Information last posted at 11:00 AM on Tuesday, May 22, 2013.
The Youth Development Program (also called the Clinic Program) provides playing opportunities to children from U4 to U6. The Clinic Program provides age-appropriate soccer education for about 350 children. The Clinic Program plays in the Fall only, from September through the first weekend of November. Practices and games are held at the Cypress Creek fields, with practices on Wednesdays (typically starting in early evening with each age group getting forty-five minutes) and games on Saturdays (starting in the morning and continuing until all teams in all age groups have played. Games last about 1 hour). Actual game times depend on the age group, individual coach, total number of teams and availability of fields.
The registration fee covers the field maintenance, coach's equipment (balls, cones, pinnies, etc.), coach training (the Parent-Coach license), and player's uniforms (jersey and socks - shorts are not provided), and each child receives a participation trophy. All other expenses, whether required, such as proper soccer shoes and shin guards, or optional, like Thank You gifts for coaches and team parents, are the responsibility of the family.
Our main focus is to coordinate this program with the goals and guidelines set out by the USYSA (United States Youth Soccer Association), NSCAA (National Soccer Coaches Association of America), and USSF (United States Soccer Federation). We further extend this to include not only the players, but the coaches and parents as well. The best outcomes are assured when every participant knows the goals and guidelines and agrees to work collectively.
Why Have the Development Program?
US Soccer players today are under-developed with regards to individual technical ability when compared with children from soccer-strong countries. US players, both boys and girls, are not as capable or comfortable with the ball as other players throughout the world. One of the main reasons we see this in America is players at a young age are put in environments that don't promote the important elements of technical understanding, autonomy and comfort with the ball - typically, there's a lot of standing around or a single-line-of-players-with-just-one-ball.
As a result kids don't advance as rapidly and become disinterested in the sport. The kids that continue to play are not getting the amount and quality of touches on the ball necessary for proper advancement and consequently their technical development is stifled. They are successful at young ages often because of natural athletic ability but become frustrated when they play in more competitive leagues and find out their technical ability is below average.
What Are Our Objectives?
Our primary objectives are to introduce fundamental soccer skills in a fun and safe environment that will encourage and challenge the players and to do so in a way that is unified with the technical and tactical skill requirements of our younger age group Club and Select programs. Specifically, these objectives are:
What Is The Plan?
If the above objectives are accomplished, the player will get better. As the player's technical ability (or ball skills) develops, the game becomes more enjoyable. We accomplish our objectives by:
Teams are composed of 14 players, though special circumstances may require this ideal number to be adjusted. We attempt to strike a balance between placing children from the same schools or communities together with expanding their circle of friends while at the same time making sure the teams are balanced athletically. We also consider the emotional readiness and physical attributes of individuals and will consider assigning players to teams not in their natural age group.
We make every attempt to accommodate special requests but as you might imagine, the nature of the request and when the request is made have a great bearing on our ability to honor it. Special requests should be noted during registration in the Special Request section of the form.
The GSPAA Development Soccer Program is a great value - the kids learn and have fun, and it's a great way for the entire family to be do things together and be part of the community. On behalf of everyone involved in the program, I hope to see you in the fall, and I hope you will consider volunteering in some capacity.