This is our plan for our high school-age teams for 2018-19. The plan addresses feedback from players/parents from the last two years, as well as observations and suggestions from our coaches.
We know that some HS-age players want to jump back in to club soccer as soon as their HS season ends. Others want a break. Some want to train in Jan. & Feb. as well, while others are busy with other sports or activities. In our experience, it can be difficult to get the right number of players to training and games (often too few, and sometimes too many), particularly when taking a team-focused approach.
However, if we instead focus on the player, and on each player’s development, the solution is easier.
HS age group design (’04-’01 birth years for 2018-19):
Our HS age groups will be treated more like an academy or player pool than like independent teams. This will provide players with more options and flexibility for training and ensure we have enough healthy players for productive sessions. Training will include a mix of technical, tactical, physical, and psycho-social development. Teams may be a bit fluid and will be formed as needed for league games and tournaments. (Any player carded in BPYSL can play for any team within the club, as long as they are age appropriate). Coaches will ensure that all players are provided with a “fair” number of game opportunities.
Training offered for HS players:
- Nov-Dec 2x/week training & 1 tourney.*
- Jan-Feb 2x/week training.*
- Mar-May for spring season (3x/week training, 3 tourneys, 1 league)
- *The fall training/showcase and Jan/Feb training are a la carte options – players can opt in or out and fee is adjusted accordingly. All players expected for Mar-May.
- HS-U18 – primarily ’01-’02 players, but younger players are eligible
- HS-U16 – primarily ’03-’04 players that are in HS, but could also enter a tourney at U17 to allow ’02s to join
- *the number of teams the club enters into leagues and tourneys could flex up or down depending on current size of player pool
Jason, Brett, Kristen for the girls and Stephen, Conor C., Chris and Tony C. for the boys
A comment: team is dynamic
We sometimes talk about our “team” like it’s always been the same players. But in reality, the “team” is always changing. At the HS and college level, seniors graduate and new players are promoted onto the team or into new roles. In the pros, the selection of a starting eleven and choice of subs varies from game to game. On adult teams, the manager is happy when at least 11 of the 20-30 players on the squad show up. And throughout the course of a youth club soccer season, absences, injuries, guest players, and late additions mean that the concept of team is dynamic here, too. Developing team chemistry is great, but players also need to be trained to be adaptable and comfortable playing many different roles with many different teammates. As the player develops and improves in skill, understanding of the game, physicality, and mentality, the team’s results should reflect that improvement. (Read more: Club > Team.)