The Stoddert Juniors player development initiative aims to provide a fun and stimulating environment for children in the Under 8 age group. The goal of the program is to teach fundamental soccer skills in small group settings under the guidance and leadership of the club’s professional coaching staff.
We will create an environment that is fun and instills a love of the game of soccer. We will encourage the players to take risks and be creative with the ball that places individual player rather than teams at the center of all training. The Stoddert Juniors program exposes players to a game that emphasizes skill development over team development. We believe that a brand of soccer based on possession will require players to be more technically adept to play all positions while possessing technical skill. Learning will over take precedence over game management on our weekly Play Days. The qualified professional coaching staff will use the technique of Guided Discovery versus command style instruction allowing the kids to make the decision and improve their problem solving ability. Success is determined by learning and fun rather than scores and standings. Our target audience is families that look at the big picture and will not leave the club as their kids improve.
- Two training sessions a week on Tuesday & Thursday.
- Play Day over the weekend (Generally Sundays)
- 8 weeks of training and 7 Play Days
There will be three (3) seasons for the U8 Stoddert Juniors program during the 2014-15 school year, namely Fall, Winter (Outside) & Spring. Families will need to register their son or daughter for each season individually.
To join the U8 Stoddert Juniors, register for the program HERE. Players must be born between the following dates to be eligible 7/31/2007 – 08/01/2006
The cost of the Fall & Spring season is $440 per season. The winter price will be determined once we know how long the season will be.
- A Nike practice shirt will be available for purchase for approximately $25.
Over the course of each season, the coaching staff will measure individual and group progress according to the following:
- Change in participant’s soccer ability – technical skills (i.e. ball mastery with both feet)
- Change in participant and parent attitude towards technical instruction:
- Guided practice for participants and parents on interpreting the curriculum and coaching points;
- Strategies for parents on how to reinforce the lessons outside of group instruction.
- Change in player habits
- Decision making (i.e. individually, in small groups and without the ball);
- How to interpret instruction and apply it to the game;
- Supporting the play and engaging teammates (with and without the ball);
- Communicating with teammates and coaches – what to say, when and what it means;
- Helpful hints on nutrition for soccer players and how to properly take care of the body.
- Utilization of online surveys at the conclusion of the season to measure participants’ interest, enjoyment and opinions of the program;
- Retention rate of participants from season to season; and
- Regular support, guidance and evaluation by the Directors of Travel & Recreational Soccer to ensure program is fun and delivered professionally by coaching staff.
***Success will be determined ultimately by the players’ active participation in each session and feedback from player to coach and parent regarding their enjoyment and mention of the ‘fun-factor’ of the program itself. ***
Do members of the Stoddert Juniors play in a league?
We do not participate in a league. The focus is not on teams but the individual players. Instead of games in a structured league we have a weekly Play Day where players are separated into groups of three and play 3v3 against other members of the Stoddert Juniors
What do the Play Days consist of?
The 3v3 Academy games at the weekend will be a chance for the players to show what they know from the week’s sessions by playing without stoppages, referees, scores or coaching, instead, having the opportunity to express themselves in small sided games where they get lots of touches in a pressure-free environment.
What is the expected commitment? Do I have to give up on other sports or teams?
The Stoddert Juniors is aimed at the long term development of players, which requires a commitment to consistent practice. This does not mean players cannot player other sports. Players in these young ages are encouraged to play other sports for more well-rounded development & play with their recreational teams.
What will the coaches focus on in training?
Individual Player Development. Technical training will be a priority in order to develop the fundamental skills necessary to be successful in later years. Long term skill development is essential. Coaches will introduce tactical decision making, physical development, psychological development while all the time developing a love of the game of soccer.
Do players need to wear anything specific to practice and play days?
Players are asked to wear comfortable sports clothes, soccer socks pulled over their shin pads, and soccer shoes as well as brining and inflated size 4 ball and water to each practice and play day.
What does the Stoddert Juniors expect from parents?
1. Arrange to get your child to training and play days on time
2. Be supportive of your child and fellow Academy members
3. Leave the coaching to the coaches (cheer, but DO NOT COACH)
4. Encourage them to get the ball out on their own free time
All further questions can be directed to Derek Biss Derek @stoddert.com