We provide players with the opportunity of a comprehensive child centered program. We are a competitive program that puts players, and player development, first. At the younger ages development is placed first and foremost. Winning games is important but not at the expense of development.
In our Academy (U8-U10) and our Junior (U11-U14) programs we follow US National Recommendations
- The priority is on individual player development
- Teams strive to win but it should not be the main focus-we have a playing philosophy for our teams that is possession based
- Coaches set age/ability specific technical, tactical, psychological and physical goals
- These goals provide an alternative for coaches and parents to measure achievement and development
- For U14 and younger the primary objective of game participation and training is to provide the players with learning opportunities
- Players should play for extended periods in matches and learn to solve their own problems on the field
To foster development we have 50% minimum playing time for Academy and Junior competitive players PROVIDED they make a solid commitment in 3 areas: Attendance/Effort/Attitude. We also strive to get players fairly equal playing time (ie not having some kids always playing an hour and some always playing 30 minutes). Our aim is to set the players up for long term success. Note that playing time is not given away-We make player accountable for it. Key points of our philosophy:
- Create Positive Work Habits
- Players have to earn it
- We are promoting personal development. Playing time becomes the individual responsibility of the player.
- They control their attitude/effort in training and the amount of self-practice they undertake.
- We are striving to have a challenging learning environment
- Players need to know that their positive work habits will be rewarded. The attitudes, habits and mentality created build character and allow the opportunity for all players selected for our program to elevate themselves to their potential.
In Our Senior (U15 – U19) program, teams also follow US National Recommendations
- Careful consideration on balancing instances of individual and team development with finding ways to win
- Choose which games are to be played to learn and which are to be played to win
- It is not in the best interests of the players’ development to have a schedule where the sole purpose of participation is ‘winning’
- By all means teach players to compete, to compete hard, to compete to win but don’t let winning be the only measure of success.
Coaching staff are selected on an annual basis and have to meet certain criteria. We fund and actively promote our coaching education program, which includes licensing. Moving forward we have appointed a Competitive Program Director who will be working with our competitive coaches to ensure that the training environment is of the highest quality.