K.T. asks from Bolingbrook, IL on June 26, 2008
Hello! Does anyone out there have experience with the AYSO soccer league--good, bad or neutral?? My son is just finishing up spring soccer with the Bolingbrook Parks department in the 5-6 year old league but I am considering signing him up for fall soccer through AYSO. We moved here from Maryland last fall so I'm not too familiar with AYSO although my MIL raves about it from the days when my husband was young (he is from LaGrange.) If we go with AYSO, he will be in the Romeoville league.
Just to give you some idea of our experience with soccer here--we really liked many aspects of the parks dept. soccer program there were just some definite negatives, such as a dwindling enthusiasm on the part of the coaches, low parent involvement and low team attendance to practice as well as several "shortened" practices and even one practice where neither coach showed up. I'm not sure if this is par for the course with this age group or if perhaps AYSO might offer a different experience. Thanks in advance for your feedback.
L.S. answers from Chicago on June 27, 2008
My son too is 5 1/2 and we've had the same experience with the park district's sports programs. In our experience, unfortunatully dwindling enthusiasm on the part of the coaches and low parent involvementthat seems to be the case sometimes with many "volunteer" programs. I've also spoken to other parents who've never had an issue with this. I think it's hit or miss with the teams and coaches.
Plainfield Park District has their sports programs held by All Star Sports so it's a bit more dependable and organized, and it costs a few bucks more.
I have no personal experience to offer you regarding AYSO League, however I've never heard anything negitive about them.
FYI, Highpoint Community here in Romeoville has an AWESOME coed Winter Basketball Program. It is coached by volunteers and well organized. They also put on a spectacular award ceremony at the end of the season. Many of the children on my son's team were from Bolingbrook so I believe they advertise in your area.
J.S. answers from Chicago on June 27, 2008
I am 27 and used to be in the AYSO league in Hinsdale. My siblings have gone thru them too. I thought it was great and the coaches were great. My family hasn't been with them for awhile since we've been with Windy City Pride when we moved, a traveling soccer team, but I'm sure they are still a great program. I would definitely try them out.
J.C. answers from Chicago on June 28, 2008
My son played AYSO soccer last fall in Oak Park and will again this fall. I have no complaints, but the things I liked about it are things you might not like - at his level (he was 7 last year when he started) practices and games are short and only once a week. Parents seemed to be pretty involved in coming to games, but we weren't asked to do much else to be involved. (bring snack once, I think.) The coach will be the same this year, so there is some continuity of kids and coach from year to year.
A.T. answers from Chicago on June 28, 2008
Both of our daughters age 7 and 5 have been in AYSO in Lockport since they were 4. My husband has been a coach for the last 3 years as well...he coached our older daughter at age 4 and 5 and younger daughter at age 4. We have been very pleased. The little runts usually only practice once a week (maybe 45 minutes) and games are on Saturdays. They are also of shortened duration. The deal with AYSO is "Everyone Plays". This is so nice for kids who maybe aren't as physically gifted and would get benched with other leagues. The goal is for kids to have fun, be physically active and do it in a safe encouraging atmosphere. Parents are generally pretty active...in fact it is required here. They coach, team parent, do field maintenance, sell concessions, etc. I would highly recommend AYSO as a positive experience!!!