Soccer is a player’s game. Some say it's the ultimate player’s game since at the top level there are few subs, no timeouts, little to no coaching from the sidelines, which creates a need for players to make decisions in an instant with only their knowledge and experience to guide them. It is a game that changes constantly and requires the player to adjust and adapt constantly. Because of this, it is important, if not imperative, that we teach our players to learn and adapt on their own at a very young age. Players at a young age have a great ability to learn, and the more we let them learn for themselves, the better they will be as they get older. This is why it is our goal in the Development Program to make soccer a game for the players and focus on player development and enjoyment. The goal is to create an atmosphere where the player is the focus. As members of the Development Program our job is to create an environment where each player has the opportunity and freedom to make their own decisions, explore their creativity, and develop their own style. Soccer is their game and should not be taken away from them before they have had a chance to enjoy it and learn from it.
As the Development Program Director, my coaching philosophy, along with that of Coaching Director Dan Ollero, is based on allowing the players to learn and develop a love and knowledge of the game through play. As you will see in our curriculum, the Development Program will mix age appropriate games, along with a technical focus, to allow players the atmosphere they need to develop as players. It is important to understand that each player develops (physically, mentally, and emotionally) at different times, and because of this, it is important to develop an atmosphere where players have the freedom to be creative and encouraged to try new things. Training sessions need to not only provide the soccer appropriate situations for your child’s soccer development, but they need to be encouraged to try new skills and not be punished when they are unsuccessful. In the Development Program, kids will feel that even if they fail, they are doing the right thing for their personal soccer development. Soccer is a team game, but it's a team game where each individual must not only feel comfortable controlling and dribbling the ball, they must have fun and feel they are improving and competing.
As Development Program members, we understand the game is broken down to 1 v 1, 2 v 1, 2 v 3, and other small group combinations. Because of this, training at a young age must be in small groups with various restrictions to provide players with different situations that they will be faced with as they grow in their soccer career.
Outlined on our Development Program website are some of the principles we in the Development Program will strive to achieve to help make the upcoming season enjoyable for your son or daughter. Please review both and if you have any questions please contact feel free to contact me.
Thank you and I look forward to seeing you on the soccer field.
Ryan Stout ASE Development Program Director