CCYS focuses on player development with the intention of introducing 'the beautiful game' to each player so that the player can develop an understanding and love of the game in a fun and learning environment. This means we should strive to provide a learning experience for each player to improve his or her skills over the course of a season. Ideally this is accomplished by instruction and practice during training, and demonstration during games with positive encouragement and freedom to experiment and take risks in games - this helps players learn and grow from failures and successes.
It should look like kids playing the game without a lot of guidance from the coaches on the sideline during games, but with lots of encouragement and reinforcement on the sidelines. It looks like kids having a fun time playing the game. It looks like letting the kids learn from playing the game. During games, coaches ought to be speaking with the players on the sideline, not so much on the field. The adults should focus on managing activities and helping the players learn soccer, strive for personal improvement, work together and helping them have fun.
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Overview & Season Details
The Concord Carlisle Youth Soccer travel program fields teams for players Grade 8 to Grade 12. We are members of the Boston Area Youth Soccer league. Games are played in Concord and Carlisle and usually in surrounding communities such as Acton, Lexington, Sudbury, Newton and more. Teams are fielded for Grade 3 to Grade 8 in the fall and Grade 3 to Grade 12 in the Spring. If you're thinking about travel soccer for your child, please look below for more detail about this program. Or, should you wish to speak with one of our program's age directors, you may contact the appropriate person for your age group as listed on the Contact Us page.
Season length and start dates
The travel season runs for 10 weeks each fall and spring. Typically the fall season starts the Saturday after public school starts and for the spring, within the first two weeks of April. Games are often scheduled for play during holidays and vacations each season, althuogh this varies by season. For details on the current season, click here to go to the Registration page.
Children may begin playing Travel soccer in the Fall of their third grade year and play with us until they reach 18 years old. Players are placed in divisions by age groups running from August 1 of the current year through July 31 of the year following. Click here for a listing of the 2011/2012 soccer season birth dates/grades. Click here for a listing of the 2012/2013 soccer season birth dates/grades.
Playing in the travel program requires a commitment to attend two practices per week and all games, both home and away. Before registering for this program, please be sure you and your player can make this commitment. It is not fair to teammates and coaches to sign up for a team unless a player and their family can make the necessary commitment. Some consideration will be given to players who miss one practice for club soccer programs. Failure to honor this commitment will be considered in subsequent player placement decisions, and the player may not enjoy equal playing time during the current playing season.
The travel program fees are $165 per season and include fees for membership to the Boston Area Youth Soccer League (BAYS) and the building and maintenance of Concord and Carlisle fields. It also includes a $50 non-refundable administrative fee. A $50 fee is assessed for late registrations. Financial assistance is available for those in need.
Uniforms - All travel players are required to wear a uniform. The jersey, which is maroon and black may be purchased from CCYS for $25 and can be ordered during the registration process. The Addidas Squadra Shorts and black socks may be purchased locally at Brines in Concord or Soccer Stuff in Acton. For questions regarding uniforms, please contact Robin.
Games in the fall are played on Saturdays. In the spring, games for the U9 through U14 teams are played on Saturdays and for the U16 and U18 teams on Sundays. Make ups are usually scheduled for evenings and Sundays.
Travel teams practice twice a week for up to 90 minutes; for U9 & U10 players, one of those practices should center around one of the CCYS player clinics conducted by soccer professionals each week of the season. Practice times are set by the team's coach just prior to the season opening and are set at coach's discretion after discussion with the parents of the players on their teams. CCYS philosophy for good practices:
See the Coaches section of the site for detailed descriptions of skills we'd like the kids to learn and activities that will help them learn while having a fun.
Click here to go to registration with AdminSports (our registration provider).
Player Placement on Teams
Each season (each spring and fall), new teams are formed for each age group. This allows the movement of players into appropriate skill groupings, recognizing that players develop at different rates.
Age Group Directors use coach evaluations, evaluations from professional clinicians and their observations from watching games to place players on teams according to their skill level. Usually a review of a draft player placement is conducted with coaches from the previous season to solicit coach input. The primary considerations for placement are the evaluations. For younger players, school may be taken into consideration when placing players of equal skill. When a player signs up to play travel soccer, she/he is signing up to play soccer, not to play on a particular team. Factors for team placement in order of priority are:
How many teams each age division can field and how many players are on each team.
The ability of the players which is determined by their former coaches and field evaluations.
The number of players registering affects the number of possible teams, which then outlines the size of those teams. The objective of the player placement process is to put players in groupings with other similarly-skilled players, as it is CCYS belief that players will develop more effectively in this environment.
