ME • WE • US Grassroots Curriculum
Toronto FC Juniors is a technical development program that is founded and rooted in soccer. This means that, although unopposed technical exercises can help with overall physical literacy, it is the application of technique to create time and space that makes successful soccer players. For that reason, we use game based exercises and small-sided conditioned games to create scenarios that support the teaching phases and foundational technical objectives of the program. To simplify the explanation of the development process we have created three phases along the development continuum:
1v1 Development to penetrate or to protect the ball – Requires the technical ability to manipulate the ball with all parts of the foot and use your body to create time and space.
Exploiting Overloads, like 2v1, 3v1 or 3v2, to create time and space to penetrate or protect the ball. We explore binary decision making – do we pass or dribble? Technically a player must learn to receive a ball so they can dribble or play forward and pass with the inside and outside of both feet.
Groups of players collectively work together to advance the soccer ball behind two or more defending lines. We attempt to create scenarios where players decide whether they should go around, through or over lines. This requires complex decision making, varied range of passing types and distances, the ability to get unmarked and to receive the ball with proper timing, body position and awareness to create time and space.
Toronto FC Juniors covers an age where players have a huge capacity for learning, believe anything is possible and are highly creative. As a result, the methodology used to coach players is positive, free-flowing and built around guided discovery. TFCJ utilizes the following coaching models to enhance the learning environment to help players find success at each phase of development and, most importantly, have fun.
Developing Football Actions
Soccer is a complex sport where players must deal with an infinite number of possibilities. Based upon a given situation a player must learn to produce the right action at the right moment in the proper direction with the perfect amount of speed to create more time and space.
Game Based Exercises
To develop technique and football actions, we use game based exercises and small sided conditioned games to create scenarios that support the phases of development and core learning objectives of the program.
Being in the flow is the ultimate in focused intrinsic motivation. In simplistic terms, being in the flow is when players find themselves in that narrow channel between boredom and anxiety. There is a fine balance between the challenge of the task, and the skills the learner has at their disposal. The flow space is found when there are a minimal number of stoppages and the learner is challenged but feels they can achieve success.