School vs Club Soccer

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Ashley competing with her teammates on her club team, Real Athletico. “We as a team make each other better.”

Sports can be a fantastic way to challenge yourself and make friends along the way. One popular option is soccer. Whether it be through the school or a club soccer, there are many benefits to both.

Club Soccer

PRHS student Ashley Falk (10) told us a little bit more about what club soccer is like. Falk said, “The club I’m with now, we play up against people. It’s called the Real Soccer Club. I get to travel out of state and I get to go to college.” Falk practices in Denver four days a week. One challenge that club soccer presents is juggling school work and soccer. Falk stresses the importance of getting into a routine and having good time management skills. No one wants to go through the stress of dividing their time with something they’re not passionate about; Falk says, “If you want to join [a club sport], you really have to enjoy the game.”

The Real Soccer Club typically plays two games in-state every weekend, as well as out-of-state games scattered throughout. The club has gone to Utah, Idaho, and just recently, California. If you’re considering joining club soccer, Falk said, “Club soccer is a big commitment and just be realistic with yourself. If you really want to do it, you should try it.”

Ashley striking the ball on her way to complete a goal with our school team. “If you want to join a club sport in addition to playing at school, you really have to enjoy the game.” Photo provided by Ashley Falk

School Soccer

Nick Odil gave us more insight on his experience with school soccer as a coach of the Palmer Ridge team. His job is to “make sure the team is performing at the level they want to perform at and making sure ever player is improving as they go through the season,” according to Mr. Odil. As a teacher and coach, he adores watches his players grow and has the ideal schedule to fit in both teaching and coaching. As for the students, Mr. Odil says, compared to club soccer, “There’s a little bit less pressure and you get to play with your friends at school,” as compared to club soccer, which is more intense and focuses on trying to get college scholarships.

“I love my players, all of them are awesome people people. That just brings a lot of joy to my life,” said Mr. Odil

For school soccer, students must go to practice or games every day, and when they aren’t playing themselves, they are watching other teams to strengthen their own strategy. They have fifteen games a season and just finished their last, their fall season having just ended. In their practices, the team prioritizes their defense strategy before moving on to their attack strategy. For anyone hoping to improve their soccer skills, Mr. Odil’s best advice to you is to keep getting touches on the ball and participate in additional activities.

All in all, both club and school soccer are good quality, beneficial ways to improve yourself, forge new friendships, and have a good time participating in a fun sport that’s good for you. Weather you yourself are considering joining a soccer team or you know a friend who is, spread the word about the benefits of club and school soccer.