Why do we need a TOPSoccer Program?
TOPSoccer was formed to perpetuate the US Youth Soccer mission statement “to foster the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America’s youth through the sport of soccer at all levels of age and competition.” There are thousands of children with disabilities across Louisiana who deserve the opportunity to play soccer through the TOPSoccer program.
- Identify the need in your area. For what type of disabilities do you need to plan? Are you able to fulfill these needs?
- Check for any restrictions your field facility may pose for a TOPSoccer program. Can your facility handle young players with physical disabilities?
- Contact established programs in your area (e.g United Way) and other TOPSoccer programs across the state for information and support.
- Contact your local school districts and universities.
- Create a list of people who are able to assist you.
- Plan your advertisements and marketing campaign.
- Contact LSA Executive Director, Tucker Reynolds for guidance and assistance in parent and coaching education.
Designing Your Program
TOPSoccer is unique in that each program can be designed specifically around the needs of the players and the capability of the club to commit resources to TOPSoccer. Some clubs may run a single Jamboree each season while others may be able to run a 6-8 week regularly scheduled program.
- The length of a TOPSoccer program is determined by club.
- The activities and playing rules can also be tailored to the participants.
- TOPSoccer programs can have very modest beginnings.
- The only true goal is to make the program FUN!
- Keep it simple.
Recruiting and Educating Coaches
Players in your club are the ideal pool from which to draw TOPSoccer Coaches. You can also contact local high schools and colleges for volunteers. LSA will conduct a TOPSoccer Coaching Clinic and a Parents Informational Session. Contact LSA Executive Director, Tucker Reynolds at Tucker.Reynolds@lsa-soccer.org for more information.
Placement and Registration of Athletes
- Registration procedures should be the same as those used for regular league teams: should include a section for medical history.
- Placement is made by ability not age.
- Assessment test should be made available upon request.
- Ensure that the experience is meaningful for all the players, and one in which they feel they have made a contribution.
Above all else….HAVE FUN!!!