The Stanford Soccer Club
The Stanford Soccer Club is a highly competitive youth soccer club, established by Palo Alto parents as an alternative to other soccer models operating in the community. Teams play in California Youth Soccer Association (CYSA) and US Club Soccer/Norcal leagues and tournaments.
The Stanford Soccer Club's philosophy is to support, but not control, its member teams. The club has flourished with this team-centric philosophy. Each team is able to decide their goals, tryout policies, level of commitment and whether to play year-round or not. Each team has the freedom to manage their teams as the parents see fit regarding conducting tryouts (e.g. tryouts are not required), player selection, coach selection, etc. The club's role is to simply guide a team's leadership through the process.
The club typically does not form teams, it facilitates the formation of a team when a motivated and committed parent or group of parents approach the club for affiliation. Other than ensuring that a team-in-formation has a viable parent organizer knowledgeable about soccer and willing to invest the time and energy necessary, the club assists with registration, field and referee scheduling, publicity and informal mentoring. Specifically the club does not select players or coaches, as this is guided by volunteer parents. The club may help with initial tryouts to attract players, at the desire of a new team. As new teams form, the managers of older teams help them to understand the sometimes complex league rules and the delicate process of building a strong, cohesive team.
For hundreds of local children and their families between the ages 8 and 18, the club has become a second home, adopted by their soccer teams in both fun and competition.
Here are the Club Newletter(s).
Importance of Parental Involvement
Since conscientious parents act in the best interests of their children, the club asserts that these children's parents should be the primary force guiding and supporting each team - not soccer companies or other non-familial outsiders whose agenda may be financial or otherwise ulterior.
The club emphasizes parental involvement in virtually all aspects of team leadership. We believe that caring parents increase a competitive soccer team's long-term viability and enhance a child's emotional and athletic development. We recognize that players - when supported by their parents and guided by excellent coaches – gain a deeper and more durable love of the game, achieving true soccer excellence.
The Stanford Soccer Club expects the parents of every team to volunteer a reasonable amount of time to support their team and the club. For example, team parents assist the coach and team manager on and off the field by completing registration documents, setting up goals and other equipment, facilitating social events, ordering uniforms, taking photos, fulfilling club duties, and of course cheering at games.
Team parents work together to make decisions regarding level of competition, training regimen, fees, and virtually all other matters concerning their children in a soccer context. An annual team meeting is required allowing all team families to establish plans, discuss differences, share objectives, and otherwise gain consensus.
Since other soccer operating models exist in Palo Alto , parents who prefer a heavily centralized structure that transfers decision-making to non-parents may be more comfortable choosing a more “corporate, top-down” soccer club.
The Value of Excellent Coaching
While recognizing the central role of parental leadership, the club also emphasizes the importance of highly competent coaching. Most SSC teams engage professional soccer coaches who have played soccer at a very high level, teaching and encouraging players to assimilate both fundamentals and refinements of the game.
An effective coach will bring a higher level of expertise to the team, providing a valuable third-party perspective on the progress and strengths of each player, always intent on optimizing the youth's soccer potential.
To its teams, the Stanford Soccer Club provides the infrastructure required to practice and play soccer: fields, referees, game scheduling, recruiting support, insurance, registration guidelines, and so forth.
By providing this administrative and organizational infrastructure, the club allows its parents, coaches and players to focus their efforts on what's important: the building of a successful soccer team for the benefit of local youths.
Since the Stanford Soccer Club is a not-for-profit, volunteer-led organization, fees remain modest in comparison to other local organizations', allowing community families to participate regardless of their financial stature or lack thereof. Scholarships are generally available for children with appropriate skills and needs.
We appreciate your interest in the Stanford Soccer Club, and hope that you may join and strengthen our organization.