A rec soccer player only does soccer at practice and games.
A competitive soccer player does soccer all the time. That might be working with the ball on their own, playing pickup with friends or learning tactics by following teams and some of all.
Many players, and their parents, believe they are competitive soccer players because they are on a competitive team that’s a part of a competitive club, pay a coach, play on nice fields and have nice uniforms.
But, if the player isn’t learning the sport on their own and going to practice and games to demonstrate to their coaches and teammates their progress, they are playing expensive rec soccer.