Reading through the ECNL, DA and DPL threads a thought occurred to me, what about all the kids who don't make these teams? Seems like the players with potential start to be groomed at a fairly young age. I would say around 11 or so. They get put onto teams with other high performers and start to separate from the pack. At that point practicing against each other and playing against better competition they get better and better at an increasing rate. Those that do not make these teams face a steeper and steeper slope trying to advance. They do not have access to the top coaches nor the quality of competition to help them. They can go to outside training but that can only help so much. There is also the "pedigree". Unless you come from a highly ranked team it seems coaches won't give a new player a good look at tryouts and those from ranked teams even if they aren't very good will be given a much better chance simply based on where they came from. All the clubs know the players from the top teams and fight for the talent, but unless you are already at that level or are known by the coaches there seems to be little chance they give them an honest opportunity. In order for them to really be noticed they have to be incrementally much better than the pedigreed player. Not to mention the majority of these top teams will keep the bulk of their existing players and look to only fill a couple of slots per season and for specific roles. So at what point is it time to pack it in and realize your player will never make those top teams, stop pushing so hard and should simply play for fun?