Highland Youth Soccer Club's In-House program provides structured training for all participants held 2x per week according to the program schedule.
The training program follows a set curriculum and is designed to develop foundational skills necessary to play the game and foster those skills to prepare young participants to be able to transition into the club soccer program should they choose. It is also appropriate for participants who will remain in the in-house program throughout their membership with the club.
The training program is conducted in an academy format where all teams are training simultaneously. Part of the goals of the training program is to identify participants in the younger and bridge age groups (U4 through U7) who are demonstrating higher than average skill level and growth and provide them opportunities to continue to accelerate their growth. This means that while teams may often train together in the same groups, some may be separated for advanced instruction.
Club soccer organizations follow governance provided by the United States Soccer Federation and adhered to by associations such as US Club Soccer. Club soccer teams are generally made up of eligible gender appropriate players from a single birth year, but our in-house program mixes several age groups to provide robust opportunities to play. Determine a players current U-Age group by birth year. >
All games and practices will be at Gloucester Township Community Park on Hickstown Rd. Games are scheduled on specific fields indicated on the schedule for each division.
View a map of the field layouts for the current season >
Games are typically played on Sundays during the Fall and Spring, except for holiday weekends. Games are scheduled between 12:30 and 4:00 PM. Some games may be played during special events on weekend evenings.
View the current season schedule for in-house programs >
Game formats vary greatly depending on the age group.
Micro Division (U4/5)
Younger age groups (Micros - U4/U5) play on smaller size fields with fewer players to maximize the opportunity to touch the ball, become comfortable expressing skills learning in training and developing a sense of the game objectives like making space and attempting to score. All U4-U5 games are played using a 4v4 format (4 players for team A vs. 4 players from team B) to encourage more touches on the ball for each player.
View the gameplay rules and guidelines for U4/5 age group >
Junior Division (U6)
As participants get older (Juniors - U6, U7), they transition to larger fields of play and boundaries are introduced to develop familiarity with a constrained to the field of play which begins to limit movement. This encourages attempts to play within the space and familiarizes them with different methods of restarting play.
View the gameplay rules and guidelines for U6 age group >
Pre-Travel Division (U7)
With the focus on preparing participants to transition to club teams when eligible, a larger field of play and boundaries are reinforced to develop the ability to play within constrained spaces and to begin to process moments of attacking and defending. Additionally different methods of restarting play are enforced to align to a more mature version of the game. Additionally, the concept of a goalie is introduced as a special player with specific privileges and restrictions that no other players possess.
View the gameplay rules and guidelines for U7 age group >
Youth Development Division (U8/9 and U10/11)
The youth development age groups (YDP - U8/9 and YDP - U10/11) transition to larger league regulation fields of play identical to the club (travel) leagues. Our goal for participants in these age groups is to continue to develop their skills in training sessions and gameplay experiences and provide them the best possible opportunity to transition to a club travel team in the future.
View the gameplay rules and guidelines for U8/9 and U10/11 age group >
Recreational Division (U12/13/14)
The recreational division is intended to provided a safe, fun, and structured environment for players who simply enjoy the recreational activity of the sport. Training and gameplay is focused on developing and maintaining good fundamental skills to participate, understanding the rules and playing the game safely, and developing an appreciation of the sport overall. The recreation division play will follow the same format as YDP (7v7) or may be modified up (8v8 or 9v9) depending on the number of players on each team and the relative skill levels of the division as a whole.
View the gameplay rules and guidelines for recreational division age group >
Highland Youth Soccer Club is entirely volunteer led. Registration fees cover expenditures that directly lead to players developing skills and participating, such as trainers and equipment, but we rely on volunteer coaches at the team level. It is expected and not uncommon for volunteer coaches to have varying degrees of experience with the game, from first time volunteers who have never played the sport to former players and licensed coaches who want to be involved for their own children. Whether a volunteer coach is a novice or a seasoned volunteer, the in-house program is designed so volunteers can get acclimated and be comfortable participating.
Game and practice schedules, as well as cancellations and rescheduling due to inclement weather, is centralized to the intramural commissioner. Volunteer coaches typically communicate with parents about game and practice times/attendance via email or text message chains. Even though the schedules are published to the website and practice times are generally consistent, it is a good idea to communicate reminders about practice days/game times to drive participation. Encourage parents to have players attend practices and to notify the coach if they can not attend practices or games. However practice attendance should not be used punitively in terms of program participation.
Practices are run in an academy format and lead by youth trainers paid by the club working from a designed curriculum and practice plans. Coaches are encouraged to participate at the level they are comfortable doing so. New volunteers are encourage to observe the training sessions and listen to the trainer's vocabulary, observe how instruction related to technique or skill is delivered and become familiar with the activities and their design. Once a coach is familiar with the format of instruction during training sessions and is comfortable they are encouraged to actively participate in the training sessions with the trainer, such as dividing the group into smaller groups and maximizing the potential for individual instruction and attention more often for each participant.
The most important responsibility during game day is to ensure the participants have the opportunity to play, that they are playing safely and having fun whenever possible. Generally speaking, the coach should make sure that the following happens on game day:
- Ensure that the field has the appropriate equipment (e.g. Goals and flags. If your game is the first game of the day, arrive a little early to assist setting up).
- Ensure that your team arrives a little early and begins to warm-up in order to minimize risk of injury.
- Communicate with the other coach and make sure you are both aware of the time, game length, and the number of players.
- Start the game on time and end the game on time.
- Make regular substitutions and ensure that all participants have a fair opportunity to play.
- Remove players from the game if they are playing dangerously.
- Keep the game as competitive as possible.
- Return the equipment to their storage locations (e.g. Goals and flags, after the last game of the day).
As a reminder, be respectful of your players, the other coaches, and the referees.