There is an unhealthy bias towards promoting athleticism rather than taking time to develop players at the younger ages, which is having a profound negative effect on soccer in the USA. Therefore at FC Dallas, we believe in age appropriate coaching which ensures that we are teaching not only the RIGHT things, but moreover teaching them the RIGHT way with an emphasis on long term development rather than short term ‘wins’.We recognize that the Juniors Level is the first and most important stage in structuring player development. The 4 major themes from the Juniors Curriculum are:
Ball Mastery – using both feet and multiple surfaces, we encourage players to experiment with all turns, tricks and skills whereas to develop their technical confidence with the ball. All players are developed to be dribblers first.
Shapes & Support – developing the idea of triangle and diamond shapes by supporting the player on the ball. Thus giving players more options to keep the ball rather than just kick it away.
Small Sided Environments – lots of 1v1, 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 free play within each training session. Thus allowing players to experiment and maximize development though multiple contacts on the ball and also recognize the triangle and diamond shape within the game.
Independent Player Thinking – we encourage the players to think for themselves and solve soccer problems with the skills we have taught. Our coaches guide players to the answers by asking questions rather than telling them the answer. Thereby creating independent thinkers who will play the game and solve soccer problems without the coach constantly telling them what to do in any given scenario. This leads to longer term information retention and higher levels of skill acquisition.