Las Vegas Sports Academy is responsible for providing the players and teams with an experienced technical staff. All coaches are licensed and dedicated to assisting youth players pursue their passion for the game of soccer. Some of our coaches have had very distinguished playing and coaching careers. Coaching assignments will be based on individual coach’s experience and the team’s age, gender and level of competition. All teams will have designated Head Coaches at the start of the club year. All coaching staff report directly to the Directors of Coaching (DOCs) and the DOCs report directly to the VP of Soccer Operations.
Coaches are expected to serve as teachers and leaders whose attitudes and behavior will set the tone for the players and the sideline.
In addition to the above applicable standards, coaches are expected to:
- Set high standards for their players’ conduct and attendance as well as their own conduct and attendance
- Treat all players honestly, fairly and with respect
- Be committed to help all players reach their maximum potential
- Refrain from releasing players from the team during a soccer season unless it is for disciplinary reasons or non-payment of team dues and fees
- Conduct themselves as positive role models and display appropriate behavior at all team and club functions
- Be responsible for the conduct of the team on and off the field when the team is together as part of a team event
- Conform to the rules established by the team and the club
Club tryouts will be held annually and are open to all players U11-U18. Multiple tryout sessions are offered and teams will be selected and rostered by the team coach with the assistance of the respective DOC. Selections will be based on technical ability first, then attitude, commitment, and willingness to be coached.
Within a week following tryouts, team rosters will be announced. The coach, with the assistance of the DOCs will have reviewed, in depth, the qualities of all players and selected those who show the most promise for a successful team. Skills and technical ability, speed, agility, endurance and decision making are all important components of the selection process, as are commitment and coachability.
A/B/C TEAM SYSTEM
The A/B/C team system is in place to provide a competitive learning environment for a variety of levels. LVSA understands that young players progress at different rates and therefore this system provides the best avenues for learning at each level. LVSA feels this provides all young players that are placed on a team the best opportunity to accomplish their own long term goals.
A Team: At each age these are the boys and girls that mature the fastest mentally and physically. Players also bring a certain skill set that enables them to compete against other players at similar stages. These attributes along with their ability to solve problems quickly enable them to compete at the highest level.
B Team: These teams usually consist of a combination of two types of players. One type has matured physically and/or mentally but lacks the soccer skills and technique to compete at the highest levels and the other type has exceptional soccer skills and technique but lacks the physical and/or mental maturity.
C Team: These teams often consist of players that show great enthusiasm for soccer and show an aptitude for learning quickly. They don’t yet have the necessary soccer skills and technique and/or the physical and/or mental capabilities to compete at higher levels.
We encourage all coaches to follow the progress of each player in respective age groups. This lends itself to promotion or demotion of all our players throughout the year. Being placed on any team is a fluid situation with changes often occurring during the transfer windows.
LVSA teams play in local and/or regional and national competitive leagues. Club league affiliations include Silver State Girls Soccer League, Nevada South Youth Soccer League, Southern California National Premier Soccer League and Far West Regional Soccer League.
If approached with the proper mindset, any cup competition can provide a rich learning experience for players. At the youth level, tournament competitions should be approached as competition in the name of development.
The choice and decision to participate in tournaments will be made jointly with the coach, the DOCs, and the VP of Soccer Operations.
LVSA determines tournament participation based on the following principles:
- Participation in tournaments should fit into the rhythm of the season and appropriateness to the team
- Participation in tournaments should fit the level of competition of the various teams
- Choice of event should present team with a developmental opportunity
- The game-practice-game cycle is a learning process that should allow enough time for players and coaches to experience the game, reflect on the game, discuss the game, apply the lessons to practice and to prepare for the next game, play the next game and begin the process again
STATE AND NATIONAL CUPS
While it is great fun for the players, we place minimal importance on the results of preparation tournaments. However, we do emphasize the need for our teams to win State and National Cup Tournaments. Winning an age group leads to inclusion and participation in a Regional championship tournament held in mid June, followed by a National competition in mid July.
At the younger ages in general there is an effort to give every player roughly equal playing time, particularly during tournaments and league play, though this may not be the case if a player does not satisfy practice attendance and effort expectations. However, at State and National Cup, it is possible that only the starting eleven will see considerable playing time. State and National Cup is the culmination of a year’s hard work and effort. We acknowledge that players may be disappointed as a result of this policy. Players and parents should not be surprised by the different approach toward playing time at State and National Cups.
Prior to or during the December break, the club asks players and parents to participate in a coach’s evaluation. The sources of input are confidential and we encourage parents and players to participate, as this is a critical way for LVSA to improve our coaching staff. This gives the DOCs an opportunity to analyze players’ and parents’ satisfaction with their coaches.
The player evaluation is a formal communication between the player and the coach. The club provides coaches with some guidelines to follow suggesting that more information provided in a thoughtful manner is best, but as with most communications, coaches may approach this sort of thing very differently and more or less effectively.
The first evaluation may take place during the December break with the second evaluation a reasonable time after Nevada/State/National Cup. The timing is largely up to the coach, but ample time to improve player strengths and work on weaknesses is the goal of this process. Evaluations can be scheduled either before or after practice, but not during practice. Good preparation by coaches and players will produce better results. In advance of the evaluation, players should prepare a list of questions they may have about their performance.
Player evaluations serve an important role in determining the following year’s placement process. Any player who is unhappy with an evaluation should discuss the details with the coach at to be sure of his or her position on the team. If a player thinks they might be on the cusp it is incumbent on the player to ask the coach the appropriate questions. There is no reason why a player should be surprised if they don’t make the team at tryouts and players are encouraged to assume responsibility for knowing their own status at all times.
