Players Skill Centre ProgramsMike Whyatt2021-07-22T12:31:41-03:00
Canada Soccer has created the Skill Centre and Dedicated Player Programs to guide clubs towards best principles
in player development by taking a nationally coordinated approach to developing young soccer players. Skill Centres and Dedicated Player Programs provide a challenging, enjoyable environment for players to develop and nurture the skills required to succeed in the game of soccer.
Keep more young players involved in the game for longer by providing them with an enjoyable experience with the game.
Produce clear training guidelines for clubs so that they can deliver the best possible environment for young players in their region.
Produce better players across Canada by increasing opportunity and access to better training and competition for more young players.
To ensure that a holistic development environment exists for players and coaches, Canada Soccer Skill Centres and Dedicated Player Programs will be guided by the following principles:
Contact time with a ball will be high
For Canada to produce a consistent stream of high calibre players, we must create more environments where players can develop their skills and comfort with a ball. Relevant, game-realistic skill development should be the outcome of all training sessions.
This means that coaches should design challenging sessions that involve players manipulating the ball under various game-like conditions and tasks.
Training will resemble the game
Skills are not developed in isolation; for skill development to be most effective, the training environment must resemble the game. This means that the four moments of the game (attacking; defensive transition; defending; and attacking
transition) must be present. This does not mean that coaches simply organize games; rather, the training session must involve game-like conditions and tasks that allow players to solve problems through perception-action coupling (the relationship between what a player sees and how he/she decides to act). This relationship is best developed through activities that closely resemble the game.
Training will be fun for everyone
When young soccer players were asked recently why they play soccer , the number one response was “I like playing the game because it’s fun.” Other reasons that children gave included “I like scoring or stopping goals”, “I like to show my skills” and “It’s important to be with my friends.” This information is important to adults because it must be used to create environments that will keep kids involved and engaged in soccer. Skill Centres and Dedicated Player Programs must be operated with the principle that training should be fun and enjoyable for everyone not just for a chosen few. This means that coaches must work equally with all players, encouraging them to develop their skills and to be creative in finding solutions to the challenges presented by the game.
Skill Centres and Dedicated Player Programs will be accessible
One of the key ingredients in any successful player development program is opportunity – young players need to have access to good environments and
good coaches. To ensure that all players have this opportunity, player registration for Skill Centres and Dedicated Player Programs can be done in two ways: By invitation, where players are invited to register for a Skill Centre or Dedicated Player Programs; and by open registration, where all players have access to register for the program on a first-come, first-served basis. No more than 50% of the places in a Skill Centre or Dedicated Player Program can be allocated to players by invitation (at least 50% of the places
must be allocated to players by open registration). Within the Skill Centre and Dedicated Player Program training sessions themselves, coaches have the discretion to periodically group players based on competency, as appropriate, but coaches are strongly encouraged to design sessions that focus on developing all players, regardless of ability.
All players and parents will receive meaningful feedback from coaches
Parents have a crucial role to play in the development of their children in soccer. By clearly communicating the objectives of the Skill Centre and Dedicated Player Program to parents and by providing them with meaningful feedback about the development of their children, coaches will develop a network of player development allies. By engaging the players in this process, they will develop a growth mindset, which is important for them to overcome the inevitable ups and downs of development in soccer.
There are no tryouts for the Skill Centre program. At least 50% of SC registration is open to the public.
How it Operates
Many clubs in Canada currently offer development programs that are aimed at players who want a higher level of training and/or competition. These development programs can go by a variety of names, including Academy Program, Prospects Program or Advanced Development Training, to name a few. Clubs who agree to replace their current U8-U12 development programs with the Canada Soccer Skill Centre Program will be awarded a Canada Soccer Skill Centre Licence.
Skill Centers operate at the club level. They are most commonly split into the following age groups- U9 & U11. However, some clubs may offer individual age groups such as U8, U9, U10 & U11.
Skill Centre Programs operate in both the winter and summer seasons.
Skill Centre Programs provide players with 2-3 practices per week.
Players who participate in Skill Centres will play in the NSSL Festival League. Festivals will occur on weekends throughout their season.
How to Join the Program
Skills Centre Programs are generally geared more towards players who are more dedicated to soccer. To register please visit your local club’s website for more information.