KSC Mission Statement
The Kirkwood Soccer Club exists to promote the development of youth in our community through participation in athletic competition. Our goal is to provide activities that offer recreational, social and physical development for children of all skill levels. We are committed to providing participants with the opportunity to develop athletically and personally in a positive, supportive, and safe environment. The Kirkwood Soccer Club encourages and promotes ethical and moral behavior, good sportsmanship, community involvement and good citizenship.
- Adopted by KSC Board of Directors
KSC Player Development Philosophy
KSC aims to be a nationally recognized model program for youth soccer development. We strive to prepare each and every KSC athelete reach his/her highest level of competition.
Our philosophy involves implementing age-appropriate training curriculum at all levels to ensure the best development of our young players. The focus is on the development of our players, and not the short-term goal of winning a game or medal. We aim to provide a standardized and structured support plan to our players, coaches and parents to implement this player-centric programming at every level of the game.
KSC adapted such Player Development Philosophy as a guideline to enable us attain our mission. We strive to be successful, and are committed to youth development, teaching life lessons, and community building, to help develop great kids who are great soccer players. KSC brings experience, professional, and caring coaches to teach and develop soccer players from the fun, through the passion , to the demands of the game.
We encourage you to take on the player development journey by taking advantage of all that our club offers and by remembering that the best players WANT to
practice and train.
Player Development Path
STAGE 1 - FUNDAMENTALS (AGES 5-7): The main areas of focus: movement education, starting the process of learning to master the ball, and developing a love for the game. Movement skills and technical development remain top of the agenda at this stage. A 6-year-old is eager, active and likes to be on the go. Although keen to act independently, a 6-year-old needs parental approval, understanding, praise and encouragement. Pushing too hard or expecting too much can result in the child becoming tense and nervous.
Areas Of Focus:
- Fundamental Motor Skills
- Agility, Balance, and Coordination
- Introduction to mastering the soccer ball
We recommend parents to enroll kids in our Pre-Academy Program.
STAGE 2 - LEARNING TO TRAIN (AGES 8-10): The main areas of focus: mastering the ball, learning how to train properly, and creating a foundation for team work. This is a crucial time for developing advanced competency in basic techniques and this platform allows for the introduction of more advanced skills. Some basic tactical appreciation can also be introduced. Commence aerobic capacity training at stage 3. Aerobic power should be introduced progressively after growth rate decelerates. It is also very important that children are encouraged to take part in unstructured play and other sport participation is encouraged. The main activities are developing ball control while learning how to problem solve individually and with teammates. Players learn several new activities that create a foundation for their training environment as they progress over the years. Different variations of passing & dribbling. Each activity can build into higher level variations that help to develop technical abilities & combinational play.
STAGE 3- TRAINING TO TRAIN (AGES 10-14): The main areas of focus: continuation of mastering the ball and learning principles of play. Players transition into a Training to Train Phase now that a foundation has been set from previous years of playing. New tactical concepts: Principle of Attacking & Principles of Defending. Several of these principles are very complicated and at this stage of development the focus is creating a foundation based on these principles.
-Principles of Attacking: Penetration, providing support, movement off the ball, width & depth, and improvisation/creativity.
-Principles of Defending: pressure & cover, delaying, balance/team shape, compactness, control & restraint (not diving in)
STAGE 4 - TRAINING TO COMPETE (AGES 14-16): The main areas of focus: developing tactical concepts of the game while continuing to develop technical abilities. Training sessions will be similar from the previous stage with the areas of focus becoming more complex.Continue to consolidate the performance of fundamental and advanced individual skills. Players should receive more in depth tactical instructions, particularly in understanding playing positions. Players should continue to experience different positions on the field. Optimum time for the introduction of Strength training for girls Players should play other sports, but soccer should become the primary sport during the soccer season for the serious and committed players.
STAGE 5 - TRAINING TO WIN (AGES U-16 & OLDER): The final phase of player preparation aims to maximize player performance in all aspects of the game. A player's capacities are becoming fully established while training to peak for major competitions. Training is characterized by high intensity and relatively high volume with frequent periods of rest. Team tactics should form a significant part of practice sessions and teams should be coached in team ‘units’ – defense, midfield and attack.
Position training is important, and players should be prepared for a primary position. Physical conditioning is also important for all players and training should be tailored to the physical demands of their position on the field. Optimum time for the introduction of Strength training. Participation in other sports can enhance physical preparation and transferability to soccer. However, soccer should be the primary sport for serious and committed players
Areas of Focus in addition to Training to Compete Phase
- Ability to improvise within game situations
- Independent decision-making
- Further development and refinement of soccer specific skills
- Automatic and consistent performance of soccer specific skills
- Development of effective competition strategies and ability to adjust within games
- Successful tactics, strategies, and necessary variations needed to win games
- The importance of variation/options on set-pieces in attack & defense
- Maintenance of physical capabilities with the view of maximizing performance
- Well-developed, refined and individualized mental skills and routines