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A Player-Centered Curriculum for Youth Soccer Clubs

The Monterey Bay Sports League has started a new soccer program developed and structured uniquely for the youth. Here are some of the great benefits that are currently being offered to the youth of our community. We offer an academic program at the competitive and recreational levels to teach and to help your child develop and/or improve their soccer skills. Our Goal is to provide the county of Monterey, a youth soccer league and promote good sportsmanship, team work, and integrity. We would like to build and develop better soccer players in the area. Our main focus is the youth: we would like to improve their skills and abilities both as a person and soccer player. We would also like to provide a guidance to keep the youth away from negative influences. We would also ensure a mind set to help develop players that would like to play at the collegiate level.



Competitive players deserve to have an independent and professional coach responsible for evaluating them.  The Coaching Director will assist head coaches to make these decisions in order to preserve the integrity of the environment we place them in.  Competitive challenges are healthy for players and enable them to grow.  We can and will challenge our players by allowing them the opportunity to move from group to group, and also between different age groups, when warranted by their play and personal progress.  The goal is to create an environment that will stimulate the continued growth of the players by providing each of them with the opportunity to get to the next level of play within the club at any time.  All such movement will be done at the sole discretion of the Coaching Director and staff coaches.

We will focus our training, development, and evaluation of players on the four major components that make up a complete soccer player and closely monitor each players development.

MBSL competitive soccer program is to provide opportunities for elite
players to develop in the most challenging and competitive soccer
environment possible.  The technical, tactical, physical, and mental
development of players are focal points of our competitive curriculum.

  – Through our training curriculum our goal is to give our players the
  opportunity to be recognized by:

 – ODP, PDP, and ID2 Soccer Programs
  – Collegiate Soccer Staff
  – Regional and National Staff


Transition is the most important moment in soccer – the goal of the organization is long term development. Soccer is a late specialized sport and in order to provide a solid base for future development. From 4 to 12 years of age, children begin the process of establishing functional ability in gross motor skills and movement patterns. 

The MBSL recreational program provides an opportunity for young people in our community to develop healthy life skills and team skills through active participation in the beautiful game of soccer.  Our core values are teamwork, fairness and communication, while nurturing a positive environment to strive for excellence.  MBSL offers two, full soccer seasons in the fall and spring, providing a fun and safe environment for children ages 4-12.  The focus is participation, team building, sportsmanship and fun while kids learn the game of soccer in a minimally competitive environment.

Children in our U6 (under 6 years old),age divisions learn ball handling skills and improve coordination with fun games and activities in a relaxed environment.  They learn to love the game of soccer and make lasting friendships on and off the field.  As the age divisions get older; U8, U10, and U12, practices become more structured with age appropriate drills focusing on field positioning, ball control, game strategy and scrimmages.  Led by our dedicated volunteer coaches, players develop into strong, confident individuals that appreciate teamwork, commitment, and camaraderie.

MBSL provides, through its League, a fun based program to introduce soccer to our youngest players, 4-12 years old and those older players who do not desire to move to a competitive level of play. This program combines learning in a fun and positive environment and the excitement of play through small-sided games. As part of this program, a set of well thought-out practice sessions have been prepared to assist coaches in introducing children to the fundamentals of soccer techniques through fun practice games and then put these newly learned skills to use by playing small-sided games against other teams. The program operates under the simple belief that kids learn by playing. Thus, everyone plays in virtually 100% of the time in practices and at least equally in games. It is MBSL’s goal that by creating a developmentally appropriate and fun-filled environment, children can be provided with the foundation to enjoy the game of soccer for many years to come.

MBSL Believes the program benefits;


  • Practice sessions designed around activity and fun: no lines, short explanations, fun games, lots of touches on the ball, conducive to learning, learning by playing.
  • Small-sided games maximize active participation and touches on the ball.
  • Allows the Game to be the teacher!!
  • Equal Playing Time.
  • Ensures that their introduction to the game of soccer is fun!!
  • Cultivates an affection and appreciation for the game of soccer.


  • Provided with short, age appropriate, introductory training in coaching youth soccer through the youth module program.
  • Take what they have learned in the youth module and continues to nurture their introduction to the game.
  • Developmentally appropriate practice curriculums that allow first time coaches to create a fun environment conducive to learning for their players.
  • Small-sided age appropriate practices and equal playing time in games for players, alleviates pressures of winning, balancing playing time and positions.
  • No scores or standing are kept, this program is about fun not competition.
  • Cultivates an appreciation and affection for the game of soccer.


  • Program facilitates the education of parents and provides perspective emphasizing the development of youth, not winning at all costs.
  • Creates a positive environment for their children to learn and have fun.
  • Small-sided game format alleviates parental pressures of playing time, their child being stuck in a position and stresses development, not winning.
  • Their kids are guaranteed to learn and have fun playing soccer in this program, what parent wouldn’t like that!
  • Inexpensive program is run and administered in your local community by your neighbors for the kids in the local area.
  • Screening of adult volunteers.


  • It is a great program with the focus being on the development of everyone involved: players, coaches and parents.
  • Eases recruiting of volunteer coaches and facilitates the likelihood of them continuing to coach.
  • Program design alleviates potential burnout at young ages and instead cultivates a love for the game.
  • Great recruiting tool to attract new members at the youngest age levels entering youth soccer for the first time. Instruction, games, playing almost 100% of the time during practices.
  • Easy program to run as both a fall and spring program
  • Provide uniforms and equipment
  • Scheduling of teams and fields
    • Teams are formed by league and balanced to assure each team is playing on an equal level.
    • Provides the opportunity for players to move up to higher levels of play as their age, individual desire and skills develop. 
    • Guidance and assistance in administering a recreation program through the state office and the local District and
    • Professional education, age appropriate, short training classes for each coach consisting of the following sections:
    • Overview
    • The Players
    • Small-sided Games
    • Essential Concepts
    • Practice Sessions
    • Team Management
    • Coaching
    • Injury Prevention and Care

    • Coaching Clinic opportunity – running through a practice session with your coaches.
    • Recreation level, small sided, inexpensive tournaments for the recreational player and teams such at the Tide
    • Liability and secondary medical insurance for participants
    • Risk management including criminal background checks, financial oversight, and safety of fields
    • Code of ethics
    • Website
    • Common set of rules and procedures
    • Ongoing support by the CYSA, Director of Coaching, Youth Director and the League Office.

As a means of providing insight as to how we have come to develop this program and why certain games work so well in practice sessions, we have done so with an understanding of the physical, mental and social characteristics of the age groups that we are dealing with. It is for these reasons that it is so important that the activities we utilize in training sessions are “Developmentally Appropriate” for that age group. Be sure to keep these things in mind as you go through your season and reference them from time to time, just too keep things in perspective.


California Youth Soccer Association North

US Youth Soccer

Girl Scouts