It is often difficult for parents to accept that their child may be on the cusp. A parent is encouraged to meet with the coach to discuss what their player can do to improve and what the expectations for their player might be going forward into the future. Solutions might be to send the player to extra training sessions, which may improve the player’s skill level, but may or may not improve it enough to keep a position on the team
STYLE OF PLAY - GENERAL
The key elements for coaches and players that define the style of play
All teams will be encouraged to display an offensive style of play based on keeping possession and quick movement of the ball.
QUICK TRANSITIONS AND FINISHING
Speed of play, avoiding over-dribbling, looking for an organized and quick movement of the ball and fin- ishing will be encouraged in all age groups.
A team must be organized defensively, keeping their specific positions in the formation. However, players will look for spaces and movements to support forward when attacking by moving away from their origi- nal positions.
Teams will use the 4-3-3 formation, either in its 4-2-3-1 or 4-1-2-3 variations. Teams in the advanced stage (U15 onwards) can also use a 4-4-2 formation with a diamond in the middle. This system (4-4-2 diamond) provides more space in the wide areas of the field for the outside backs to move forward and join the attack.
All formations used by the teams in 11-a-side games must keep a back 4 line. The back 4 provides consistency in defense and allows space for the outside backs to move forward when attacking.
Teams playing 9v9 soccer are strongly encouraged to use the 3-2-3 formation. This formation helps play-ers express the principles of play specified in this document. This system allows for better adaptation to a 4-3-3 formation as the players progress to 11v11.
STYLE OF PLAY: SPECIFIC
Most relevant points of each of the four key components
PASSING & RECEIVING:
Passing the ball on the ground with pace from different distances and receiving the ball while keeping it moving will be encouraged in all age groups.
Players must develop the ability to shoot from different distances. All players will be encouraged to shoot from any distance during the game.
BAll CONTROL AND TURNING
Players will be encouraged to keep close control of the ball and use different turning techniques to move away from the defender.
PLAYING OUT OF THE BACK
All teams must feel comfortable playing the ball from the back through the midfield and from there to the final quarter of the field.
POSSESSION & TRANSITION
All teams must try to keep possession of the ball playing a one-two touch game. Players will be encour- aged to support and move, thus creating passing options. Once the possession game is consolidated the team must learn how to transfer the ball in the most efficient way from one area of the field to another.
OFFENSE-DEFENSE QUICK TRANSITION & VICE VERSA
When possession is lost, players must react quickly and apply pressure to regain the ball. Once possession is regained, players will be positioned immediately to counter-attack.
SPEED & AGILITY
These qualities will be evident in the game from the early ages.
Individual players and teams will train to be resilient to high-intensity action.
STRENGTH & POWER
Strong players develop their speed more quickly, prevent injuries and are more competitive in games.
RESPECT & DISCIPLINE
Players will adapt to a role on the team and respect teammates, coaches, referees and opponents.
Each player will be part of a unit, and will cooperate with teammates to achieve the objectives for a given task, session or game, as well as for the entire season.
Competitive players will be rewarded for their effort and focus.
PRINCIPLES OF PLAY
For the coach, for the players and for the Team
1. Possession games are s means to improve both the technique and tactical understanding of the players.
2. Opposition will be encouraged to increase the competitiveness of the players.
3. High-intensity games based on speed and agility. Short but intense working-periods.
1. 1, 2 or 3 touch maximum: Minimizing the number of touches improves the speed of play.
2. Keep the game simple: Do not force situations, over-dribble or be careless with the ball.
3. Keep the ball on the ground: A ball on the ground is easier to control and can be moved more efficiently by the team.
4. Accuracy and quality of the pass: Passing must be firm and accurate, with the proper weight.
5. First touch: Make a clean, controlled first touch without stopping the ball. Take the touch away from pressure and into free space.
6. Perception and awareness: All players with or without the ball should constantly scan the field.
7. 1v1 situations: Encourage determination to regain control of the ball in defense and keep it simple in attack by taking a touch to the side, at speed, to beat the defender.
8. Individual transition: Players must react quickly when possession change from offense to defense and vice-versa.
9. Shooting: Always keep an eye on the goal. All players are encouraged to shoot.
10. Take risks: Soccer is an error prone sport and mistakes are part of the game and learning process. Players are encouraged to take risks in training session to increase the speed of play.
1. All players attack and all players defend: All players must be involved in the game as a unit.
2. Numerical advantage: Soccer is a game of numbers where we try to create a numerical advantage in attack and avoid being in a numerical disadvantage in defense.
3. Flow of the ball: The ball should flow from inside (of the space) to outside and outside to inside. Balls out wide are more secure and the ball in the middle increases the options of play.
4. Triangle principle and passing options: The player in possession of the ball must receive constant support and have at least two passing options.
5. Speed of play: Quick movement of the ball creates 2v1 situations.
6. Movement off the ball: Find the best available space to create passing options for the player in possession of the ball.
7. Pressure as a unit: Organized pressure forces the opponents to commit errors.movement off the ball: Find the best available space to create passing options for the player in possession of the ball.
8. Transition: Improve transition by reducing the number of passes needed to arrive at the target area or the opponent’s goal.
9. Direction of the game: The game flows in two directions. Keep the essence of the game in the majority of your practices.
10. Take initiative during the game: Team breakdowns will occur. The team must be capable of adapting to new situations and imposing its own style of play during the game.