Player Identification & Development ProtocolObjective: To properly identify and evaluate the development of players, & recognize individual players ability-level, allowing each player an opportunity to learn the various requirements to play travel soccer, to feel confident and competent in expressing their creative ability, and to enjoy the experience.
TUSC will organize open tryouts using a similar assessment range as season evaluations. All players will be expected to show various attributes while participating in the following tryout set-up:*Individual Ball Manipulation Drill*Possession Games*Small-sided Games*Scrimmages (8v8; 11v11)
Players should be put through a well-organized Ball-Manipulation section so the trainers/evaluators get a clear picture on the basic technical ability of each player. This section should include Passing & Receiving, and basic dribble and turning skills (e.g. scissors, drop-shoulder, L-Turn).
The second phase of the tryout should feature possession games. This will highlight player’s decision making, and movement off the ball. By playing without the focus of scoring goals players will use more of their skills and show their understanding of how to keep hold of possession, there understanding of ‘angles of runs’ and will always be actively involved.
It is necessary to recognize the importance of small-sided games. These allow players an opportunity to try various skills and soccer techniques in a game situation. Too often players are overlooked when playing in a scrimmage as they simply do not get enough touches on the ball to express themselves. Small-sided games offer lots of touches on the ball, and with the focus on creativity instead of results, players are more relaxed and enjoy these opportunities more. Within these games, players do not fear making mistakes, instead are commended on trying different styles of play. These games also allow trainers/evaluators to see which players understand the concept of team-shape which will help the players to understand the tactical part of the game as they progress and get older. Transition in these games also highlights the player’s reaction to when they lose the ball. This part of the tryout will offer so much insight into the ability level of the players.
When put in a scrimmage (8v8; 11v11) environment players should be allowed to play with very little interruption from either the trainer or outside influences (parents, spectators). As mentioned above, some players may not get too many opportunities on the ball, however the trainer/evaluator will be able to assess the players involvement by recognizing their movement off the ball, their communication skills, game understanding, & decision-making as well as reading their body language – all important attributes particularly in the older age groups. This section of the tryout should only take place if time and field space allows.
The tryout will produce an evaluation and rank for each “TRIALIST” player only - allowing the Club will be able to see if they would be an impact player, starter, or squad player if offered a place on the team.
To be able to reach this objective the Parent Managers/Coaches, players and parents must firstly recognize the importance of development through training at the younger age groups v. the ‘development through winning’ mentality. Too often too much emphasis is put on winning games, which puts unnecessary pressure on individual players, who then lose focus in training, do not develop the necessary skills that will be needed to be successful at the older ages and inevitably lose interest in the sport.
The Sports Factory professional trainers participate in two-to-three ‘Coaching Education’ sessions per week, which are run by the TSF Director of Coaching, the TSF Inter (U6-U13) Academy Manager, the TSF Academy Manger, and the TSF General Manager. These sessions include on-field and classroom training, covering every aspect of training youth players from 4 years old, up to professional players; the talent range includes new to the sport, to recreational player/teams, low-tiered travel, up to high-level travel, select teams, HS teams, Academy-level teams, and semi-pro teams. This education allows the trainer to recognize the difference in not only age groups but also in the different level of players. Alongside the Coaching Education Program The Sports Factory also has in place a Client Liaison Manager who meets with each trainer to review their lesson plans, game-day paperwork, and to make sure copies of each are kept on file, so in the event a trainer is not able to cover his/her session a replacement has all the necessary information to seamlessly step in and still offer a well-organized, professional and enjoyable session. The Sports Factory prides itself on what it believes to be the strongest, most effective, and highly professional Soccer Training organization not just in New Jersey, but in the USA.