Spring Highlander Season Curriculum Information
On behalf of the coaching staff we are extremely excited to welcome all of our teams back for the resumption of the season. We have been busy in the offseason planning for the spring and beyond into the 2022-23 season, and have a few important updates for everyone.
NEW MEMBER OF STAFF
We would like to take this opportunity to welcome a new member to our coaching staff, Callum Silvester.
Callum was born and raised in England and comes to 24-7 and Piedmont Soccer Club as part of an 18 month vocational opportunity for students completing their football coaching degrees from the University of South Wales. He is completing a Master’s degree in coaching leadership, and is currently enrolled in his UEFA B License, both due to be completed this year. Callum will be the pro coach for the 2011 Girls White team. We are very pleased to have Callum on staff, and look forward to seeing the impact he will have in our program.
CLUB CURRICULUM & STYLE OF PLAY
Below I have attached some information on our style of play, so that you can get a grasp on what we are teaching your child and the reasoning behind it.
A key area for all of our members to be aware of is our specific playing style which our technical staff have put together in an attempt to analyze the modern game and ensure we are developing our players accordingly. Our goal in doing so is that as our players move through the Highlander program and onto AFC (and beyond), they have been developed with these end goals and demands in mind. We also feel strongly about how the game should be played not only from an aesthetic standpoint, but also to maximize player development and enjoyment.
HOW WE COACH (METHODOLOGY)
At Piedmont Soccer Club, we hold the belief that it is necessary to leave the soccer structure as much as possible intact so that the relation to the game is always recognizable for players in all training situations and exercises. What this means is that we adopt a games based approach rather than a drills based approach to enhance player learning, performance, and experiences. A games based approach allows the coach to present the players with opportunities to Communicate with their environment, make Decisions based on what they perceive, and then Execute the appropriate action for that situation. Therefore, drill and isolated training methods which only focus on the Execute aspect, and do not touch on or challenge the Communication and Decision aspects will be of little real value in preparing the player for the demands of the game.
WHAT WE COACH (LONG TERM PLAYER DEVELOPMENT)
We are developing players who demonstrate … “The consistent ability to quickly select and execute the correct soccer action for the situation”.
To achieve this our focus in the U8-12 age groups is to develop general individual player actions with increasing emphasis towards specific actions and learning how to play with others (small groups, whole team). We teach from a standpoint of increasing complexity. Once we observe players demonstrate competency, we then increase the level of detail and difficulty to enhance the zone of proximal development. Our content is based around the four core skills, and two game constants, see graphics below for more specific detail.
It is extremely important to note that the focus for our coaches at these age groups is development of technique in game realistic settings. Not only will this enhance individual competency with the ball, it aids in the development of perception, game intelligence, and anticipation. Good players are also good communicators when they do not have the ball: they read the game, perceive what is happening, anticipate what is likely to happen and give information to assist team-mates who are on the ball or closer to it. ‘Positioning’ and ‘Communication’ are integral tools a player must use, and they are embedded in our approach to coaching.
The focus in this phase of development is on the Four Core Skills, and these are of course largely centered on the players’ relationship with the ball.
Our goal with the curriculum is that players in the same age groups regardless if they are on the Purple, White, or Grey teams are being exposed to the same learning content. We aim to present the content with increasing complexity when the players demonstrate competency in their on the field actions and understanding. Our coaches will observe this and when ready take a “step up” approach and increase the difficulty to ensure our players are being challenged and in the “zone of proximal development”. Obviously how the content is executed will vary from coach to coach, and team to team, but we want to create as much consistency as possible.
U7-8 Stage 1: Fundamentals
Players learn to master the ball
U7 – U8 Goal – ‘To facilitate the players discovery of the objectives of soccer and the basic player actions required by providing a fun soccer environment’.
U8 Spring Curriculum
U9-12 Spring Curriculum: Learning to Train Phase 1 & 2
Players learn to play together purposefully (to achieve objectives of the game)
U9 – U10 Goal – ‘To prepare players for team soccer by developing the individual basic actions’.
U11 – U12 Goal – ‘To prepare players for team soccer by developing the functional game skills’.
U9 – U10 Curriculum
U11 – U12 Curriculum
This is also a good time to remind everyone on how to ensure the season runs smoothly, and how to conduct yourselves on the field.
Just like we remind our players that they are representing the club and their parents, you are also representing your children and the club.
Trust your coach – The coach’s job is to help, so remember to trust them. Our coaches are looking out for the best interests of the team, not just individual players. Their goal is to not only to try to win, but to ensure that the players are learning and growing with the sport. Remember a good coach does not need to consistently scream and shout to be ‘coaching’ – observe what the players and team are doing to highlight the coach’s work.
Support your child & team – All players are trying their best and their best may look different each day. Embrace inconsistency for what it is and use it as learning opportunities that not only help keep your child engaged in the sport, but motivates them even more to do better next time. Overcoming obstacles is part of the process. We are sharing the curriculum so that when you watch the games you have an idea of what to observe based on the training material.
Please be respectful of everyone – This includes teammates, opponents, referees, and coaches both on and off the field. People make mistakes and that’s human nature… Is a kids soccer game the appropriate time to get angry at mistakes? Or the car ride on the way home criticizing and placing blame on others? It is most likely being listened to and will most likely be acted upon by your child. Not only will they embrace your view and act negatively towards the people you criticize, they will develop a mindset of blaming others.
Code of Conduct – Please ensure you are aware of the code of conduct that you signed during your registration process. These can be found on the Piedmont SC website.
Creating a performance environment- please ensure that your child attends all practices and games with the correct soccer equipment and attire. As a club we want to create a professional environment that sets us apart from many other local clubs. For players that want more and are pushing to get to that next level, we offer many additional opportunities for development. A list of these programs can be found here: https://www.24-7uksocceracademy.com/programs
Good Luck with your Spring Season
I would like to take this opportunity to wish everyone a safe and successful Spring season. We hope that your season is fun, challenging, engaging, and ultimately educational.
A player or team’s success should not be solely considered by the scoresheet, but by the memories gained, trials and tribulations that are overcome, lasting friendships that are built, and important life skills that are learned through this wonderful sport.
See you all on the field!