Space Coast United’s All-Star program provides a next-level soccer experience for Recreational players ages 6 to 9.
The focus of the program is the development of individual skills and to prepare the players for their progression to more competitive play at the U-9 level.
The All-Star program is held at Viera Regional Park on Mondays and Fridays at 5:30 pm. The program closes at 72 players distributed between six coaches.
Each coach also has an assistant trainer. The low coach-to-player ratio allows the players to learn new skills during weekday evening practices.
The main focus of the All-Star program is to give each player opportunities to learn and execute ball mastery, front and side turns, and specific turns. There are 20 skills that have been identified throughout the entire 3-year All-Star program.
“The All-Star program is designed as a foundation stage and entry point for a player moving into a U-9 environment,” said Coach Hugh Cousins, who also serves as the director of SCU’s recreational division. “We’ve broken down these 20 moves as a part of the All-Star player toolbox so when the players hit the ages of 8 or 9 years old, they’ll have exposure and knowledge of specific individual skills that they can pull out in any moment of the game.”
Coach Allie Goff, who has been a competitive coach at Space Coast and is a present coach with the All-Star program says that “from the first practice and moving into the games at the weekend, the program is a very structured environment and allows the players to express themselves in a fun way.”
“We’re all doing the same lesson plan and we have a focus on each activity within that lesson plan. Each week we have skills that build from the previous week’s session,” Goff added. “The emphasis is on technical development through ball mastery, which includes dribbling and different technical skills. The players are also challenged in passing and from the skill acquisition aspect, this then leads into our 1v1 games and 3v3 game at the weekend.”
Even those games, which take place on Saturday mornings, have a unique focus on individual development with teams having a smaller number of players on the field, allowing each player to participate in more touches on the ball.
“We like to keep our games at a small number, playing either 3 v 3, 4 v 4. But we’re really trying to keep those numbers low” Cousins said. “We feel that the players are able to successfully execute what they have learned.” Our goal is for the player to touch the ball 400-500 touches per session.
Cousins also says that “the players are always engaged in every moment and the games are high-energy, high-paced and the players are in 1 v 1 situations so there are a lot of opportunities for those players to experiment, and that’s the ultimate goal.”
The program also features a decorated and dedicated coaching staff for which Cousins offered praise.
“We have a good pool of coaches who have played at college and professionally. Our staff meet weekly for All-Star coach education training and are really enjoying working with young soccer players. The players really feed off the coach’s love of the game and can really pass on the knowledge they have acquired in their own careers. For our players to have exposure and to be coached by this caliber of coach and experience it’s no wonder why there is a waitlist for the All-Star program.”
All-Star runs in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Registration fills quickly.
Those interested in registering their child can do so at spacecoastsoccer.org/allstar.