Coaching Player Development

The key development stage in a soccer player’s life is from age 8 to 12. It’s at this stage where the players learn the basic technical skills through practice and where they learn to love the game through fun.

Do not emphasize winning. Realize that if they are not enjoying your practices, they may not return for another. Keep them laughing and they will be sure to come back from more challenges. Do not think that every skill or technique is too difficult. "Let them try it" again and again.

Don’t feel pressured into creating the next "Pele". Simply concentrate on creating a soccer player. "fun" is the number one factor. Emphasize skills by using fun soccer activities and your players will develop their basic skills surprisingly fast.

At the grass roots level, coaches should focus on two main components of the game: Technical skills and Mental Psyche. The is no need to spend time on such components as team strategies, defensive patterns, working without balls, restarts, and giving players rigid positions on the team. This will come later as they advance to higher levels.

Allow the players to dream, allow self-talk and above all, keep them laughing. If they’re smiling, they’re listening and if they’re listening, they’re learning.

The Canadian Soccer Association, in conjunction with the Ontario Soccer Association have developed the "Community Coach Concept". The Community Coaching Certificate and its components has been designed to support recreational and competitive Community Club coaches across the country.

The Ontario Soccer Association (OSA) has mandated that every coach H/L or competitive needs to have a coaching certificate. The OSA is promoting the new program Long Term Coach’s Development for all Coaches H/L and Competitive. Also, the new Coaching levels are:

  1. Active Start
  2. FUNdamentals
  3. Learn to train
  4. Active for Life

Please contact the club if you are interested.

H/L Coaches please contact, House League Coaches Director; Kim DeSousa at to find out which level you need.

For Competitive Coaches, contact the Club Competitive Director, Rodney Kirwan.