TSS Looks to Expand Select Program
- Created: Wednesday, 09 October 2013 16:22
For years, players and parents have been asking TSS Academy if they can train and play soccer at the academy exclusively, full-time. TSS took a big step in that direction in 2011 with the TSS Elite program for U16-U18 girls and boys. Last year, the academy took another step forward by offering the TSS Select Program, a full-time soccer program for younger academy players. This new program began with the U14 girls (2000/99 born) and the U11 boys (2003 born), both of whom began participating in the program back in April of 2013. Building on that success, TSS has announced the expansion of the Select Program next spring of 2014. This opportunity will be offered to a select number of U13 girls (2002/01 born) and U11 Boys (2004 born).
"We're very pleased with this new Select Program," says Academy Director Colin Elmes. "Being able to offer full-time training and game outlets to these youth players is something our academy believes in strongly. "
Controlled Game Outlets
TSS Select teams do not play league soccer. They attend local and US tournaments and play exhibition matches about once every 2 weeks. For TSS Girls Director and U14 Select Girls Instructor Brendan Quarry, this approach has a number of benefits.
"Most youth players in this country play too many games and don't receive enough technical training. We've changed that formula," says Quarry. "We also have control over their programming and the amount of resistance they receive. That's good for their development. For example, playing against the best athletes week in and week out is not ideal for younger players. They need room to breath at times so they can learn to play the game well and not just learn how to cope."
Top Level Training Facilities
Players in the Select Program also enjoy training in the bubble at TSS which has just been refurbished with brand new synthetic turf. Players train twice a week in the bubble and once a week on an outdoor turf field in Richmond. For parents like Maria Schmit whose 10 year old son Christopher participates on the U11 Select boys team, there's never any cajoling required to attend training.
"Chris loves going to training," says Schmit. "Some nights I sit in the bubble listening to the rain come down outside and I see my son throwing all his energy into training rather than trying to keep warm. These sessions are definitely the highlights of his week."
For Schmit, it's not just about the facilities, it's also about the level of instruction her son receives and the type of players in the program. The same applies for her daughter Kayla who happens to be with the TSS U14 Select Girls.
"The players in this program are very committed to the game," continues Schmit. "That's important for my kids because they care about their development. Everyone here is on the same page."
Program Expansion for 2014
By December of 2013, TSS will be offering this program to other age groups. For boys, the academy will be selecting 2004 borns. For girls, the academy will be selecting 2002 borns and some late-born 2001s. Once players accept their invitation, they will begin the program in spring of 2014. TSS makes a 2 year commitment to selected players. The ultimate goal of the program is to push players up through the age groups and onto the TSS Elite program in their final years of high school.
"TSS has been contributing to the development of players in the Lower Mainland for over 17 years, largely as a supplementary training program," continues Elmes. "These new full-time programs mark the continued expansion of our programming. Players who join the Select Program enjoy professional training and games. For these players, TSS is much more than a training program. It's their club."