London TFC Program Overview
The London TFC Soccer Academy Program is divided in two main levels: Development Level (U7 till U12) and Elite Level (U13 till U17), for both genders: males and females. Briefly, the Development Level is mainly focused on the player evolution and the Elite Level on the team evolution. We also have a Recreational program delivered by our Affiliated Clubs: St. Thomas SC, Lambeth FC and Strathroy United FC.
At present, our Academy Program counts with over than 500 soccer players structured on several age groups and both genders. The Development Level has two stages:
Fundamental Stage: Four U7 Pods (2011, Boys and Girls mixed); Four U8 teams (2010, Boys and Girls); and Two U9 teams (2009, Boys and Girls)
Learn to Train Stage: Two U10 teams (2008, Boys and Girls); Two U11 teams (2007, Boys and Girls); and Two U12 teams (2006, Boys and Girls)
All this age groups are playing under Ontario Soccer Guidelines and Competitions (OASL, authorized and validated Tournaments and Festivals).
The Elite Level also has two stages:
Specific Stage I: Two U13 OPDL teams (2005, Boys and Girls); and Two OASL U14 teams (2004, Boys and Girls)
Advanced Stage: One OASL U17 Team (2003/02/01, Males) and Two U21 Teams (2000/1999/98, Males) that compete on Ontario Provincial Leagues;
Advanced Stage: Two Provincial U21 teams (2003/02 & 2001/00, Females).
On our Fundamental Stage – U7 till U9 – we don’t apply a Try-out System and the players are not selected based on their ability skills and capability to play or understand the game. Players are accepted on our Academy and internally are divided in Pods to experience equally practicing environments where the young players should be capable to show their potential and be challenged in a fairly and desirable level. On our Learn to Train Stage – U10 till U12 – players are selected through a Try-out sessions system, where is individual soccer skills or abilities are taken into consideration. Although, in case of unsuccessful assessment the players are not completely dismissed but advised and admitted by our affiliated or partner clubs. On our Elite Level as of U15, within the Specific or Advanced Stages, players are also under a Try-out System where aspects related to soccer experience and fully commitment, beside individual soccer abilities, are taken into consideration in the moment of registering the players, as we are in search of excellence.
London TFC Grassroots Development Matrix
London TFC Player Development Framework
At London TFC Academy we have a belief that says “instead of limiting your challenges, challenge your limits”. For that, we build an age appropriate development pathway to guide our Players through the Academy framework. Our Academy aims to create players that:
have an higher intelligence and effectiveness rate on game;
search for excellence and excel themselves;
have consistency and coherence on decision-making;
have creativity and autonomy to solve circumstantial game problems;
are able to play and train according to a playing style;
are optimistic, brave and proud to be London TFC player.
We call our Model of Player Identity: ASPIRE:
Ambition – in search for excellence toward success and professionalism;
Speed – on thinking process to act quickly on the game;
Personality – based on commitment, altruism and positivism;
Intelligence – improving the decision-making to build an inner tactical culture;
Readiness – enhancing players’ autonomy, creativity and competitiveness
Execution – performing effectiveness on tactical-technical abilities
London TFC Soccer Methodology
London TFC Academy is implementing a new methodology on our Grassroots, through the application of a Tactical Literacy Curriculum, brought from the Youth Academy Technical STAFF.
Basically, the Tactical Literacy is applied by a holistic methodology focused on developing the game understanding on the players. The emphasis on the cognitive domain and expertise, throughout specific exercises, drives the players to recognize and solve situational game problems towards a successful effectiveness rate.
The Tactical Literacy aim is the introduction of transversal and fundamental game principles of play, in a way that the game complexity could be reduced and adapted to the players’ age.
The Academy older groups, from U13 till U17, are under a methodology which the emphasis relays on building-up and obtain consistency and standardization of a playing style. Specific principles of play and game behavior according to a Game Model Periodization are established as patterns.
Regardless the age group, we want to build-up on players a state of positive transformation, throughout a global interaction of the game domains (tactical, technical, physical, psychological, social and emotional). Strategies that enhance more the perception rather than reproduction, the creativity and autonomy on decision making will optimize the adaptability to play better the game.
London TFC Soccer Curriculum – Grassroots
An appropriate and interesting Curriculum is applied to all the players and teams of our Soccer Program. A modern and game based Curriculum is being implemented, where the players found joy and willingness to learn. The Tactical Literacy Curriculum is bringing new and sophisticated ideas from Europe to our Academy and respects the simplicity that the game requires for these ages. Basically, Tactical Literacy Curriculum is divided in two game Moments: having the ball (Attacking) and not having the ball (Defending).
Each of these Moments is split into three phases:
#1, Building-Up Vs Shielding Active Zone;
#2, Creating Changes Vs Avoiding Chances;
#3, Finishing Opportunities Vs Blocking Finishing.
Therefore, the Curriculum is focused on a 6 Domain-Coaching approach with breakdowns in each of the domains that are introduced according to the player’s age:
Basic Actions and Positioning;
Principles of Play;
Team and Individual Tactical Behaviors;
London TFC Soccer Periodization Model
The London TFC Grassroots, U7 till U12, are under a Tactical Literacy Periodization Model. The Model is divided on two Learning Periods (I and II) along the Season, more precisely on two periods of 14 weeks each. Thus, each Learning Period of this Periodization Model has three Cycles:
1st, Introduction Stage: 6 Weeks with 18 to 24 Sessions;
2nd, Reinforcement Stage: 4 Weeks with 12 to 16 Sessions;
3rd, Refinement Stage: 4 Weeks with 12 to 16 Sessions.
The Learning Period I generally happens from April till middle of July and the Learning Period II, that occurs from August till the middle of November. Each one in a total # of 42 to 56 Sessions, which means around 84 to 112 Specific Sessions along the Season. Between each Learning Period and at the end of the Second Learning Period we apply a Transition Phase of 3 weeks on each interruption.
Lastly, on the Introduction Stage, each week is related to one of the three Phases of each Game Moment we implement on our Tactical Literacy Curriculum. During the Reinforcement Stage, each Head Coach will apply the Game Moment Phases needed to be reinforced by each team. Finally, on the Refinement Stage, the three Game Moment Phases, for Attacking and Defending Moments, are applied together in a sequence or in a progression mode on a set of two weeks, both.