29 Dec How many tournaments or showcases should your athlete attend?
There are too many tournaments and showcases. If you really wanted to you could play in a tournament or showcase every weekend! The emails promoting them, have become the spam of my inbox. I kept a folder for tournament and showcase emails I got for 1 month. This is what it looked like. (I got 5 on Dec 28th alone!) I could upload 3-5 more pictures, but you get the idea.
So why do T/S exist? Originally, they were a way of getting a few really good teams together for a weekend of stiff competition that may have been hard to find in their league or area, or as a way of consolidating a college coach’s travel schedule from 10-50 schools or clubs over several weekends to just 1 weekend. However, these days they are away for a club or team to make money and there are too many of them. But don’t just take my word for it.
So how many should you attend? Well, before I answer that, let’s define what a tournament is and what a showcase is and how they are different.
Tournaments – a series of contests between a number of competitors, who compete for an overall prize.
Showcase – is a series of contests between a number of competitors, in an effort to showcase the talent of the competitors. (In this scenario, the result of the team does not matter.)
When a child is young, approximately between the ages of 8 to 14, they will only be attending tournaments. There is some flexibility here, but most kids this age do not attend showcases. How many tournaments your team attends at these ages depends on the rest of the soccer schedule you are keeping. If you play on a team that has but a few league games, 3-4 may be appropriate. If you are playing on a team that has many good league games then 2 may be all that is appropriate.
As your child ages, they should not attend tournaments anymore (unless it is a playoff tournament at the end of a league season.) But instead, they should attend showcases. Again, how many an athlete should attend depends on the rest of the schedule, but I would say no more than 3 in a year and I suggest some discretion on when you attend. Remember, the point of a showcase is to showcase your talent! If you are not going to showcase well, then you have only hurt your chances of being noticed! My advice would be to not attend showcases with teams or at times of year when you could hurt your chances of being noticed. In general, as your child athlete ages, you need to be pickier about the events your kid plays in. Be prepared to say no.
The main part with showcases is the preparation and follow up! Just because you attended a showcase doesn’t mean you accomplished your goal of being noticed and earning an athletic scholarship. The key is the preparation for contacting coaches via email, videos, and social media before and the follow up by the same means after.