TC Storm Soccer Families,
As a club dedicated to serving our members, the Tri-City Storm Soccer Club has practiced several player development initiatives over the past several years in an effort to improve player development. As of August 1st, 2017, U.S. Soccer officially mandated the implementation of player development initiatives across the nation. These initiatives from U.S. Soccer directly correspond to the player development initiatives that TC Storm has implemented since its’ inception in 2011. It’s exciting to know that TC Storm is ahead of the curve when it comes to player development. These initiatives include, but are not limited to the following (titles in green);
Building out of the Back
Typically starting with the Goalkeeper, building out of the back describes a team that moves the ball up the field through a series of controlled passes and dribbles as opposed to kicking the ball far down the field. This is a common practice among top youth and adult teams.
Lots of teams won’t even attempt to build out of the back because turnovers near the goal often lead to scoring opportunities for the other team. This may mean conceding goals and potentially losing games as players are still learning. As an alternative, lots of teams will just kick the ball down the field as far as they possibly can. It’s important to emphasis correct decision making at the youngest ages so that players are properly prepared to compete at the older ages. Click on the link below to see an example of the build out line (similar to a half court press in youth basketball) that was recently mandated by US Soccer and a common practice in famous soccer countries such as Spain.
Ball possession is one of the most important aspects of modern soccer. It’s simple, you can only score when you have the ball and your opponent can’t score without it. By the Goalkeeper not punting the ball into the air and electing to roll or throw the ball to a teammate, the probability of your team maintaining possession of the ball increases significantly.
One of the most commonly seen techniques in youth soccer, punting is a quick way to transport the ball from the Goalkeeper to players further up the field. The problem with punting is that it is extremely inconsistent when performed by inexperienced goalkeepers and provides equal chance that either team will assume possession of the ball. This teaches players to rely on luck or chance instead of skill and strategy. High level teams will almost always elect to roll or throw the ball to their team members instead of punting.
In House League (IHL)
In House League refers to different teams within the club competing against each other. For example, the U14 boys team may test their skills against the U16 boys team or the U14 girls team. This provides all players additional competitive playing opportunities which aides in player development. This also provides a unique opportunity for coaches to position themselves right in the middle of the action and help players identify and solve problems throughout the match. IHL games serve as great preparation for out of town tournaments and league play.
Only Play Other Clubs
One of the major drawbacks to only playing other clubs (especially at the younger ages) is that the playing environment is not one that can be controlled. Unfortunately, like most youth sports in the United States, players, coaches, and parents prioritize winning over learning proper technique and tactics. It can be very discouraging for all involved to not find success while competing. If Team A is a U10 girls team that is building out of the back and not punting the ball, they will be put under a lot of pressure by Team B who is kicking the ball far down the field every chance they get hoping that their most athletic player can carry the team. Team A is working on skills and strategies that will best prepare the players for long term success whereas Team B is implementing strategies to ensure that they win the game at the expense of their development.
Perhaps the most unique of the traditional soccer positions, Goalkeepers are required to develop a different skill set than the average player. Goalkeeper training is an optional additional training opportunity for all Select players at TC that comes at no additional cost. Our goalkeeping experts work with boys and girls of all ages to ensure that they have the skills necessary to excel at the goalkeeping position.
No Goalkeeper Training
Goalkeeper training is not offered at many clubs throughout the United States. In order to be successful goalkeepers long term, it’s important for players to learn fundamental foot skills as well as goalkeeping specific skills. For this reason, goalkeepers at TC attend normal training with their teams as well as goalkeeping training to ensure that they are developing into a complete player who possesses the skill sets of both a field player and a goalkeeper.
At the Tri-City Storm Soccer Club we are committed to providing our members with as many opportunities to play and learn as possible in hopes to ensure maximal growth as it relates to individual player development. As we continue our approach of prioritizing long term player development over short term results, we are confident that we will continue to develop players capable of competing at the collegiate level and beyond.
**See more articles like this at Tri-City Storm's blog at http://tricitystormsoccer.areavoices.com.