U13 - U14 Philosophy
By this age we want our players to have advanced technically and teams to develop a consistent style of play, forming a more possession-oriented game attacking out of the back, displaying creativity on and off the ball while moving quickly into the attacking half of the opposition. Teams will work to play with maturity and patience by making good decisions, learning when to take a risk and when to be safe and maintain possession. Often times we will play backward passes to create space and be content to keep the ball and select the appropriate time to go forward with purpose. To develop this method, it takes many hours of possession training with variations and stipulations. When players don't have a strong foundation of technical skills the process of being a good possession-oriented team can take longer. As the players and the teams progress into this style of soccer we will add more combinations and movement off the ball exercises to illustrate how to create space and scoring opportunities. In addition, team formations may vary with each team as coaches will evaluate the team's personnel and play according to their strengths. Major components are focusing on speed of play, one and two touch soccer and making quicker decisions and 1v1. Through this period, we maintain technical sharpness as players progress through this program: we must never forget the fundamentals of passing, dribbling, receiving, shooting, and heading as a core foundation for success. The ability of our players to strike a ball for distance, turning with the ball, and using and judging space become big factors in this part of the program. Our main objective is to advance teams forward in this stage with an emphasis on getting players the opportunity to play against top competition. We want all our teams seasoned and conditioned to compete against the best in the state, region and nation. As teams progress into the High School Program they need to be well prepared and equipped for a more physical level of play. In addition, we want to make sure players and teams develop an understanding of the role they play in one or various positions, which they will dedicate the majority of their time and effort over the next 3 to 4 years. Players will be given benchmarks to attain throughout the year and tested on a regular basis.