Introducing new program for 7U-8U players
We are so excited to introduce this year our new program for kids 7U-8U (birth years 2012 and 2011) called the Play On Series.
Our focus with this age group is creating a player-centered environment that is much more conducive to learning and experiencing through game-based play, and less focused on instructing a kid's every move and decision. We're coaching kids by helping them learn and discover the great game of soccer, but more importantly, also helping them learn to LOVE it.
How does it work?
For 8 weeks in the Summer and 6 weeks each in the Fall and Spring, players will participate in 1 Training Day a week and 1 Play Day a week, plus they'll play against other clubs during Jamboree Days. A 6-week Winter opt-in session also will be available.
√ Training Days, are one-hour trainings run by licensed Meta Coaches/Trainers are meant for educational and fun activities to teach skills.
√ Play Days are small-sided games of 2v2, 3v3 and 4v4 — an environment meant for developing emotional, technical, tactical and physical skills needed to rip around the field.
√ Pool Play: The Training Days and Play Days are a pool format, versus players being assigned to a specific team. In pool play, all players in an age group or gender will train together and be matched per skill level.
√ Jamboree Days: 7U-8U players will participate in up to two Jamborees each season (Summer, Fall and Spring) against other clubs. The Jamborees are a round-robin format of small-sided games and short-timed where our players will test their skills against other club teams.
Why a new format for 7U - 8U?
Why not just do traditional teams of 5v5 and play in the Utah Youth Soccer Academy League? Well, in short, it's not working. Research shows that forcing younger kids into only playing games like older kids or adults can lead to over-instruction and boredom, which means kids can quit.
Why? Because they don't have enough touches on the ball, aren't allowed to try new things and be creative, don't have fun learning the game, or may be late developers who often never get the chance to touch the ball when playing 5v5.
Letting kids 6 and 7 years old play the game in small-sided formats like 2v2 and 3v3 greatly enhances their experience. And for advanced players who are ready for the next challenge, their skill will skyrocket!
BONUS - Consistent play days/locations and less travel. We've heard over and over from parents who are frustrated having to drive their 6 or 7 year old to games for 30-40 minutes once or twice a week for Academy League play. With dedicated days and the same location for training and play, we're spending more time getting touches on the ball and less time traveling.
Times are changing and that's a good thing!
A movement - adopted from successful programs in Europe - has started across the nation in soccer and now in Utah where you'll see more and more clubs adopting this format. Read this great article that explains the small-sided format: Coaching revolution that took Belgium to the top of the world.
For two years, we've offered a MetaMinis program for 5 and 6 year olds. You can read more here. The 7U-8U Play on Series is a perfect natural progression for kids coming out of MetaMinis. Then, once kids move on from 8U to 9U-10U, they will have a terrific foundation for their next level of soccer.
At MetaSport, each age group builds into the next. We truly believe in this new program and are excited to see kids flourish and learn to love the game.
Questions? We're happy to help. Please email firstname.lastname@example.org.