BOWEN ISLAND FC ACADEMY GUIDELINES
Bowen Island FC Academy strives to teach Bowen Island youth how to become skillful and effective soccer players by creating an enjoyable and focused training environment. We aim to provide our players with the foundation to be successful and enjoy a lifelong passion for the game.
Training Session Objectives
Fitness, Speed and Agility, Dribbling, Shooting, First touch mastery, Shielding the ball, Passing, Receiving the ball on the “back foot”, Possession-based scrimmages.
BIFC Academy expects our players’ parents to help their child meet the player expectations, by providing adequate clothing, proper nutrition, attendance and showing up on time. We strongly encourage parents to become engaged with their child in supporting their soccer ambitions, including going outside and knocking a ball around, watching games, viewing highlights on YouTube etc. If any Academy player is to miss a session, we would ask that we be notified ahead of time as it will affect training preparation. Please update your child’s availability on Teamsnap for each training session.
BIFC Academy will strictly enforce discipline during our sessions. Players who are a distraction or who are not listening to instructions will be given one warning each session. If they are disruptive or unfocussed a second time they will be excused from training. Any player who is excused from training more than once will be asked to leave the Academy.
Players will be expected to wear red shorts, red socks and a Bowen Soccer Academy or BIFC training jersey to all sessions. If the weather is an issue, then long black training pants will be accepted as well as a red rain jacket.
It is the responsibility of each player to be dressed and ready to train at the start of the session. Players who are unable to attend a training session must inform the coach/manager prior to the session as our sessions are designed around a set number of players.
Focus and Goals
Ball Mastery is just that - complete mastery of the ball. This is illustrated in a player’s ability to manipulate the ball with total ease, whether it’s juggling the ball in the air, tapping the ball behind the planting foot, dragging the sole over the top of the ball, or numerous other manipulations using either foot. A player’s ability to master the ball is essential.
DRIBBLING/PROTECTING THE BALL
This ability involves keeping hold of the ball and getting around or avoiding opponents. The ability to beat a player 1v1 is one form of dribbling. This is an invaluable skill that can devastate the opposition as it unbalances defenders and creates attacking opportunities. Dribbling, however, also involves getting away from opponents or simply changing one’s angle or direction in order to make a pass. A player must have the ability to keep or protect the ball by dribbling if there’s no immediate pass to be made.
RECEIVING AND STRIKING
This layer encompasses a variety of critical skills in the game. The ability to receive the soccer ball is one such critical skill. Often referred to as “touch”, it’s the ability to quickly get the ball under control and take it into a positive direction. This is ideally performed with as few touches on the ball as possible - preferably one. A player must have the ability to receive the ball on the ground or in the air with different parts of the body. Striking involves any form of strike on the soccer ball whether it’s a pass, a shot on goal, or a defensive clearing. Accuracy and power are two vital qualities with this skill.
Speed on and off the ball can be devastating to any opposition whether it’s a player’s ability to get behind the back line and run to goal or a player’s ability to recover and defend. A player, however, must also be agile, accelerating quickly and changing direction. Agility is usually measured in the first 3 steps of a player’s movement. This can often be the difference between keeping or losing possession of the ball. Lastly, a player also requires raw strength to win and keep the ball.
GAME AWARENESS/TACTICAL UNDERSTANDING
In essence, it’s the ability of a player to make appropriate decisions on and off the ball. A player’s success in this area is measured differently with age. For example, this ability in an older player may involve switching the ball from one side of the field to the other in order to relieve pressure. In a younger player, it may simply involve the right pass at the right time. During the course of a game, a player is continually presented with options and therefore decisions have to be made. The quality of those decisions is what ultimately reveals a player’s awareness of the game.
This focuses on key behaviours and characteristics that help propel a player’s development. Players who attend training and games with a strong desire to make themselves better are often the ones who advance at a faster rate. A player needs to be a conscious learner, listening to coaching points, and having the courage and thoughtfulness to apply what is being taught. There must exist a strong competitive spirit, a desire to want the ball, to not back down from a challenge. Players who have completed this layer are the ones who continually say to themselves: "Today, I am going to be the best player in the group.”