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Recreational vs Competitive Soccer

Making the decision to move into the VISION Soccer Club (competitive) program

How do parents know when their child is ready to move into the VISION Soccer Club (competitive) program?

  • The player has a high interest level in soccer and practices on his or her own or with friends
  • The player is the best or one of the best on his or her team, and starts to seem bored with the recreational competition level
  • The player sees higher-level players and wants to be like them
  • The player is mature enough to commit to more frequent practices and more strenuous training
  • The player likes competition

The rule of thumb is to let your child guide you. Don’t push him or her into trying out for a competitive team just because you want it. Some players are ready at age 8 and some aren’t ready to move up until age 13 or 14. Talk to your child and gauge his or her feelings about tryouts. There is always a risk that the player won’t make the team; is the response, “If I don’t make the team, I’ll quit” or is it, “I like to play soccer so I’ll find another team if I don’t make it”? Find out what your child’s commitment level is.

The child should also understand that it is he or she alone who is trying out. The best buddy may not make the team. In addition, sometimes a whole team or a significant part of a team wants to move up together. Some players may not be ready but move up because their friends are doing it. They would not have tried out for the comp team otherwise. Sometimes this situation results in an unproductive and frustrating experience for the players and the parents.

What will be asked of the player and the parents when the child is chosen for a comp or select team?

  • Regular attendance at all practices and games. If a player cannot attend, he or she or the parents must notify the coach as soon as possible. Players need to arrive ON TIME.
  • If playing multiple sports, the player should prioritize soccer above other sports when conflicts occur, especially in fall, soccer’s primary season.
  • Proper attire. Higher level soccer players must dress accordingly.
  • Responsibility for equipment and uniforms. Players should learn to take care of their equipment and uniforms and bring them when required.
  • Financial responsibility. Parents should budget the costs of competitive soccer and prepare to take care of expenses in a timely manner. 
  • Maintain standards of behavior. Players and parents must control their actions and words. The level of play in comp/select becomes more physical as players move through the age groups and skill levels. Players must learn to keep their play and their emotions under control on the field. Parents must remain quiet and allow the coaches to address any issues with players and referees.
  • Help in team organization and other tasks. Running a competitive team is more complex than a recreational team. Many teams break tasks down across multiple parent team managers. It is usually completely overwhelming for one person to do anything.


Typical costs for Competitive Player

  • Annual league registration fees:  professional coaching fees for training and league-scheduled games, field usage, field equipment, and associated referee fees.  
  • Uniforms: each player needs to order a team uniform kit.
  • Tournaments:  All competitive teams will participate in a minimum of 2 tournaments (and often more at the older age groups) annually, and these expenses are incremental.

Optional items

  • travel costs and lodging for tournaments and jamborees 
  • team bags
  • warm-ups


Parents can also expect increased interest on their child’s part in wearing premium-brand equipment and clothing


Tryouts continue to be held multiple times each week for the month of June.  For more information please contact the Director of Coaching

Information about the leagues our teams participate:

The CYSA-Cal Soccer League (CCSL) is a new state wide playing league that will provide Division 1 and Division 3 teams the ability to seek higher levels of competition. This will result in improved player and team development. More information can be found under: 

NorCal Premier Soccer League provides opportunities for soccer players with advanced skills to compete with and against others with similar skills and desires. Norcal Premier Soccer is sanctioned by US Club Soccer. More information about NorCal Premier Soccer can be found at

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