During the Spring season, Fairhope recreational soccer teams plays small-sided soccer. Small sided soccer means that ALL age groups play a 4v4 format (U11-U13 may play 5v5 with goal depending on registration numbers) This is very important as it allows for more efficient development for all players. Players will find themselves more involved; therefore receiving increased repetitions of all technical aspects of the game. Fall is Fairhope soccer's full season, just like Spring is baseball's full season.
Here are some of the reasons why we believe, as soccer coaches, administrators and parents must guarantee that our young soccer players play small-sided games:
1. Because we want our young soccer players to touch the soccer ball more often and become more skillful with it! (Individual technical development)
2. Because we want our young soccer players to make more, less-complicated decisions during the game! (Tactical development)
3. Because we want our young soccer players to be more physically efficient in the field space they are playing in! (Reduced field size)
4. Because we want our young soccer players to have more individual teaching time with the coach! Fewer players on the field and fewer players on the team will guarantee this! (Need to feel worthy and need to feel important)
5. Because we want our young soccer players to have more, involved playing time in the game! (More opportunity to solve problems that only the game presents)
6. Because we want our young soccer players to have more opportunity to play on both sides of the ball! (More exposure to attacking and defending situations)
7. Because we want our young soccer players to have more opportunities to score goals! (Pure excitement)
8. Because we want to include children of all temperaments, assertive to shy, to have more opportunities to interact with others and the game! (Socialization)
These are the reasons why we adults must foster "Small-Sided Games" in our youth soccer programs. The "Small-Sided" environment is a developmentally appropriate environment for our young soccer players. It’s a FUN environment that focuses on the young soccer player. It just makes sense doesn’t it? (USYS)
Measurement of Success: We DO NOT measure success on winning and losing. Coaches must attend the Fairhope Soccer League coaching clinic - at this clinic they were informed on how to measure success this Spring.
Success is measured on an individual basis: Player Development, Player Enjoyment and Character. We want all players to enjoy their time with the FSL. However, we also want them to become better soccer players. Finally, most important: we want these players to exhibit Integrity, Character and Sportsmanship.
We challenge the coaches to lead by example and to be a positive role model. We also challenge the parents to support this philosophy and encourage developmental, character and sportsmanship.
Please emphasize and focus on the development rather than the score.
Remember all aspects of the game should be positive. We are striving to facilitate an environment that is conducive to learning. Children will only attempt new things if they are confident and comfortable with themselves. Please support this concept help continue the development of these soccer players.