I am fairly new to being a soccer dad, so I would appreciate advice and guidance from people who have gone through the process. My son is turning 6 this year. We are lucky to live in a central area with 10+ clubs within 30 min driving distance (4-5 of which are big, well-known names in the region). Most clubs are holding tryouts to form their 2012 teams either this fall or for next spring. The hope was to do good research comparing the clubs, get to know them well by the tryouts, find a coach who can develop soccer skills and inspire a passion for the game, and stick with them for at least 4-5 years, if not longer. Is that line of thinking too naive and do most parents take it season by season at this age? (All of this of course assumes my son continues to love playing soccer.) Given that clubs give parents 48 hours to make the decision, what info is reasonable to ask for a new team being formed? Curriculum? References on the coach? Both my brother and I grew up playing soccer in Europe, so I think can get a good sense of quality and style of coaching in a couple of sessions, but I understand there is not much coaching going on at the tryouts. Feels like the clubs are trying to lock parents in and the less they know about other options, the better. Do the new tryout guidelines also apply to the youngest age groups? In other words, does joining an in-house program at inception this fall preclude us from checking out the programs that will be formed in the winter for next spring? Are the tryouts/open houses an effective forum to learn more about a club, beyond what is already on their websites? We were planning to attend as many as possible as a "get to know you", but are also worried whether they are going to hold it against him later if we decide to delay the decision by a season and pass on an offer. Any thoughts or advice would be greatly appreciated!