The goal of the SLS Travel soccer program is to provide the best possible soccer experience for all our players and to do this in an environment that will allow the players to reach their maximum potential. To attain this objective, the program aims to teach and develop within our players, the techniques, tactics, fitness, and psychology necessary to be quality soccer players. The Travel program is an elevated level of competition from the league managed Intramural program, and should give the players with advanced skill the opportunity to compete against players of equal or better skills and the opportunity to have better coaching and training available. The ultimate goal of the Travel program is one of player development and not necessarily one of winning and losing. The goal of this program is to provide the fundamentals necessary to allow the kids to achieve success when they leave the program and continue their soccer experience into High School and College.
The Travel program is designed for players who want to play soccer in a more competitive environment against similarly skilled teams from surrounding communities, under the guidance of Licensed Coaches and Professional Trainers. The program is offered for Boys and Girls on teams from U-9 through U-18, depending upon interest and the number of qualified athletes. The coaches will teach players techniques, tactics, and fitness to compete at their highest potential. Our ultimate goal is to provide players the skills to continue their soccer experience in high school and college. This Travel program requires a player commitment to the Fall season, with an intent to also play in the Spring season. Teams may choose to participate in Indoor Winter leagues to bridge the two seasons, where individual participation is optional.
Our Travel teams participate both locally in the Lehigh Valley Youth Soccer League (LVYSL) as well as regionally in the DELCO Soccer League (DELCO), Philadelphia Area Girls Soccer (PAGS), Inter-County Soccer League (ICSL) or Council Rock Spring League (CRSL), based upon level of play. Ultimately, most regular season games are played in and around the greater Lehigh Valley area.
Our Travel-Competitive teams may also choose to compete in various Indoor and Outdoor tournaments during the year within Eastern Pennsylvania and New Jersey, as well as the EPYS State Cup. Teams are encouraged to participate in at least one tournament per season.
The following is a guideline of what our players and coaches should be striving to achieve as they work through their weekly training sessions and games.
U-9 and U-10
Emphasis at the young ages should be on teaching the kids all of the basic techniques with emphasis on dribbling, shooting/passing, and receiving the ball. The proper technique for tackling may also be briefly introduced. Training sessions should be dominated by individual ball skills and small-sided games to maximize the number of touches that each player receives during practice. Tactics may be briefly introduced, but the focus should be on the individual skills at this age.
U-11 and U-12
At this stage, the training sessions become a bit more intensive to allow the kids to master the fundamentals and be able to perform them under low pressure. At the end of this stage, all players should strive to be able to volley air balls at low speed, passing/shooting (inside/outside of foot, instep), receiving (foot, thigh, chest), dribbling (4-5 different moves), juggling (15-20 touches with 3 different surfaces), basic tackling and shoulder charge, begin to learn basic combination play and basic principles of attack and defense.
U-13 and U-14
At this stage, the training sessions continue to improve technical skill while adding more intense defensive pressure as well as restrictions in time and space. Training sessions may start to focus on more specific player or position skills. At this stage, all techniques should be reasonably well developed and should focus on application of these techniques under pressure. Groups of players should begin to be aware of their roles as a group within principles of attack and defense.
U-15 and Above
Skill development is in its final stage and all players should be perfecting their match skills. Training becomes more intensive with focus on match condition work as opposed to fundamentals work. There is an emphasis on functional training under greater defensive pressure and time and space constraints at this stage. All tactical principles of attack and defense should be taught and incorporated into team play. Greater emphasis on fitness training is also added at this stage.
Becoming a Head Coach or an Assistant Coach of a Travel soccer team is a rewarding way to contribute to our young players' development. All of our coaches are volunteers. The club reimburses volunteers for associated fees to earn their coaching license. The time commitment typically is two practices per week and one game on the weekend for the Fall season and Spring seasons. Coaches are also involved as player evaluators for the Try-Out process. Winter seasons are optional. Please complete a Coaching Application to volunteer and email it to Director of Travel.
Please contact the Director of Travel for more information.