Presenting the “New” Homewood Way
As Homewood Soccer Club continues to grow and improve, it’s a good time to announce a shift in the club’s direction that will maintain the best elements of our current program while pushing us to excel even further. A new goal is participation in Division I starting with U-13 teams. To help us reach that goal our focus for kids playing U9-to U-12 is on their development as players. We are calling it “Total Soccer” — growing complete soccer players.
“Total Soccer” is about developing individual players so that they can take over the role of any other player in a team: any player can play attacker, midfielder, defender, or goalkeeper. It is fluid and depends on the adaptability of each player within the team, in particular the ability to quickly switch positions depending on the on-field situation. It requires players be technically sound, and comfortable and competent in all positions, better preparing them for the demands of the sport as they grow older.
Spring 2012 was a transition season for U-9-U-12 levels as we introduced this program. This age group followed a very coordinated curriculum based the “Total Soccer” principle. The curriculum is focused on overall individual development. The central point of training is to develop technical success at the 1v1 level of play — as well as player support of this interaction.
Game results independent of these factors are not be a priority at these ages. Having everyone on the same page with what we are working to accomplish will go a long way to heighten each player’s chances of success.
Post-Patriots Development Strategy
Once players complete the Patriot level (U-4 – U-8), there will be two parallel tracks: Red Teams and the new White Teams program. The Homewood Soccer coaching staff will make appropriate player assignments.
Red Teams are recreational. They follow the same curriculum as the White Teams, but the intensity of training will be less since the primary goal is to create an atmosphere of fun and encouragement. These teams will continue to play in the Birmingham area-MARS League.
White Teams are for players committed to a higher level of development. During the U-9 and U-10 age groups, these teams will play in a new Advanced Development League (D3 +) that has been established in the Birmingham area and begins operation this spring 2012 season. It is open only to the stronger teams in the area, and there will be a pre-season team evaluation session of shortened games to test for appropriateness of participation.
For Parents and All Homewood Sideline Supporters
To help us meet our objectives and to help create a growing environment for the players and each of their teammates we ask you to focus on two key concepts:
1. Please do not coach or give direction from the sidelines (e.g., yelling “shoot”, “pass”, “get wide”, “dribble”, etc.). This will only slow down the development of each player’s decision-making process, distract them and reduce their enjoyment of the game.
2. Be positive in all sideline communication. This includes comments to or about the referee, fans, players and coaches. To give Homewood Soccer players the best chance at growing as players and people this season, it would be wonderful if this type of communication could extend to the car ride and at home as well.