Additional Soccer Programs Are Worth the Price
BY JEAN JACQUES BOSCO
I started coaching soccer in Point Grey during the September 2000-2001 soccer season. My first Canadian team was the U15 boys in 2001. I went on to coach them as a U16 Silver 2 team in 2001 and U17 and 18 Silver 1 team in 2003. Though they played at the Silver level, the player’s skills reflected a Gold level of play.
Because the team had such a strong sense of joy and camaraderie the team manager, Mr. Jones, wished to create a U9 league. This never came to term, but the desire to recreate the team dynamic he had witnessed was there.
I wish all soccer parents and players could have witnessed the fun my team had during the three consecutive years. The enjoyment stemmed from the confidence they had as players which came as a result of intensive skill training. Each player could dribble comfortably, pass accurately, kick long and high over 60 yards, juggle over 50 times and run faster than a gazelle. They were always beating their opponents to the ball, and tiring them out.
Having spent 11 years as a community coach and soccer academy owner and operator, I have observed that children who get some additional soccer development through programs like Total Soccer System (TSS), JBST Soccer Academy, or North Shore Soccer development, acquire extra skills that give them confidence on the field. Once a child possesses the required skills, their enjoyment of the sport will grow and increase their chances of long term involvement, even into University and beyond. The benefits of soccer go beyond the field as it helps develop children’s discipline and focus and allows them little time to partake in deviant behaviour.
Generally, parents refuse to pay any more than the $360 per year enrollment fee for their children. With this they receive a uniform and a seasonal coach, usually a parent-volunteer. Some of these parent-coaches will have played soccer in the past, however the majority have simply taken a crash course in the sport. While volunteer coaches make team involvement affordable and therefore available to the masses, it has its shortcomings. Many volunteer coaches do not know the techniques necessary to develop proper body coordination, body conditioning and soccer skills. Professional coaches, while more expensive have the expertise to develop these areas.
In short, if your child shows an interest in pursuing soccer, the extra cost is well worth the results. Not only are there advantages for the child on the field and in their personal life, but the parents will have a better behaved child on their hands, and the level of play in the community will be elevated, contributing to a thriving soccer community in Vancouver! Soccer is not just exercise, it’s a lifestyle!