Players are identified and grouped by ability and skill on most training days. Players will train two times per week beginning early July each year. The staff will teach and encourage players to effectively apply technical ability, insight, creativity and confidence while training and playing at the U8 level.
Practices will mostly be held in station style group training. Simply put, each training session will consist of a number of stations that vary in theme, i.e. dribbling, passing, finishing. Groups will rotate through each different station in order to experience all activities and coaches. The groups will be organized by skill level in order to keep the training environment challenging for all involved.
Players will be encouraged to improve at home with the introduction of the SRFC Dribbling Moves Reference Sheet and the SRFC Juggling Program. These skills will be assessed throughout the season, with recognition given to encourage practice outside of the club setting.
The Advantages of Group Training
- Player development at the youngest ages is very fluid due to different rates of physical and mental maturation amongst kids. The group training system rewards players who continually work to improve their skill and understanding of the game throughout the season without limiting kids to one team.
- Players are placed in an environment that allows them to develop an awareness of the “club culture.”
- Gives the SRFC U8 Academy program staff a chance to continually evaluate across the entire age group.
- Age group training is a competitive cauldron giving players a chance to learn from, and measure themselves against, the best talent of their own age group.
- Group training allows SRFC to build the future of the club.
- Group Training is NOT a lowest-common-denominator approach. We firmly believe in placing the best players together to train, compete and push each other. But the most effective U8 player may not be the best U12 player in four years’ time, so our training environment must encourage every player.
Each year the U8 program is assigned club staff coaches for training and games. SRFC trains its entire coaching staff through national and international coaching courses, and the staff work together to implement the club curriculum for all U8 players.
All coaching should be left to the coaching staff, and parents should not offer advice to players during games or practice. Parents should refrain from giving any tactical feedback to players regarding performance unless they have consulted with the coach as they may give contradictory information which can lead to confusion or frustration for the player.