Or, more importantly, how will we develop your child? We believe this is a pretty important question and one that is rarely answered. You may be told about a coach's resume, or the importance of certain leagues but does the club have a long-term plan for players within its care?
GPS is a club. We believe that carries some importance. A club means a group of people with shared values and traits. A club has an identity. A club sticks together. A club is on the same page.
We do not believe Team A should be unrecognizable to Team B. We do not believe a player should have to relearn the game from year to year. We do not believe coaches should coach the same team from cradle to grave.
We feel that youth soccer should be about something more than gaining results so you can win the annual recruiting war.
This is how we structure our training environment. There are many other ways and we do not claim to have an infallible player development philosophy as a club. But, we do claim to have one...
1. BUILDING FROM THE BACK
Starting build-up from the goalkeeper, looking to play into the feet of the closest open player.
2. PROGRESSIVE POSSESSION
Keeping the ball, shifting the opposition and playing a penetrative pass at the right moment.
3. ATTACK MINDED
Our teams aim to create as many goal-scoring opportunities as possible.
4. PRESS FROM THE FRONT
GPS teams aim to win the ball as high up the field as possible, with all players playing a role in the defensive phase.
Central to our style of play is the creation of diamonds and triangles. The Early Development phase allows us to embed this from the start. Players will rotate positions- including Goalkeeper. Players will be encouraged to be confident in 1v1 situations, recognize when to pass, and be comfortable receiving the ball.
The number of diamonds/triangles are increased to provide more passing options when in possession. Teams look to play out from the back using the Goalkeeper and possess the ball with purpose.
The focus on the central positioned player and their role will allow for more touches on the ball and increased decision making. Fundamental focus is given on ball mastery and technical proficiency in passing, receiving, dribbling and striking the ball. Basic tactical information is given when in possession and to regain possession.
In the final stage before 11v11 we add the roles of #2 and #3 providing width and installing the key movements to play out from the back and possess the ball in the midfield third.
The system allows for position flexibility when in possession but builds on the fundamentals learned in 7v7. Players further build on their 7v7 education increasing not only their technical attributes but possessing with a purpose.
There is increased focus on tactical aspects such as dictating the speed of the game and ensuring players understand their role individually and collectively both in and out of possession.
Adding in #7 and #11 is final part of the systematic evolution. Player roles have been consistent throughout the process allowing for imbedded familiarity. The aim is to dominate the ball in possession progressively through the thirds, be organized in attack, defence and transitions.
The system continues to allow position flexibility and movement within shape. Players define tactical and technical attributes in training and game. Ensuring players are prepared technically to carry out the tactical instruction.
The GPS Developing Player Plan (DPP) is a comprehensive curriculum that provides players with age-specific provision, preparing them to be successful. This lays the foundation for them to progress in their journey towards maximizing their potential.
We believe the player grows with the game ensuring an holistic approach to player development relative to their growth. We use a periodization model with key topics worked on throughout the season at appropriate touch points and ensuring we are not merely reacting to the weekend's performance.
The DPP Covers:
Our coaches are responsible for delivering all of the above. Without them, everything is theory. We source our staff from a variety of locations. Local College and High School coaches are complimented by full-time licensed staff from Europe and elsewhere.
Though our coaches come to us highly qualified and immersed in the game, we understand the importance of continued professional development. This consists of: