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West Hartford Soccer Club

WHYSA Training Division

Training Division

WHYSA Training Division for boys & girls, born in 2017 or 2018  
WHYSA Pre-training division for Boys & girls born in 2019

If interested in becoming a volunteer coach, please contact:  [email protected]  OR [email protected]


The Training Division emphasizes the development of basic soccer technique and skills through age-appropriate and enjoyable games and short-sided scrimmages. The primary objectives are to have fun, to learn basic technique and skills, to learn to enjoy soccer as a team sport, and to encourage continued participation in soccer, as the child grows older. Weekly practices usually include short-sided scrimmages, and games are played on weekends in fall and spring. The Training Division is open to children ages 6 or 7 by December 31st. Games will be played in a 3 v 3 or 4 v 4 or format to promote skill development in a fun environment. While a "sweeper keeper" can be used, true goalkeepers are discouraged because it creates a static playing environment.

Team Size
Team sizes average 10-13 p
layers per team. There are usually 16-18 teams in the fall season and 12-14 teams in the spring season, depending on number of registered players and the number of coach volunteers.

The Game
Training Division plays small sided soccer, which consists of 3 vs. 3 or 4 vs. 4 players on each field. There are multiple games played simultaneously on small sized fields. This optimizes the number of ball "touches" each player gets. It if designed to familiarize each player with the game of soccer and teambuilding.

The game shall be divided into four (4) equal eight (8) minute quarters. There shall be two (2) minute break between quarters one and two and another two (2) minute break between quarters three and four. There shall be a half-time break of five (5) minutes.

Time Commitment
There is one practice per week for 50 minutes on a  week night, typically 5 - 6 pm or 6 - 7 pm. There is one game per weekend, either Saturday or Sunday. Training Division games and practices are usually at Aiken School fields.  The pre-training division will meet at Fernridge park.

Equipment Needed
Size 3 soccer ball, shin guards, cleats, water bottle

A normal soccer match consist of 11v11. Anything smaller than this is considered small-sided soccer. WHYSA has adopted a small-sided soccer format for the developmental divisions of recreational soccer. A study of young (9 and under) players by Manchester United in the U.K. showed that during a similar-duration 8 v 8 game and a 4 v 4 or 3 v. 3 game, on average, the 4 v 4 or 3 v. 3 based games increased the number of passes by 135%, the number of scoring attempts by 260%, the number of 1 v 1 encounters by 225% and the number of dribbling skills (tricks) demonstrated by 280%. They concluded that the 4 v 4 or 3 v. 3 based games offered players a significantly higher number of touches (as defined by the number of passes, shots, goals, 1 v 1 encounters, and dribbling skills) than comparable 8 v 8 games. Furthermore, 4 v 4 or 3 v. 3 based games were better for developing more skillful young players. The United States Youth Soccer Association ("USYSA") also recommends small-sided soccer for children at these age groups.

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