Why Is Player Development Key To AYSO?
AYSO has added Player Development as a new sixth philosophy, confirming its 45-year commitment to developing each young soccer player to their individual level of talent and desire.
The exceptional aspect of AYSO's commitment to player development is its child-focused foundation. AYSO is where kids fall in love with the game and get the fundamental training that lets them enjoy soccer for life. It is about developing each child's soccer skills and enjoyment, not winning at all costs.
The new philosophy of Player Development joins Everyone Plays®, Balanced Teams, Open Registration, Positive Coaching and Good Sportsmanship as the six foundation tenets of the organization.
"We owe it to our kids to help make them the best soccer players they can or want to be," explains Hugh McLeish, chair of AYSO's National Coaching Advisory Commission. The Commission reviews coach training and certification.
What the new philosophy is all about.
The new philosophy showcases the developmental aspect of AYSO's almost 1,000 Regions, its community-based soccer leagues, across the nation. AYSO develops its coach and player programs at a national level, but they are delivered in local communities to keep them convenient and affordable.
"Children who are given the opportunity to develop to the level they want have more self confidence and enjoy the game more," explains Paula Berriz, one of AYSO's National Vice Presidents, whose son learned his soccer skills in AYSO and later went on to play NCAA Division I college soccer. Berriz is also leading the debut of Flex™ a new AYSO umbrella program that offers more competitive playing opportunities for kids with a higher level of skill and ambition.
As McLeish points out, "AYSO has always been committed to player development, now we are bringing it into the forefront. Just look at all the players that got their passion for soccer in AYSO. Players like Brandi Chastain and Landon Donovan." Donovan, who currently stars for the U.S. National Team, played in AYSO throughout his youth soccer career.
AYSO builds passion for soccer.
AYSO is dedicated to helping children build their love of soccer, whether it's to have a weekend pastime to keep fit or to develop to the highest level the sport offers. Every weekend in parks around the country, there is a pick-up game being played. And put down a soccer ball on any street corner in the world, and you'll make friends. Soccer is truly an international language.
One of the key aspects of AYSO's player development approach is the age-specific education of its coaches. Short, practical coach training sessions let parent coaches be successful in their first experience coaching a team. Then further training is available in graduated steps for parents who want to continue coaching. Coaches are trained for each level of child development so that soccer lessons are appropriate for the physical and psychological maturity of a child.
AYSO Philosophies make the soccer experience more enjoyable.
AYSO's other philosophies also add to its player development success. With Everyone Plays®, each child is guaranteed a minimum of 50 percent playing time in every game. Sitting on the bench is not how to learn to play soccer! And through the philosophy of Balanced Teams, AYSO teams are re-formed each season to allow players of different skill levels to play together. This expands each player's ability to cope with different playing experiences. Open Registration ensures that every child who wants to play will have that opportunity.
AYSO National Coach John Ouellette points out, "Nothing is really changing in our commitment to excellence in AYSO coaching. We're just making sure that everyone understands we are, in fact, about the game and player development. It just so happens that we are also about child development."
"We want every player to be more proficient at the end of a training session, at the end of a game, at the end of the season," Ouellette continues.
AYSO's other National Vice President Mark Stewart perhaps best sums up the commitment of adding the new philosophy: "Now more than ever we're collectively holding ourselves accountable to achieving these successes by our adoption of the sixth philosophy of Player Development."