FCSC is committed to developing recreational and competitive players with an enduring love of the game in an environment that encourages and promotes both technical and tactical creativity, spontaneity, and experimentation. Through FCSC’s club structure, a professional and nationally licensed Technical Staff oversees player development, ensuring continuity within and amongst programs, ensuring that players have a structured path to realize their individual potential. Further, training concepts and execution are targeted by age group, spanning the youth (U6-U12), junior (U13-U17), and senior (U18 and above) stages of development. The following introduction and associated excerpts are drawn from the United States Soccer Federation’s (USSF) Player Developmet Guidelines, a publication on Best Practices for Coaching in the United States.
U.S. Soccer believes that first and foremost youth soccer is a sport that players should experience and enjoy as a game with a focus on individual experimentation and development. U.S. Soccer encourages creating soccer environments that will help promote the players’ lifelong love of the sport. These environments should allow for the creativity, spontaneity and experimentation that the game of soccer naturally encourages. Too often, children are put into situations where development is secondary to winning, which leads to burnout and stifles individual skill development.
We believe that a player’s development is enhanced when the short-term goals of a coach are pursued within the perspective of the player’s long-term needs. The following is a two-part commentary on the importance of: (1) Having continuity and perspective in player development; and (2) Allowing children to experience soccer in ways appropriate for their age and level of soccer maturity. Part one addresses the theoretical stages of player development and how each successive step is built upon the foundations established in the previous stage. In the second part, the current Men’s National Team coaching staff comment on the charge of their specific age group, and how it fits into the overall United States Men’s National Team program of development and success.