About the Player Programs
The purpose of this program is to offer a best vs best training environment to improve the overall level of the most promising young players at Vancouver United FC. All practice sessions will be carefully designed to develop each of the fundamental elements of performance - technical, tactical, physical and psychological. Practice sessions will be run by our senior staff coaches who have extensive experience working with elite ability-matched groups across the lower mainland. All players will participate in games during the session however we will only be selection the top 10-12 players for games against stronger opposition.
VanU's philosophy for the Active Start Program is to develop PASSION FOR THE GAME and LOVE OF THE BALL.
To achieve this, we need to create as many opportunities as possible for every player to touch the ball as often as possible. This is one of the primary reasons that the Active Start Program is focused on fun, physical literacy (learning fundamental momvement skills) and soccer skill development (particularly ball manipulation and game play).
Formal scrimmages may not be part of every session, however, players will participate in a variety of fun and interactive games with and without the ball. It is important for both players and parents to learn the value of balancing training and game ratios - this program is designed to teach these principles.
A key component of the program is the social and emotional development of the players, also known as ethical literacy. This will include aligning the Active Start program with the True Sport Principles - Go For It, Play Fair, Respect Others, Keep It Fun, Stay Healthy, Include Everyone & Give Back. These principles are the foundation of the Active Start program.
Skills development, as well as physical and ethical literacy should be the ABCs of any program for children of this age. More information about physical literacy and the Long Term Player Development plan can be found below. For more information on ethical literacy, please review the True Sport LTAD Matrix .
Long Term Player Development (LTPD) describes the Active Start stage as the following:
Players should participate in stimulating practices and games that develop basic technical skills in a FUN atmosphere. The emphasis should be movement exercises and games that promote a feel for the ball while teaching basic principles of play within a fun but structured setting. Informal games can be set up at the end of practices or as a part of a jamboree mixing exercise and games. Play equal time and try all team positions, including goalkeeper. Equal time should be allotted to practices and games.
The goal of this program is to encourage child activity and develop basic motor skills. These skills, also known as physical literacy, will help your child in any sport they may choose to play in the future and serve as the foundation for developing soccer skills. This is achieved by following the parameters:
Technical: introduce individual skills. Dribbling with all parts of the foot, combined with simple techniques for changing direction (turns, drag backs); basic shooting where players experience success and the thrill of a goal.
Tactical: no tactical instruction. Emphasis on the individual.
Physical: provide a fun setting and simple mode of play that develops basic movement skills in running, jumping, kicking, throwing and catching.
Mental: fun and passion for play. Experience success and build confidence by receiving positive recognition.
Lifestyle: enjoy a variety of sports and physical activities
Personal: positive attitude and self-esteem.