Travel Program VP: Gordon Moser
The SPFSA Travel Program traditionally fields year-round teams for both boys and girls in age divisions U-8 through U-14 as well as high school age Spring teams in the U-15 and U-17 divisions. The teams compete in MNJYSA, MCYSA, MAPS/CJYSA and JAGS. Every attempt is made to properly ’flight’ teams in their respective leagues.
Team selection is by tryout conducted by independent contracted trainers each spring. Returning players are also evaluated by their current coach. The SPFSA prefers not to actively recruit players from neighboring towns, but will allow anyone to tryout. In the event that an age group is potentially short the necessary number of appropriately-skilled players to field a competitive team, non-residents will be aggressively sought either via the cooperation of neighboring soccer associations or via various public forums in order to complete that team’s roster.
The rostering of teams within any age group is based upon grouping players of similar skill levels via A, B, C teams. Player movement between teams from one year to the next is sought, but must be warranted. Playing time is expected to be equal at the youngest levels and then grow increasingly based on merit at the older ages. In all cases, playing time will be affected by such factors as attendance, commitment, attitude and effort.
Small-sided teams are trained by independent contracted trainers whose emphasis is on ball skill development and positional flexibility. Parent coaches coordinate games. Full-sided teams are trained and coached by independent contracted trainers and are only aided by parent assistants when absolutely necessary. Technical and tactical development is emphasized while positional assignments may become more established.
Travel teams are encouraged to participate in 2-3 tournaments per season and also are expected to participate in the periodic winter and summer training programs that are offered by the SPFSA . Players and coaches from the renowned high school programs at Scotch Plains-Fanwood and St. Benedict’s typically run the off-season training.
The SPFSA endorses the idea that multi-sport participation is crucial to the proper muscular/skeletal development of all children and provides a better balance to all players’ mental and physical well-being. Parents’ are the best judges on how to handle scheduling conflicts within sports participation and at what age it is appropriate for their child to concentrate solely on one particular sport.