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Grassroots Development Program for U5-U8

"A positive launching pad of development for the youth of our community."

Westbury Soccer Club is proud to announce a special development program with the Houston Dynamo Academy. The Westbury Grassroots Development Program is an innovative program for the youth of our community. The program will take special inspiration from some of the top grassroots development programs and philosophies in the world, such as the Royal Belgian FA and German FA. These international programs established a curriculum that focused on four key components of youth development: fun, ball mastery, decision-making, and game play. With the individual child as our focus, each training session will contain components of technical ball mastery (1 player 1 ball, some movement but no interference), dribbling (1 player 1 ball, movement and interference), tactical games (e.g. tag, sharks v minnows with or without a ball), and small-sided games (2v2 and 3v3 SSGs, put it all together).

We want each player to have the maximum amount of fun, number of touches, and decision-making opportunities possible. “Festival” games, which emphasize fun and effort over outcome, will take the place of competitive games, which focus on winning and have been identified as a barrier to development. 

Our Objective:  Westbury Soccer Club and Houston Dynamo Academy are looking to provide an affordable, effective, and highly progressive in-house developmental program that will create lifelong players and fans of soccer using the principles of fun, ball mastery, and game play.

By thinking about what 4, 5 and 6 and 7 year-olds are like and what they need, we can create a program that is a lot like street soccer, freely expressing yourself, without a coach and even without a referee, playing and discovering the game and 100% FUN. The smaller numbers are a key component to the program, as they allow players to ‘get on the ball’ many more times per game – full of actions and opportunities to dribble, run with the ball, and score goals!Houston Dynamo Academy Director, Paul Holocher

Overview

Registration Options

  • Spring season consists of 2 separate 5-week sessions with a break in between (around spring break, see Schedule below)
  • Each session requires separate registration and payment
  • Parents can choose only session 1, only session 2, or both
  • All registration is coed, and U5-U8 train together
  • Each player receives a training shirt

Training Days

  • Practice once a week (Tuesday) at the Bayland Park (East Field)
  • Practice time 6:00 - 7:00 pm
  • All players train together (U5-U8)
  • Training curriculum developmentally appropriate and supported by Dynamo Academy 
  • Training field broken into quadrants:  i) technical ball mastery, ii) dribbling, iii) tactical, iv) small-sided games
  • Professional licensed trainers run the sessions.  Parent volunteers will help with small-sided-games.

Festival Days

  • 5 Festival Days per session on  Thursdays @ Bayland Park (East Field)
  • 6:00 - 7:00 pm for all ages
  • Festival sessions:  2v2 games  run by professional licensed trainers with parent helpers.
  • No teams are formed.  Players are paired appropriately for maximum touches.

Grassroots Development Program Schedule (Spring 2022)

Session Training Days Festival Days
1 2/8, 2/15, 2/22, 3/1, 3/8 2/10, 2/17, 2/24, 3/3, 3/10
Break Spring Break (3/14-3/18) - No Practices  
1 3/22 (rain makeup date) 3/24 (rain makeup date)
2 3/29, 4/5, 4/12, 4/19, 4/26

3/31, 4/7, 4/14, 4/21, 4/28

2 5/3 (rain makeup date) 5/5 (rain makeup date)

FAQ

Q: Who is the coach?  And what team are we on?  

A: The Grassroots program doesn't form teams with a single coach, rather we dynamically form groups every day that are appropriate for the players in the training/festival.

Q: Festival...What's that?

A: The GR program has trainings and festivals.  Training = practice.  Festival = game day, but it's not a single traditional game of one team/coach vs another to win win win, rather players are paired in small sided games (SSGs) and rotate to play others.

Q: Where do I go?

A: We all play together at Bayland East (see links facility maps on this page), so just show up there according to the schedule and your player will be directed to their starting area, and you'll get the hang of it!

Q: What's the schedule?  Why haven't I received an email telling me what to do???

A: The schedule and other necessary info are always posted on this page, and by default SOCCER IS ON unless we tell you otherwise.  Sign up for the RainedOut alerts on our home page (click the RainedOut pic)

Q: What does my player need?

A: This...

  • Red WSC Jersey.  Wear it every day.  We provide it if you don't have one.
  • Soccer shoes tied in quintuple knots, soccer shorts (black, but really any), shin guards, socks that cover them.
  • Water bottle, filled with H2O.  Make it unique so that they can find it.
  • Ball...DON'T bring it.  We provide balls at the field, but you do have one at home for them to play with, right??

Q: What's my role as a parent?  Y'all seem to want us involved.

A: The GR program absolutely depends on parents getting involved on the field during training and festivals.  We especially need the parents of our least focused players to stay close to your player and be actively engaged on the sidelines of small sided games to encourage your player to stay engaged, stay on the field, bump balls back in, cheer, etc.  This especially applies to 4-5yr olds, but really any child, and you know your child best, and they probably love you best :).  Don't be shy, just ask us how you can stay close and help them have fun.

Q: Why do I get dirty looks when I arrive at the field?

A: Probably because you're late and we've already started a session and you've asked us to stop paying attention to the players so that we can explain to you what we explained to everyone else 10 minutes ago.  OR...you're walking though the training area (the cones) on your phone.

Registration fees and instructions

Read more about registration fees and instructions, or if you're ready...

Grassroots Development Program - Spring 2022 Session 1 - Register

Register for Session 1; begins on 2/7/2022.

GrassRoots Development Program - Spring 2022 Session 2 - Register

Register for Session 2 - begins 3/28/2022.


Westbury Soccer Club Sponsors

Interested in becoming a sponsor of Westbury Soccer Club?

Sponsored by Raising Canes

Raising Canes

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We welcome Raising Canes on South Rice back as our Title Sponsor! Make sure to come out to Westbury Soccer Club nights this season.