IN TOWN RECREATION
ESA programming break down by age group:
3-6 yrs – FUNdamental Foundations – Co-ed soccer based on games and exciting activities for pre-K and Kindergarten
6-8 yrs – 1st Touch Foundations – Open program split by gender
6-8 yrs – 1st Touch Academy – Selective extra training for those more interested in soccer – split by gender and ability
8-14 yrs – In town recreational training and games. Split by gender - and trainer assistance
8-19yrs – Travel team training and game day coaching – professional trainers run practice and games on the weekend
1st TOUCH FOUNDATIONS
The first step towards learning skills and playing real soccer
This is a pre-travel, open class for all abilities and focuses on building knowledge of skills and teaching ball mastery, games as well as informal scrimmages at the end of practice.
Classes are split by gender but train alongside each other. The focus of the coaches is to build a player’s confidence with the ball, to make them aware of tricks and skills and to give them an understanding of the basics of attack and defense in a real game of soccer.
Soccer balls and t-shirts are provided by ESA as part of the program if requested.
Coaches are provided to cover sessions with players grouped by ages. Below is an example schedule:
6 year old (kindergarten) 12-1pm
7 year olds (1st grade) 1-2pm
8 year olds (2nd grade) 2-3pm
Age distribution can vary by club – some towns run tryouts for travel soccer in 1st grade others in 2nd.
The starting point for all young soccer players in your town: Fun games and soccer based stories will give the youngsters a great start in soccer. Attention spans are short at this age and the focus is on enjoyment, physical activity and learning to dribble a soccer ball in a non pressured environment. This program is for pre-K and Kindergarten players.
Coaches are provided to cover sessions with players grouped by ages. Below is an example schedule for a Saturday morning:
3 and 4 year olds run from 9-9.50am
5 year olds from 10-10.50am
6 year olds from 11-11.50am
(10 minute gap allows for arrival and distribution of players between coaches)
8YRS TO 14YRS
A full recreational program open to all to give the full soccer experience without the competitiveness of travel soccer:
Players are grouped into equal ability teams of small number of players (depending on registrations, age and town size) and scheduled to play each other throughout the season once each weekend.
Players train once or twice per week with qualified trainers during the week and play in small sided scrimmages at the weekend.
Practices can be trainer led twice per week, once per week or assisted only i.e. one trainer per night per field.
Parent coaches are educated at the start of the season with a free coaches clinic run by our most experienced trainers designed to teach the basics of coaching to those new to volunteering
Games are managed by parents, but multiple trainers on site to assist with warm-up, scheduling and coordination.
ESA recommends adopting the small sided games approach for the younger age groups so as to raise the amount of touches and increase interaction with the ball.
SUGGESTED PLAYING CONDITIONS
Below are out suggested layouts and team numbers for each age group:
ESA recommends adopting the small sided games approach for the younger age groups so as to increase touches on the ball and raise interaction with the ball.
Players per team
2nd grade (u8)
4 - no goalie
¼ of small sided field
3rd grade (u9)
5 + goalie
½ small sided field
4th and 5th grade (u10/u11)
6 + goalie
1/3 large sided field
6th and 7th grade (u12/u13)
7 + goalie
½ large sided field
8th grade (u14)
10 + goalie
Full large field
WEEKLY TRAINING OPTIONS
1 Practice per week trainer led
1 practice per week parent coach led
1 in-town game at the weekend parent coach led and coordinated by ESA trainers.
2 practices per week trainer led
1 in-town game at the weekend parent coach led and coordinated by ESA trainers
2 practices per week trainer led
1 in-town game at the weekend led by ESA trainer