“Grassroots is the most important part of the player pathway. This is where we give children their first experience in soccer. Ensuring that this experience is fun and enjoyable and revolves around child-friendly soccer (LTPD) is essential. The coaching objective is simple: have them fall in love with the game. … Grassroots soccer is not about the amount of trophies you win. It’s about the difference you make to a young person’s life.” What is Grassroots Soccer – Ontario Soccer
The Blizzard grassroots program is for players of all skills and ability from U4 to U12. The program is designed with Canada Soccer and Alberta Soccer’s long-term player development plan as well as Canadian Sport for Life’s long-term athlete development plan in mind. Blizzard provides age-appropriate programming to allow our players to develop at the proper pace while maintaining and enhancing their love for the ball and the game!
Blizzard Skill Centres will reach out into the communities affiliated with our program. They will allow players to develop skills in a professional and fun environment. Training sessions are age specific and will focus on the LTPD of CSA. Players will rotate between skill stations to learn an explore new techniques and then try to apply them in small-sided gaming. Skill Centres are staffed by Blizzard with professional coaches and junior coaches alike to ensure that a professional quality is maintained and a positive peer environment is established. Sessions in the Skill Centre are 1 hr in length.
Blizzard Grassroots is attempting to make a difference in a young person’s life. In order to achieve this mandate, we believe that the focus cannot simply start with Physical Literacy and end with the development of soccer-specific Skills. Through our Blizzard Grassroots programs, each child will also be challenged to develop their cognitive understanding – self-confidence (in who you are and what you can do with your body and the ball), self-awareness (work together with others in a team setting), risk management (through game settings), decision making (allowing for players to learn from the mistakes they make), to name a few.
The final pillar for our Blizzard Grassroots program will deal with the social interaction development of each child. Respect towards teammates, coaches, parents and opposing players are a core value. Proper communication is a learned skill which needs to be encouraged and honed at a young age. Co-operating and working together in a team environment builds team leaders for the workplace of tomorrow. Learning to show and share feelings and thoughts in a team environment rounds out each individual to become a more complete adult.
Blizzard Grassroots focuses on the Physical Literacy of each player. Similar to reading, writing or learning math principles, children have to learn how to move their young body in a cognitive and balanced manner. Physical Literacy is not focused on soccer alone but allows children to develop the self-confidence to explore skills to enjoy a variety of different sports or physical activities.
At the core of Physical Literacy, skills like hopping and skipping (on one leg or two), running and stopping, balancing and turning, throwing and catching are essential skills to be successful in any sport. Blizzard Grassroots will then teach Soccer-specific skills of physical literacy – starting with the development of fast feet and the basic turns and moves to more in-depth techniques of dribbling, passing, shooting, tackling and definitely also goalkeeping skills for all our players to enjoy.
Full details on our Grassroots Programs and Registration details can be found under Programs.