A timely post as I've just read this on Twitter:
I agree with MasterDebater in the fact that the 'problem' is twofold: 1. Some coaches/managers are loathe to lose the youngsters rather than be honest with them, explaining where improvements need to be made but instead end up putting them in a team where they are clearly out of their depth. This helps neither party. 2. The players (and even more so, the parents) have had many seasons being the big fish in a small Youth Football pond and then when the real hard work begins and they are not guaranteed a starting place, they move on to where they feel their 'talents' will be appreciated. I too have witnessed this first hand where a conversation between coach and parent has been overheard to the tune of "my Johnny is too good for the Third team and if he HAS to drop in to the Reserves, will he still get his money!!" Ridiculous!!
There will be the obvious exceptions where the youngsters are clearly ready to make the step up and should be encouraged, mentored and monitored accordingly. Physically, this is a fine balancing act and will require buy-in from both parties. Good coaching, active dialogue with both player and parent should ensure as far as possible, a smooth transition to adult football. Interesting to hear of others experiences and opinions.