Oregon Youth Soccer • September 2015
New Season Kicks Off Across Oregon
This is my favorite time of year. The MLS and NWSL are in the playoff push, the international leagues have kicked off, and youth soccer is starting across the state of Oregon. All of these things remind us that we are starting a new soccer year. Every fall season, players and teams have renewed energy and enthusiasm for what is coming next. This season is no different.
We are excited to be continuing our transition to small-sided games through the Under-12 age group. The transition has been smooth and is already showing some great benefits. The feedback we have received from parents and coaches has been overwhelmingly positive. Everyone is seeing how playing with smaller numbers on a smaller field allows for the players to improve their technique and their decision-making, while being more active physically and more involved psycho-socially. One of the biggest changes that we are seeing involves fewer balls being played in the air.
On smaller fields, there isn’t a need to "boom" the ball forward. Players are rewarded for keeping the ball on the ground and in their team’s possession. This challenges the players to improve their technique and also reduces the instances of heading the ball at the younger ages. All in all, this is a win-win for player development!
We are also entering into a new phase of player development across the country. U.S. Soccer has recently released their new Player Development Initiatives that will soon be rolled out to all youth members. These initiatives will only help the youth soccer landscape come together, like we have in Oregon, to create an environment focused on development instead of on winning. For more information on the U.S. Soccer Player Development Initiatives, visit the OYSA website here.
I hope that you are as excited as I am about the upcoming season. Please do not hesitate to reach out to our office if you have any questions, concerns, or comments. We always enjoy hearing from you.