Core Composite Development Program
U/6-U/13 Boys and Girls
The Core Composite Development Program is to ensure player development at the early stages of your player’s soccer experience. It’s very important that players are offered every opportunity to grow and learn the game without the stress of adults forcing children to win and lose at U-6 etc.
We think the eventual success of children doesn’t exist at the U/6-U/13 age level but rather at the U/15-U/20 age range. So we are focused heavily on the technical training at the Core Composite development age range and less worried about the record of each team.
Your child’s coach will receive training. Each week coaches will be required to participate in coaching modules to help develop their strengths and weaknesses. The St. Louis Steamers are committed to providing the best development program to your child.
To help the coaches we have staff coaches that offer support and advice to your child’s coach. No coach is left on an island to run a practice. Staff coaches have the responsibility to offer support in the technical area of development as well as team management aspect of being the coach/manager/parent.
The Core Composite Development Program is designed to position players to play on teams that compete in our own league. This league is structured so that players participate on a weekly basis in games that are 3v3, 4v4 and 5v5 with no goalies. Each game is 40 minutes length and teams are mixed with boys and girls. The focus is game experiences rather than game results. Small teams, small fields with maximum touches on the ball is the focus for the league. Individual soccer learning is important because this is how creativity and personalities are expressed on the field.
The ages are:
U/6 and U/7 boys and girls practice 2 times a week
U/8 and U/9 boys and girls practice 2 times a week or 3 times a week
U/10 to U/13 boys and girls practice 3 or 4 times a week
Within these age groups each division will have sub-divisions where we match like players with “like” players.
The Core Composite Development Program is 400 field sessions before your child plays a real game (9v9, 11v11). Each field session includes trainings along with small sided games. Here’s what is important to understand when evaluating the Core Composite Development Program:
We know that a players experience is determined by the coach and the parent. Many times a coach is overwhelmed and doesn’t know where to begin. They know what soccer looks like on T.V. so a coach will line up U/6 players and work on crossing the ball. Our program removes the stress on the coach and we provide the curriculum for each age group.
- The right start to soccer leads to a lifelong enjoyment of the game. The philosophy behind our program is that soccer requires the development of a wide variety of highly technical skills and abilities. For example, it’s not easy to dribble the ball without looking down. But it’s essential if you want to avoid collisions with other players. When players learn these skills from the start, the game becomes more enjoyable and pays off in the end.
- Develop skills which develops confidence
We know there’s a bonus to learning the right skills early; it not only gives each player a creative style but also provides enjoyment for the game and breeds confidence for each player. When players realize they are getting better it makes them enjoy the game.
- Kids play to learn rather than win the game
There is no doubt that some parents will feel that 400 field sessions is wrong for their child to experience before they see a real game. Unfortunately, the rest of the world disagrees with that idea. The United States is one of the only countries in the world that emphasizes results at the youth level which is why we struggle to compete later in the professional leagues. The Core Composite Development Program is structured to support your player as a youth and develop them into elite athletes at the appropriate age level.
The St. Louis Steamers are committed to building an athlete with each of their players. Based on critical knowledge gained by European clubs our model of success is built on these critical priorities for player development:
- Improve players physical training
- Improve players ability in 1v1 situations
- Improve players speed and skills
- Improve players ability to compete
Two results happen with this long term approach:
- On the soccer side the most athletic and skilled players will make the elite level with a reduced risk of overuse injuries.
- On the player development side this approach leads to more balanced players that keep playing soccer longer.
When we set out to build athletes rather than just soccer players we clearly state that our intention is to help players develop more than just soccer skills. We are committed to help them improve a series of traits such as overall athletic abilities, nutrition, mental game and physical conditioning.
Our goal is to put the efforts in the long term success of players rather than short term U-8 championship winners. “No college coach has ever asked a recruit what their record was at U-8”- Mike Lagow.
The Core Composite Development Program is a 3 stage development program designed to teach the game in 3 stages:
- Basic Development ages U/6 and U/7
- Talent Development ages U/8 and U/9
- Elite Development age U/10 to U/13