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Competitive Soccer Program

Welcome to the Fire FC Competitive Program! 

Our Mission & Values


2019/20 Parent Meeting notes

Grand Junction Fire FC is the premier soccer club in western Colorado offering competitive soccer opportunities to its players.

Competitive soccer opportunities are offered starting at the age of 10 (i.e. U11). To create experiences that serve a wide range of players and levels of commitment, competitive teams will fall into one of two categories: United and Premier. 

Premier Level

Premier level teams represent the most competitive teams in a given age group and therefore players and parents are willing to meet specific expectations. Premier teams are expected to practice year round and three days per week during the fall and spring seasons.

To play a higher level of competition, our Premier level teams play in the CSA league which is against teams from all over Colorado. This does require more time and travel. With that said, Fire FC coaches keep the travel to a minimum by scheduling double-headers for away games as much as possible. Three trips per season (i.e. Fall), is usually the most any one team will travel to the front range, and there could be as few as two trips. United teams are allowed to play in CSA if they choose.

Premier teams are expected to play at multiple tournaments per year, some of which may include travel outside of the state of Colorado. High-school aged players on Premier teams are expected to participate in college showcase tournaments, with the intent of exposing Fire FC student-athletes to college coaches from across the country.


United Level

United Level teams usually play in the Mountain Region League (MRL) which allows them to play quality competition while minimizing the amount of travel (1.5-2 hours each way is "normal"). United Level teams teams practice three days per week during the fall and spring seasons and one day per week throughout the winter months. Teams will usually play in 2-3 tournaments per year, occasionally traveling outside of the state of Colorado. United Level teams participate in summer team camp and in winter training.

 

Coaching

Premier and United teams train three times weekly with one of our licensed Fire FC coaches. If your child is still searching for more training options, see our Extra Touches program page. Other "off-season" training opportunities include: 3v3 (June through July), Winter Skills (December through Februrary) and/or our Winter Indoor Soccer League (December through February). Guest playing opportunities in various tournaments may also be pursued. Contact Shaun at [email protected]


Tryouts for Competitive Teams are usually the last week in May-first week in June: 2019 tryout schedule TBD

Premier and United Cost Breakdown
Competitive Development Model                


 

What does it take to become one of the top soccer players in your age group by u15?

Hi Everyone,

We would like to share our concept of player development for competitive soccer through Fire FC. This document will focus on players in u11-u15 age groups.

Fire FC offers a wide variety of camps, tournaments, and programs designed to develop skills for all players. While many of these courses are optional, we feel it is important to explain the purpose of the variety of programs and to emphasize the degree in which players can improve over time as they participate in these programs.

Keep in mind, the following list is a holistic approach to player development and is an important part of our curriculum, although most programs are optional. In most cases, a player does not become great in one season or even in two years. The idea is that kids continue to develop their love of the game, skills, understanding of the game, etc. as they continue to mature physically. We recognize that every player has strengths. We work hard to build on those strengths while developing further skills. Where there is difficulty in skill, we strive to generate positive habits and encourage progress. With this mindset, we believe the amount of time an individual player has invested in diverse forms of development through the years is a critical factor in wins or losses in league games or at tournaments.

Often the kids considered on the lower end of the age group at u11, may end up being the best player by u15 if they have followed a program like the one below or have even gone beyond what is listed.

The first table is an example of what our stronger players are doing. The second table is the bare minimum of what is expected from competitive players.

 

 

Here is an example of what our better players at u15 have done over 5 years.

There are at least 5 major variables that go beyond hours spent training. They include:

1. Internal motivation-Does the player want to play, want to get better, and want to be there?

2. Physical gifts – Some kids are simply born stronger, faster, quicker, more coordinated, etc.

3. Family availability and financial support.

4. Focused or intentional effort- Is the player completely present mentally and giving their best effort consistently?

5. The overall health of the individual player.

 

Programs FIRE FC OFFERS -

U11

U12

U13

U14

U15

Total

Summer Tech. program

18 Hours

18 Hours

18 Hours

18 Hours

18 Hours

90 Hours

3v3 League

8

8

8

8

8

40

Private training or training on your own

 

10

10

10

10

40

Fall Kickoff Camp

12

12

12

12

12

60

5v5 tournament

4

4

4

4

4

20

Park City Tournament

6

6

6

6

6

30

Speed/Strength Program

 

 

10

10

10

30

CMU Camp or other camp

16

16

16

16

16

80

Fall Training

54

54

54

54

54

270

Fall League Play

16

16

16

16

16

 

Addition sessions with other teams or private training

10

10

10

10

10

50

Additional Fall tournament

6

6

6

6

6

30

Winter 4v4

10

10

10

10

10

50

Winter skills or ball mastery

10

10

10

10

10

50

Additional league play or pick-up games

10

10

10

10

10

50

Winter training with teams

20

20

20

20

20

100

Winter tournament or two

6

6

6

6

6

30

Private training or additional training

 

