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The following are sites to select organizations in the Cincinnati area
Soccer Year-Round all-around
- Monroe, Franklin, Mason - www.monroesoccer.org - Combining spring
sessions. Candy divisions will probably played in house meaning each org
will have enough players to support an in-house league.
- Springboro YMCA - http://www.ymcaonline.org/locations/coffman/coffman.php -
- Lebanon - http://www.lebanonsoccer.org/ - has spring.
- Springboro SAY - they only have fall season for now (they talked about
doing a spring season but decided against it b/c Springboro is has alot of
baseball emphasis and they don't want to conflict with that).
- Miamisburg/Centerville - i dont know what all they offer and i dont know
the website at this time.
- Training camps - most of all the SAY organizations will offer some kind of
week long daily 2-3hr a day camps. Stay tuned to www.monroesoccer.org for
all the camps. The 2 major professional camps in the area are "British Soccer"
http://www.challengersports.com/ and "Soccer Unlimited"
http://www.osysa.com/youthcamps.html. Organizations usually
hirer them to do their camps. These are usually very well designed and run
camps with a cost of around $80. Some organizations offer camps put on by the
organizations coaches and they are usually cheaper by 1/2 the cost.
- all SAY organizations have fall seasons
Tips on starting your child in
These are my opinions from a coach and parent point of view. Take them, do
you own research, and make your own decision. I am in by no means a professional
coach, player, or child psychologist.
- Age 3 - I have only seen YMCA's offer short sessions for 3yr olds. It is a
good way to start them, but don't expect a 3yr old to be able to dribble or
shoot the ball, this is merely a tool to get them associated with team play
and some skills. Do not judge their soccer future on this. If they don't like
it, reassure them it will be different and sign them up again for better
- Age 4-5 (Candy division) - Now is the age they can start playing
soccer. I highly suggest training camps done by professionals or someone
who knows how to train over just signing up for team play, b/c at this age
they need to learn skills and forget about the winning part. Some of the time
some coaches either are too technical for trying to teach this age, are too
tied up in the winning aspect, or just aren't cut out for coaching. Now it is
true that they learn the most by playing the game but at this age the more
skills they learn now in practice/training will help them later to play the
- Another thing to look for at this age if signing up for game play is
what they call "small-sided games". If you know soccer, a higher level play
is 11v11(11 people on the field per team), which this doesn't work for kids
b/c the field is smaller and they group around the ball too much. Some
organizations play candy divisions as 6v6, 4v4, or 3v3, in which this is
designed for kids to get more touches on the ball. In Monroe we play 6v6, in
which some kids dont really get a chance to touch the ball b/c of alot of
issues(we have been talking going to 3v3). 3v3 seems to be a very good
teacher of the game and ball control. I have experimented in practice with
this and it works great. I know Miamisburg, Mason, and Middletown play
- Age 6-10 - I have seen alot of kids miss the candy division (4-5) and
start at passer (6-7), they are in no means behind the curve, in fact somtimes
they turn out a better player. They are better players b/c they haven't formed
any bad habits from previous years. They are new to the game and pay attention
and try harder in most cases. This in no means should deter you from signing
- Age 10up - They are really gonna have to work hard on their own ball
control skills to get up to playing level. At this age coaches are working on
"team" play, so individual skills should already be built.
Indoor vs Outdoor:
- Now some people say that indoor(with walls) is the same "game" as outdoor.
There is alot of different talk about it not being the same. In basics it is
the same, but indoor forces the game to a quicker pace. It makes
them move and make decisions quicker, and there is another player on the
field(the wall). So this is where the ball skills really pickup. Some indoor
facilities offer without walls such as Wall2Wall in Mason in which it is just
like outdoor but on turf (providing faster ball movement). Use indoor play as
a skill building.
Fun or Competitive
- Do I want it to be strictly fun, fun with competitiveness, or competitve?
Recreational or Select? Most of the time you start them at recreational. If
they like the game and are playing little above their peers and are getting a
little frustrated with some of the team not pulling their weight...then maybe
it's time to look at playing select. Or the politically correct term these
days "premiere". Now I am not stating that "select" programs are not fun, they
do have fun, but they are definitely more competitive...but sometimes the
coaches in SAY are too competitive. Personally I think competitive at anything
below age 10 is too much for them to handle.
- Try a training camp with some 3v3 play, that way they can learn the basics
of ball control
- Then sign up for a SAY program
- Then if things go well and they like it...keep going...you might have a
Mia Hamm on your hands.
- Make sure they are having fun. If they are missing the fun part, then yank
What size ball to use
- Candy and Passer (age 4-7) - size 3
- Wings and Strikers (age 8-11) - size 4
- Kickers up (age 12up) - size 5
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