Whether they dream of playing for Canada’s National Teams or simply want to have fun with their friends, taking the right approach to the game when children are young sets the stage for a lifetime of enjoyment. For players under the age of 12, many of whom are lacing up cleats for the first time, the goal of this approach is simple: The CYS Player pathway follows The Canada Soccer pathway and provides a roadmap for players of all ages and aspirations who want to play soccer at the recreational, competitive or high performance levels, with the aim of encouraging lifelong participation. The Pathway is built around the principles of Long-Term Player Development (LTPD).
LTPD is a model of athlete development that parallels what doctors and psychologists have long used to better understand human development: as a series of distinct stages, which take us from infancy through adulthood.
A person’s abilities, behaviour and emotions, as well as their understanding of the world around them, varies from stage to stage. When young soccer players are able to train and compete in an environment that’s appropriate to their stage of development, they not only perform at their best, they also have more fun.
This video provides an insight to the Long-Term Player Development model in action. Soccer means something different for everyone, see what the kids think about playing under the LTPD model, and why it is so important to soccer in 2020. We don’t expect kids to compete in spelling bees without first teaching them their ABCs. When activities and expectations don’t match with a child’s
developmental stage, this can set them up for failure. The same is true when young
children are thrust into a soccer environment that over-emphasizes
winning at the expense of developing skills and having fun. The negative consequences can last a lifetime: Some kids develop
bad habits and poor skills and can become discouraged. Many
don’t achieve their performance potential. Others end up leaving the sport altogether because they don’t enjoy the game anymore.