Deerfoot Soccer, an inner city soccer club and member of the Calgary Minor Soccer Association has been developing some great young players and teams recently and for the first time in it’s history have qualified 2 teams for Provincial Championships, held in Calgary this weekend. We feel part of the reason for this is the innovative and family approach we have taken. We are the little club that could.
President Jason Hansen says of the news to set the record straight “It should be clarified that The Alberta Soccer Association is not talking about the UNDER 12 age group, as per the CSA’s recommendation, it means U10 and under. ”
Hansen adds “Having coached U10s, if you have a competitive enough group, they’re going to keep score on their own and they know whether they are winning or losing, so removing the score may not have the effect they’re aiming for. The focus needs to be on 2 things: coach/parent education and a greater training-to-game ratio. There’s often too much emphasis put on winning at younger age groups and not enough on skill development. Players learn skills through training, not games, so ultimately if we want to produce more skilled players, our kids need to play less games and practice more. ”
We feel so strongly about this that a few seasons ago, our Deerfoot Soccer Club began offering “Skills” options for U6 and U8 as a way of providing more focus on skills development. These groups practice twice a week and do not participate in any league play during the season except for two mini-tournaments. Looking at our numbers, we typically have a much greater uptake at the U6 level as U8 parents (and perhaps kids) are already seeking the competition of league play.