PCSC Developmental Academy
PCSC is very pleased to announce that our program is taking a progressive step forward in the development of our youth players. Based on recommendations from US Soccer, our U9-U11 teams will all participate, to varying degrees, in an Academy training format that allows players and coaches flexibility with rosters and practice sessions.
An Academy program essentially means each age group and gender will train as one “pool”, what it otherwise called “Flexible Grouping”. As an example; all of our U9 boys will train together as one group of 20-25 players whereas in the past our boys at this age would have been split into two or three teams and wouldn’t have a chance to be together again till the next round of tryouts. Working with a pool of all players at a specific age and gender allow coaches to constantly change match rosters to be ever evolving and so that it allows a variety of game day experiences for the players and coaches.
The problem with team placement is that it emphasizes organized soccer too early in development and it puts the team ahead of the individual player at an age where each child‘s growth, relationships and development is far more important than that of building a team. Other issues with team placements include the creation of random talent pools, more chance and less control over lopsided games, minimal control over the environment, less variety, and in some cases one’s team experience may leave a child feeling stuck in a poor relationship or connection with peers or coach.
The benefits of flexible grouping allows more variety and opportunity to control the environment from week to week in practices and game days-like creating teams of same age and/or ability to play with and against one another, having a small sided round robin event with multiple games, playing same gender, etc. Most importantly, having this freedom to mix and match children as they grow and develop throughout the season allows each player in the pool the same opportunities to succeed to the best of their ability and efforts.