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We are going into our third year of developing young players in a FUN, challenging environment!

We have successfully launched our U8/9/10 Soccer Development Academy for Younger Players. The teams play games in the Ohio Player Development Platform in Central, OH along with OP, Crew Juniors, Classics Eagles, and others. We currently have over 60 boys and 24 girls who practice in Worthington and play games weekly in Central Ohio. 

FUN repetitions on the ball (through small-sided game play and through a 'play practice' approach) is at the HEART of this program. We also want players to begin to develop a team concept and to understand the importance of being part of an age group moving toward a common goal.

CHARACTER: John Wooden's 'character words' from his Pyramid of Success http://www.coachwooden.com/pyramidpdf.pdf will be discussed (and modeled) regularly at sessions with U8s. 'Wooden Words' found at the 'base of the pyramid' will be at the core of our 'character talks' - industriousness, friendship, loyalty, cooperation, and enthusiasm.

FITNESS: We will engage players in FUN, dynamic activities to enhance coordination (lightness on feet), to strengthen the core (through kid-friendly exercises), and to begin to build endurance (best way is through PLAYING the game with limited stops).

SKILL: We will engage players in FUN, challenging repetitions on the ball. FUN skill challenges will be given for players (to practice at our sessions and at home) to achieve progressive 'levels of performance' through skill days (and through parent checks). We will use parts of www.isoccer.org as well as our own activities that will engage the players in time on the ball. We also are under the belief that skill is USING technique in game situations. We will encourage players to TRY their developing skills without fear of losing the ball.

GAME SENSE: Through the use of small sided games and the 'Play Practice' approach, we will engage players in thinking how to use their 'soccer brains'. Basic strategy (tactics) will be introduced. At the heart of our program will be developing 1v1 and 2v1 skills (and WHEN to use) as well as introducing, teaching, and fostering 'playing through the lines'. http://www.socceramerica.com/article/51596/play-through-the-lines-risky-at-first-but-success.html