Join Us On Facebook
Thank You to Our
2011 Bronze Level Supporters
Rotating banners with links
Mad River Youth Soccer League |
a 501(c)(3) non-profit charitable organization
This Fall 2012, the Mad River Youth Soccer League is giving our U5/U6 program a new look. The idea behind the NEW Mad Skillz Kidz Klub is a re-energized approach to MRYSL’s guiding principles.
1. FUN First. The kids ought to be having fun, period. Their enjoyment of this experience is what will make them want to keep playing every week, and every year after. It’s what will make them want to learn more and get better.
2. Emphasizing player development over winning. For kids to continue to be successful in the game of soccer, to continue to love the game as they grow, it is essential that they develop as players in skill, creativity and technique.
3. Emphasizing fair play and sportsmanship over winning.
The Mad Skillz Kidz Klub approaches the above ideas in the following way-|
Age appropriate games and activities - Our parent coaches are provided with training and a curriculum of fun games designed to engage the children in a fun and positive way, where the hidden agenda is skill development. And at this age, DRIBBLING is that key essential skill.
Age appropriate means one player per ball games and activities, where every player has their very own ball with which to practice and play in a “no pressure” environment. Mad Skillz Kidz Klub membership includes their very own ball.
The idea of a “Club” embodies the philosophy, that though the children are placed on different teams, they are “all” part of a club with the same goal in mind, having fun “playing” a fun game together. Kids know that they need each other to be able to play and have a good time. This is an essential building block of good sportsmanship.
TOUCHES ON THE BALL...
...is a soccer term that means exactly what it sounds like, how many times a player physically touches the ball, be it dribbling, passing or shooting.
Fun, Player Development and Touches On The Ball is strongly inter-connected. The more fun a child has the better they will become, the better the player they become the more fun they will have. The more touches they have on the ball during practice and games is directly related to both these things in a positive way.
Kidz Klub practices and games are designed to maximize the number of touches each child has on the ball. One player per ball activities and 2v2 mini games with continuous flowing action. That’s right, the Mad Skillz Kidz Klub is tweaking the game day format by adapting and upgrading our old 3v3 format into a new 2v2 mini game format.
Take a Tour of the Mad Skillz Kidz Klub Saturday Game Day. (total time: one hour) |
The children arrive at their mini-field and are led thru some of their favorite one player per ball activities by their coach. This extended “warm up” period is crucial, especially for children this age, for these three reasons:
1) It reinforces the idea that they are there to have fun. For some, the warm up activity portion will be their favorite part of the hour, and that’s okay.
2) It reinforces the dribbling techniques that they will be applying in the 2v2 mini game portion of the hour.
3) It is an emotionally safer, lower pressure way to ease them into the 2v2 portion of the hour.
After warm ups coach and kids go greet the other team on the adjacent mini field. Sportsmanship and a cooperative spirit amongst players and coaches is a key element to the Mad Skillz Kidz Klub.
Coaches divide their teams up into two groups, each group to play on one of the adjacent fields, much like in years past.
Monitored by both coaches, the kids will play short 3 minute mini games of 2v2 with mini goals. Action is continuous and flowing with no breaks. If the ball goes out of bounds or into the goal, the coach will introduce a new ball onto the field. At the end of each mini game resting players will replace the players on the field. This rotation will continue throughout the mini-game portion of the hour. Coaches will have the flexibility to swap players across fields. This is not meant to be a tightly timed event, but a relaxed fun play time.
At the conclusion of the mini-game portion, there is a team cheer and high fives for the other team, the ever fun Parent Tunnel, and snacks.
How often do the teams practice?|
Once a week for no more than an hour. Games are on Saturday, as outlined in the section above.
Why 2v2 mini games, not 3v3 as in years past?
Simply put, it allows all the children to be more involved in the game and get more touches on the ball. (See the section above about Touches on The Ball). At this age, soccer is NOT a team sport in the way we envision the accomplished game. Bunch ball, as it is called sometimes, is completely normal at this age. 2v2 is more suited to the temperament of the children and our goal, which is increased player involvement and increased touches on the ball for each player. In addition a smaller group on the field means more room to maneuver, and less of a knot of players to trip on or into - in short a safer environment more conducive to learning the game.
I’m not quite clear on how these 2 v 2 mini games work. How many kids for example are on each team?
Your child will be placed on a team with about 8 to 9 other kids, that they will belong to and practice and play with all season long. On Saturday game day, much like in years past with the 3v3, they will be divided into two squads, each squad playing on one of the adjacent fields with a squad from the other team. So you will ideally have a squad of around 4 players on each field representing their team. They will compete alternately in groups of 2, vs 2 players from the other team in short 3 minute games. The coach will make appropriate changes or substitutions at the end of each mini game with the goal being all players getting equal playing time.
Why 3 minute mini games, not longer?
2v2 is simply more physically AND mentally demanding. More frequent rest and water breaks are essential.
Why no stoppages of play for out of bounds or scored goals, but a continuous flowing game instead?
4 and 5 year olds spend way too much time negotiating and arguing over whose turn it is to put the ball back in play. We want them dribbling and playing soccer for as much of the time as we can.
What do you mean by “No Pressure Environment” and why is it important?
• At this age, the game should be about “play and fun” not competition or winning.
• At this age, player development is 90% mental and 10% physical. The children need to be able to make their own decisions on the ball, without outside pressure or influence.
• Soccer is a game of thought and creativity. It is about ball “control”, not hurry up, go go go. So we encourage a calm and supportive environment.
• Children ought to be able to play when they want to at this age, and rest or go pick flowers instead if that is their preference. Children should never be pressured to “play”. Because of this we ask our coaches to have a relaxed attitude regarding participation and instead employ the carrot by trying to create an irresistibly fun environment that the children will always want to be a part of.
• Finally, it is the game of soccer itself that provides the pressure, we do not need to add to it. That is why there is a common soccer saying, “Let the game be the teacher.”
Why has MRYSL created a U5 division?
There is a fairly pronounced developmental difference between most 4 and 5 year olds. Much like we separate kids at 2 year age gaps as they get older, U8s, U10s, U12s etc, the developmental gap be-tween a 4 and 5 year old is as significant at this U6 age. This is not a perfect solution as there will al-ways be shades of gray developmentally across ages, but in general it will give 4 year olds a gentler introduction to the sport, and it will give 5 year olds a more level challenge upon which to grow.
Why do you emphasize dribbling and not passing? I thought soccer was a team sport.
Soccer is a team sport, for sure. Dribbling is the building block skill that must be mastered first. A player who develops a good controlled dribbling touch is just naturally a better passer and is able to handle the high pressure moments on the soccer field with more confidence. Plus young players, especially 4 and 5 year olds, lack the physical coordination to employ proper passing technique any-way. But it really is a moot point, because these kids want to dribble, and we want them to learn to dribble, so as far as the natural order of things its a win win.