in High School: swimming, gymnastics, and track; played JV wrestling and lacrosse, and was indicted into a fraternity-like community service focused club called the Varsity Leaders Club or "VLC" for short. As a multi-sport kid, proud to wear my VLC jacket to bed at night (just kidding), I can report first-hand that the Varsity experience was about a lot more than the sports. It paid additional dividends in school socially. It got us boys closer to the cheerleaders and other mixed gender social situations. And it gave us a sort of brotherhood among "jocks" that sometimes meant what we considered a better social experience at an otherwise awkward time in life. For most of us when I was coming up through school, getting on a Varsity team was also the best was to get noticed by college recruiters and it looked great on an athletic resume. We wanted to be varsity, and we were willing to work hard to be a varsity player. Getting on a Varsity TeamGetting on a varsity team and playing varsity soccer is a process that starts a few years before the actual tryout. It is possible to make a team without a lot of formal prep work. I was recruited by my swim coach who also ran our swimming program at school in New York. He plucked me right out of the pool in gym class, but I grew up in a nautical family, was taught to swim as a toddler at the local YMCA, had a swimming pool in my back yard, and spent nearly every possible day swimming and splashing around since I was very young. It helped a lot to be part of a formal development program, but it wasn't - and still isn't - absolutely necessary. I know plenty of kids who are killer soccer players who have not had a chance, or maybe don't have the resources to be involved in a formal development program. For these kids, varsity soccer is their chance to shine. Getting on a varsity team is a competitive process. Tryouts are announced. Sometimes, summer camps are offered by the varsity coaches. Players need to work and prove that they are stand outs among their peers in order to be selected. I think most high school athletes would agree that the process can be intimidating and even discouraging for those who don't make the cut. On my swim team,
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Playing Varsity Soccer Without Breaking the Bank

Playing Varsity Soccer Without Breaking the Bank

David Dejewski