Wednesday, September 26, 2018


Understanding player development can seem like a daunting task for novice parents or even experienced coaches. It shouldn't be! The important thing for adults to remember is that all kids play the game for fun and enjoyment first and foremost. Whereas adults are focused on the end results as our professional lives demand, kids are more focused on the process or participation in youth sports. Parents should understand that kids pass through various stages in soccer just as they do in life. A typical 10 year old is physically, cognitively and intellectually capable of more than an 8 year or 6 year old. Therefore the challenge for us is to provide a fun and rewarding soccer experience for each age group that is also challenging, educational and builds upon their past experience and prepares them for the next age group or playing level.

To accomplish this, Gulf Coast offers a variety of playing levels (Programs) and a focused training program (Curriculum) to guide parents and coaches along an optimal player development pathway while also keeping it fun, enjoyable and age appropriate at each age and playing level. It is impossible to predict which U5-U12 players will be top players in high school or beyond, but if we focus on teaching the right skills and tactics at each step and playing each player in the optimal playing level to challenge them, we can assure they are in the best possible position to choose their own path when they are older.

Gulf Coast Soccer coaches are asked to use the resources linked below to ensure that we are providing a consistent and developmentally-appropriate learning experience to all our players.  

Coach and Parent Resources and Addendums