Louisiana clubs have a lot to be excited for this fall, with the introduction of two new soccer programs to help young players develop thorough soccer skills and a new positive perspective on competing.
The U4 (three year olds) Program
The U4 program, a one hour session each week, began August 1, 2012 for Louisiana clubs. Technical Director for the Louisiana Soccer Association, Mark Godwin, introduced this insightful program to help youngsters get a head start with the correct soccer development training.
“Players at this age are not placed on teams but will be brought in once a week into an environment that introduces soccer related games to this age group and their parents,” says Godwin. “We want them to learn motor skills, that is the main goal, to develop their coordination.”
As a parent, Godwin understands the commitment of having kids involved with athletics, and where to start to push them in the right direction for success.
“There is a fear factor going into sports, [the program] allows parents to see what needs to be going on at a young age to do well.”
It is also beneficial for parents, to help them learn the basic aspects of training. Godwin is confident it will help clubs grow their volunteer coaching base, since parents will be working with their kids during each session and expanding their own coaching skills. “We want parents to realize they can coach their kids at a young age.”
Since its start in August, Godwin is excited of the immediate success the program has already shown, and looks forward to what Louisiana clubs can expect for their young, budding soccer stars.
“From my standpoint, this will give future players of the U.S. an introduction to the game and it’s one of the most fun soccer learning environments offered today.”
For more details on registering for this program, visit the Louisiana Soccer Association’s website: http://www.playlouisianasoccer.org/Administrators/DownloadResourceCenter.html
The Statewide Academy Program
This innovative program, aimed at the U9/U10 age groups, centers around the “pool training concept”, which Godwin explains is vital for player development and gives a new outlook on competing by taking away the pressures of “winning at all costs.”
“Rather than put all of your players on a single team, they all go into a pool,” says Godwin. “This makes up teams that change all the time, and rotates players each game.”
The fresh approach also develops skills by “monkey see monkey do.” Kids mimic the playing techniques of their fellow team mates and therefore learn from each other, in a positive, influential and competitive atmosphere.
“Players thrive off of the player environment, and not just from the coaches or training,” says Godwin.
The Academy program is new for Louisiana clubs this fall, but Godwin hopes that it can also be implemented in spring 2013 festivals.
“It’s really about taking the pressure off of winning and losing from the game and giving our players the ability to learn quicker in a non-pressured environment. We look to grow and bring in more and more clubs.”
For more details on registering for this program, please visit: http://www.playlouisianasoccer.org/AGM/2012/LOUISIANA%20ACADEMY%20PROGRAM.pdf