Gorge Player Development

"The Gorge Way"

The Gorge Way is in fact the CSA LTPD way - that is, Gorge follows the CSA and BCSA approaved and promoted player development pathways.

We have summarized our development program in the document below and this document:

Gorge Player Development Plan

Stage 1-3 - Player Development

Stage 1-3 Keeper development 

Stage 7 - Player Development

Stage 4-7 - Keeper Development

ACTIVE START (Stage 1 ‘First Kicks’ U4-U6)

At this stage, players should participate in stimulating practices and games that develop basic technical skills in a FUN atmosphere. The emphasis should be movement exercises and games that promote a feel for the ball while teaching basic principles of play within a fun but structured setting. Informal games can be set up at the end of practices or as part of a jamboree mixing exercising and games. Play equal time and try all team positions, including goalkeeper, and equal time should be allotted to practices and games.

FUNDAMENTALS (Stage 2 'Fun with the Ball' U7-U9)

At this stage, players should participate in stimulating practices and games that develop basic technical skills in a FUN atmosphere. The emphasis should be movement exercises and games that promote a feel for the ball while teaching basic principles of play within a fun but structured setting. Mini game formats are used, ranging from 3v3 to 5v5 and a basic league schedule can be created but no standings should be kept. All players should play equal time and try all team positions, including goalkeeper, and equal time should be allotted to practices and games.

LEARNING TO TRAIN (Stage 3 ‘The Golden Age of Learning’ U9-U12)

This stage introduces players to disciplined training and begins to develop their understanding of principles of play alongside their skills practice. Repetitions are important to develop technical proficiency, but creating a fun and challenging environment is still paramount to stimulate learning and promote a love of the game. Game formats can range from 6v6 to 8v8 as players advance through this stage, and again a simple league schedule can be created, but no standings should be kept – the emphasis is still FUN. All players play equal time and try all team positions, including goalkeeping, and the training to competition ratio should be 2 to 3 training sessions for every game.

SOCCER FOR LIFE (Stage 7 ‘Soccer for Health & Grassroots Growth’ U13 - U18+)

At this stage, skill training demands and training loads are increased to develop and refine skills and tactics. Tactical awareness becomes an increasingly important facet of training, alongside mental toughness, concentration, and diligence. Elite soccer groups may express interest in recruiting talented young players, but coaches and parents should be careful to recognize and protect the long-term interests of each athlete. Game formats develop from 8v8 to 11v11 (although no 11v11 prior to 13 years of age) as players grow through this stage, and the season moves toward year-round play that includes appropriate rest and recovery periods.