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Welcome to the Real Blog!

Thank you for reading our new blog. Future posts will relate to youth sports, Real news, and general information our community would benefit from. The motivation behind this is really two-fold. One, as a method to engage with the Real network, and two, contribute to the general dialogue concerning sports and development.

Why start a blog, doesn’t Real already send out the Pitch?

Good question. Concerning point one above, the intention is to go beyond the pitch (literally and figuratively) highlighting other aspects of Real, including people behind the scenes and various initiatives the organization is working towards for the betterment of the club, its members, and the community. (More to come). It is important to keep everyone informed regarding broader developments within the club other than when to pay your dues and drop off your kids. The Real family is large and growing, both in size and standing. We hope to raise the awareness of, and the connectivity within, the club.

Uh, OK, so why should I spend my time reading this versus the other established sports blogs?

Another good question. First, there is no expectation to have to read this. Anything educational or informative is meant to be in the form of increased disclosure, recognizing the need to reach out more as this network grows. Second, we hope the content and connectivity with Real is a reason to want to read this. This should complement and add to what you may already read. Soccer – and youth sports in general – demands a lot of time from families.  We expect this to be a way we can help add value, by showing that we are aware of various issues surrounding youth sports, and to have a personal touch with our community. We often refer to Real as a family and hope this acts as a central point of connection.

Well, if this is supposed to be informative and educational, why should I read this instead of actual research and expert analysis?

Third good question. There are issues both on and off the field that are helpful to be informed about and understand. There is a lot of information to digest out there. Hopefully this will add to that discussion. Any opinions expressed here are solely of the authors and not Real, unless otherwise explicitly noted. The hope is to use published research and expert opinions to frame the discussions and provide context. It also will provide a medium to give your thoughts and constructive feedback. If you care strongly about something mentioned here, or have questions, please reply or comment.

So, that is the “formal” response. On a more personal level (because that is part of this endeavor), there are several other reasons. I’m guessing many other parents grew up in a time when youth sports were different and still getting used to the new structures and expectations. I’m in the same boat. When my kids began playing competitively, I started researching and learning about the “new age” of youth sports. I am still on that journey and plan on this being part of that. I do not claim to be an expert. Whenever an opinion is given, I will do my best to provide support and reasoning. I will try to look at various sides of a controversial topic and am open to hearing others’ thoughts in a professional way.

Other than being a soccer “dad”, I am a former athlete and coach. I have interests in several subjects that intersect or have transferable lessons to youth sports and development in general. I am on the Board of Directors of Real and want to provide my time in a way I can add value, that is lasting, and unique. This is a way to blend them together. Other than myself, future contributors may include Real staff/coaches/Board members and possibly other guest writers.

Lastly, I promise future posts will not sound like a disclaimer.

Happy reading!


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