10

10

10

10

40

Speed and strength training

 

 

10

10

10

30

CMU Futsal Tournament

4

4

4

4

4

20

Spring Training

54

54

54

54

54

270

Additional training with other teams

10

10

10

10

10

50

Spring Private training or training on your own

 

10

10

10

10

40

Spring League Play

16

16

16

16

16

80

Two tournaments (GMIT and Memorial Day)

12

12

12

12

12

60

Speed and strength training

 

 

10

10

10

30

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total over 5 years:

 

286

316

346

346

346

1,720

hours

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The table below is an example of a player who does the bare minimum of what is expected from a competitive player:

Programs -

U11

U12

U13

U14

U15

Total

Fall Training

54

54

54

54

54

270

Fall tournament

6

6

6

6

6

30

Additional Fall tournament

6

6

6

6

6

30

Fall league

16

16

16

16

16

80

Winter training with teams

20

20

20

20

20

100

Winter tournament or two

6

6

6

6

6

30

Two tournaments (GMIT and Memorial Day)

12

12

12

12

12

60

Spring Training

54

54

54

54

54

270

Spring league

16

16

16

16

16

80

Total

 

190

190

190

190

190

Total

950

 

The players who take advantage of the majority of our programs end up with almost twice as many hours spent playing soccer over a 5 year period. In most circumstances, the player who has done more becomes the stronger, more competitive player.

Here are some brief explanations of why we provide each program/opportunity:

1. Team Training –to develop the player and the team technically, tactically, psychologically, and physically.

There are some substantial considerations when it comes to training sessions. Team training environments are designed to embolden kids to participate as an individual and as a member of a team. They are educational with high expectations and demands as they encourage an elevated level of competition during the sessions. The training allows the players to maximize their time by constantly moving and applying skills based on the demands of the game. In the end, the training sessions do a good job of bringing the kids together and preparing them for the games.

2. Why Tournaments?   

Tournaments are valuable for numerous reasons:

* For teams and individuals to test themselves against competition from different cities, states or countries.

 * Allow us to evaluate how we are doing compared to other clubs/teams (this is obvious, but important to keep in mind that players in college will come from all over the world).

*  To motivate players; either through winning the tournament and allowing kids to enjoy that pride in a job well done or losing and allowing kids, coaches, and teams to understand where they need to improve.

*Tournaments are fun. Kids get to stay in hotels, be with friends, go out to dinner, spend time with families and teammates, and basically have some experiences they will remember for a lifetime.

*Tournaments are a source of inspiration for players. Tournaments provide an opportunity for players to train hard as an individual and as a team member as they prepare for the games and even as they reflect on the outcome after the games.

3. League Games -very similar to tournaments.

4. 3v3, 4v4, and 5v5 Leagues and Tournaments – These are small sided environments that give kids a chance to play the game in a fun and demanding environment that provide far more touches and decision making. I believe that these leagues and tournaments run by the club or other groups are some of the most important things we do to speed up the development process and grow the love of the game. All three formats allow for more 1v1 attacking situations, 1v1 defending situations, improvisation/creativity, vision and decision making, goal scoring chances, shot stopping, combination play, principals of attack and defending situations, spacing discussions, and on and on.  Small sided games are a huge benefit to players and their growth. Our better players are comfortable with the ball in tight spaces, they have good first touches, they make the right decision with the ball or off the ball most the time, they are good in 1v1 attacking and defending situations which are arguably the foundation of the game, etc. Basically all the foundations of the game that make for great players can be practiced in small sided games.

 5. Skills Programs like Summer Technical Skills, camps, Winter Skills, ball mastery, etc. -These are important programs that allow the technical skills of the game to be practiced with a player and the ball and often in small game situations (1v1, 2v2, 3v3, etc). While we understand that one player and a ball do not entirely replicate the game, practicing and learning skills are mandatory for players to be able to apply skills based on the demands of the game.

6. Speed and Strength programs – While every program and training has aspects of speed, agility, strength, endurance, etc., additional programming is a good way for players to get an advantage and often help the players to stay healthy and active out on the field.

7. Private training or training on your own – Hopefully our environment has been motivational enough to encourage players to want to do more. The very best players do not simply show up at scheduled training sessions. These players want to get better and look for opportunity to work on skills that help them to improve. This can be done just as well by themselves if the players has the motivation to get out and get better and the knowledge or communication skills to ask coaches what needs to be better.

8. Team development based on participation – the better teams in our club are made up of players who are involved in most of these programs (most of the kids on the team follow the first chart above). A culture has been created where the better players do more and others follow. This competition pushes the individuals to improve, which drives the team forward.

United Level
United Level
United Level