BCSA: Grassroots soccer and LTPD Volume 2

Went to a meeting last night for the rollout of BCSA’s new plan for grassroots soccer (defined as anything below BCPL) and the Long Term Player Development Curriculum. I’ll do a longer post later but just wanted to put it out there that this comes across as a well though out integrated approach to improving the environment for the 99% of the Province’s youth soccer players who don’t play elite level soccer.

Combining the LTPD Volume 2 curriculum (intended as a road map for Technical Directors and Club Head Coaches) with the new, simplified dual pathway (Grassroots and Elite) coach certification courses while introducing a new three hour workshop course (free) through a network of regional “Tutors” covers a lot of new ground.

One meeting (there were four last night: Vancouver, Coquitlam, Langley and Williams Lake) was also told that the very handy but under-published BCSA Grassroots Development Coaches Handbook for U6-U12 will be updated and made available at all the three workshops. This spiral bound publication contains 16 practice plans covering basic technical skills. An updated, enhanced version (in pdf form) would be a great addition.

The LTPD Volume 2 that everyone’s been waiting for? There’s a lot more good than bad and it’s a relief that it’s not intended for lay coaches as it’s clearly much more relevant for Technical Directors. It would have been a good idea to state who the end user group was intended to be as that was causing a bit of consternation. Beyond that, the content for the older groups is good but some of the U6 to U8 curriculum is a bit of a stretch and suggest those putting the guide together hadn’t spent a lot of time working with our youngest players.

Big step forward. Congratulations to all those involved in putting it together.

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8 Responses to BCSA: Grassroots soccer and LTPD Volume 2

  1. Colin Elmes says:

    Gee, how do you get invited to these things? I guess my invitation is still in the post.

  2. K says:

    Dang, I know loads of adults that don’t comprehend those skills expected to be taught to the u8’s!

  3. Rob Reed says:

    How does one go about obtaining the BCSA Grassroots Development Coaches Handbook for U6-U12? Is it only available at the workshops?

  4. Darren Russcher says:

    The only MAJOR concern I have with this structuring of EVERYTHING that isn’t high performance is defined as “Grassroots” and, therefore, should be following the template laid out in the LTPD Vol 2 in relation to practice -to-games ratio. For Stage 3, I quote “the training ratio should be 2-3 training sessions for every game. Other sports continue to play a role, both for variety and cross-training…” for the pre-BCSPL U10-12’s. If a district is maxing out those ratios already, how can BC Soccer allow their BCSPL franchises to come in and run for-profit academies in these age groups, adding ANOTHER session to the player’s week? Kids will either burn out or drop out of other sports, something looked upon negatively in the template. This is a serious issue as kids and their parents are being led to believe that if they come to these Sunday academies they will get a serious look-in for the SPL team. The dirty phrase “I think your kid has the talent” is all thats required.

    • Gregor says:

      And there’s a curious footnote on p.13 that is tied to the “Train:Compete Ratio” that says, “In the training to competition ratio, ‘competition’ includes intra-squad scrimmage and conditioned small-sided games in the training environment, in addition to formal matches in league, cup and tournament play.”

      If one third of your training sessions are small sided games and scrimmages and you are supposed to keep a 70-30 mix of training to games it’s going to be very difficult. Maybe that’s the ‘out’ for BCPL franchise academies? In order to get that mix right, assuming everyone has a league game every weekend, you need to add a training session because a third of your club training session is considered ‘compete’ time.

      Having experienced, at our club, the intransigence of hockey and private schools when it comes to letting players play more than one sport, I just don’t see how it’s feasible for a top U12 gold player to attend what would be three training sessions and a game and still play two more sports. If those sports were hockey (in Vancouver) and they went to a private school it’s just not going to work. Vancouver Thunderbirds hockey now have 9 year olds signing contracts that stipulate that if they miss a practice or game they automatically get a three game suspension. Guess which sport they choose to miss when there’s a conflict between hockey and soccer?

      Do we go the same route? If we want to seriously get players training more we have to get them to commit to soccer. That means we need to curtail them from playing other sports rather than encourage it. Bit of a catch 22.

      • Darren Russcher says:

        I think by the time the boys get to U11 their hand is forced already, in terms of select soccer or rep hockey. The issue is about having time to do Judo,say, like my son.He doesn’t do that for competitive reasons but for coordination,self-defense,discipline and love of it. It makes him a well-rounded 9 year old boy. 5 times a week soccer will eliminate that at 9 yrs old,and that’s wrong. We need to remember,this shouldn’t be about ownership when the model keeps espousing a “player-first” model. 85% of 16 year old boys accepted into professional academies in Europe are out of the game by 21 if our goal is to truly foster a love of the sport and to help to develop young sportsmen and soccer players, the BCSPL teams need to back off and let the clubs do their job They should work in conjunction with what the clubs are doing instead of in competition with. Overall a good plan but we need to work together instead of in opposition to.

    • Colin Elmes says:

      Thats because there is little oversight on this. Question- if you picked up the phone to call the leader of BCPL who would it be( and would he/she call back…..)?

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