Past year’s have focused on intense academy style soccer. This year we are taking the best elements of academy style soccer, your feedback and getting back to the basics of teaching the fundamentals of soccer skills. Games will be played in a positive environment based on mutual respect with equal playing time rather than “win-at-all-costs.” This 6 week program is focused on the fundamentals and encouraging physical activity and fun with character building in our youth. All divisions will have practice during the week and games at least once a week most likely on Saturdays. Participants will get a t-shirt and gift for their participation. Shin guards are required to participate and soccer cleats are recommended but not required. The YMCA will have some gently used shin guards and soccer shoes available for families on a first come first serve basis.
The YMCA soccer program has tried different formats during the past two seasons. Each format had it’s own strengths but also disadvantages. “We are listening to what you the parents have told us and incorporating more game time while still teaching fundamental soccer skills” said Beth Armstrong, Interim CEO. “As a volunteer coach, soccer parent and member of the YMCA staff myself, I’ve seen all the different perspectives of our soccer program. I see the value in giving kids playing time via games where they can feel the love and support of their family and friends as they cheer them on. At the same time, I see the importance of incorporating game time will also placing value on building the fundamental techniques and skills of being a good soccer player through practice.” The spring soccer program will be a combination of skills building through practice and game time to put into practice the skills the kids are learning. “I believe we are bringing you the best of both worlds through out soccer program this year and it is based strongly on the feedback parents have given us.”
The skills assessment was another suggestion of parents, Armstrong felt it was important to incorporate. All youth registered for soccer will be invited to come out on Saturday, April 6th for skills assessment by age/grade. This will be no longer than an hour and will be a simple process of running through basic soccer drills. “In the past students have been divided at random which can result in one team having more ability than the other. Our goal is divide youth equally to ensure teams are evenly matched by skill level. I can rememember coaching my team of 4 years olds against another team who had a few players who were more skilled and our kids spent the whole game running up and down the field without improving their individual skills. Our goal is that the skills assessment will reduce the occurrence of this type of a situation and provide a better over all experience for all children and families.”
Registrations for spring soccer are due by Friday, April 5th. Skills assessment will be hosted for all players on Saturday, April 6th. Practice begins the week of April 8th and the season will kickoff with games on Saturday, April 13th. Soccer is open to youth 3 – 13 years of age as of April 5th. The cost is $40 for members and $55 for non-members. Scholarships are available as well.
To learn more, ask questions or register stop by the YMCA, call us at 883-YMCA or visit our website at www.wcfymca.org. The mission of the YMCA is to put Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy mind, body and spirit for all. Our impact is made when an individual makes a healthy choice, when a role mode inspires a child and when a community comes together for the common good.