Field Evaluations and Fall Team Formation/Player Placement
The Fall Team formation process starts with the field evaluations which are conducted each spring, usually early June. This provides a brief overview of the role and process of field evaluations in the player placement process.
1. The field evaluations are not tryouts. Every player who wants to play travel will be assigned to a travel team. There are no 'cuts.'
2. The goal of the evaluations is to provide an independent view of the CCYS soccer player’s skill/playing ability to help place groups of similarly skilled players together on respective teams.
a. Our CCYS philosophy is based on the belief that players develop better when they are placed in a group of similarly-skilled players. Research studies indicate that it is more difficult to teach to a class of students with a very varied knowledge level – it’s hard to challenge the most advanced students, and hard to cater to the least advanced students, so we end up ‘teaching to the middle.’ The students can learn more and advance more rapidly when learning at the same pace and knowledge level.
b. Our objective in CCYS is to develop the player and not the team; therefore we do not keep players together from season to season so that the ‘team’ can improve. That approach may result in better win-loss records but in less favorable player development.
i. These evaluations provide consistent, calibrated and expert assessments of each player’s skill level.
ii. The evaluations do not attempt to measure the heart and soul of a player, the desire and eagerness to play. Coaches usually make this assessment, but this is less important for placement than skill in order to serve our objective to develop the player.
iii. We have used successfully used this method for many years. While this could provide more accuracy if we conducted multiple-days of evaluations, our experience indicates that this provides CCYS with useful data
3. The process for the evaluation is:
a. Players will be asked to play in small-sided games
b. Each player will be viewed for some period of time by different professional evaluators and in different groupings of players.
c. They will be graded on a variety of soccer related skills
i. The evaluators do not only look for “goal scorers”
ii. The evaluators observe each player both when the player has the ball and when the player is ‘off-the-ball’ and therefore what the players do off-the-ball (communicate, support, reposition) is important.
4. Once we have compiled the data from the evaluations, we will organize the players into teams of similarly-skilled players, based upon the data.
a. The Age Group Director (AGD) will use these independent field evaluations to provide some calibration across all players in the age group. Together with coach evaluations, the field evaluations will be used by the AGD to assign each player to specific teams. The AGD will usually meet with the previous season’s coaches to solicit input on the preliminary placement of each player. The AGD will consider coach input and then makes the final player placements. The assignments are typically reviewed by the CCYS Travel Director.
i. Players who miss the evals due to injury or conflict will be placed on a team based upon previous coaches’ evaluations and past team assignments.
ii. The changes in teams each season often depends on how many players register to play; this affects the number of teams that we have and therefore, it affects the number of players per team. We don’t usually have the luxury of choosing to have small teams versus large teams.
5. COACH SELECTION. The selection of coaches is done only after the players are placed on teams. The AGD will review the list of volunteers from among each team and start identifying candidate coaches. PLEASE VOLUNTEER if you are interested.
6. Fall teams are typically released sometime mid-August. Spring teams are typically released sometime mid-March.
REFERENCE information. This lists some of the key differences to note for different age groups:
1. U9 and U10. These age groups are often filled with players who are new to travel (true for all U9, true for many U10s). Travel program is different in these following ways:
a. Player placement is based on rank-order assessed skill, and therefore the teams are not balanced in competence.
b. Games are played against other towns and therefore there is some travel required to go to games. Usually no more than 30 minutes, sometimes 45 minutes for the highest levels of competition.
c. There are two practices each week and one game.
d. All players (and coaches) are expected to attend a 1-hour clinic each week, staffed by professional soccer instructors. There is a 10-week curriculum. The clinic will serve as one of the team’s practices, and often the team may meet for no more than 30 minutes for a scrimmage after the clinic. Note that clinics are open to all players, travel and in-town.
e. Travel games are more ‘competitive’ and there coaches should attempt to win games. HOWEVER, the coaches should not win a game at the expense of player development. All players should get equal playing time and be rotating among the different positions over the course of a season (not necessarily within each game however). This also means that players should be encouraged to take risks in games by trying different moves/movements on the field, and playing different positions.
2. U11. These players shift from 7v7 competition to 9v9 competition. Also the field is bigger, the goal is bigger and the ball is size 4 versus a size 3 in U9 and U10.
3. U14. These players shift from 9v9 competition in U12 to 11v11 competition. The field is much larger (conditioning is more important for players), the ball is now a regulation size 5 ball and the goals are regulation goals FIFA goals, and obviously there are more players on the field which means that the player formations will be different too.