This document offers a guide to support the many players, parents, coaches and administrators who promote the game at a Grassroots level. At the entry point of participation, coaches and parents have an opportunity to nurture a lifelong passion for the game among their young players.
This booklet encompasses the U4-U6 age groups as they embrace Active Start, the first stage of the Long Term Player Development model. For purposes of understanding, there are differences within both age groups in terms of recommended game formats, but the essence of Active Start is to encourage children to move their bodies and have fun.
Download the Canada Soccer Pathway Coach’s Tool Kit: Stage One-Active Start
Download the Periodized Training Plans for Active Start (U6)
The FUNdamental stage of Long Term Player Development (LTPD) is a logical progression from Active Start, which focused on the introduction and development of physical literacy. Once some physical literacy (agility, balance and coordination) foundations have been introduced, players should be encouraged to have ‘fun with the ball.’
Reflecting on the individual (egotistical) nature of children in this age group, players should learn and practice new moves, each with their own ball. Showing off new skills is often more a measure of success for children within FUNdamentals stage than winning a game or medal. Coaches and parents can therefore use this window of opportunity to support guided discovery, allowing players to dribble, take risks, and nurture a passion for ‘playing’ soccer.
Download the Canada Soccer Pathway Coach’s Tool Kit: Stage Two – FUNdamentals
Download the Periodized Training Plan for FUNdamentals (U8)
This stage is known as ‘The Golden Age’ of learning. By this stage, players have gained a strong degree of their physical literacy and confidence with the ball; they are now ready to play the game.
What was previously an individual game is now a team game, which includes tactics and team formations. Through education, many players have mastered the social skills of learning, receiving instruction, sharing, and cooperation. As a result, players will likely be more focused on the group and will be ready for the team environment. Furthermore, they will have also developed a desire to question instructions and find solutions to problems on their own – qualities that will further support their personal development and passion for soccer.
Download the Canada Soccer Pathway Coach’s Tool Kit: Stage Three – Learn to Train
Download the Periodized Training Plan for:
Whether a player progresses through the excellence stream or remains at the grassroots level, the hope is that they embrace a passion and desire to pursue soccer for life. This stage includes youth players from the U13 age group up to Masters’ competitions. It also encompasses the many different game formats, from 11 v 11 games, to beach soccer, futsal and the indoor game.
Download the Active for Life Soccer Guide
Download the Periodized Training Plans for: