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MSYSA Grassroots Programs and Philosophy


The MSYSA Recreational/Grassroots program promotes player, coach and club development at young player ages through its affiliate clubs. Thus the club is the main actor. However, MSYSA has a number of core philosophies which we share with all clubs and believe are central to success regardless of the size or level of sophistication of any particular club.

1. Coach Education is critical for these ages and is irreplaceable

Coaching education at the grassroots level - by formal courses, mentorship, e-learning, field sessions, online and other forms - must be in some combination a central part of every grassroots program and supported widespread, simple to do, enjoyable and effective. It also should be as near a requirement as possible. MSYSA will promote and support this philosophy.

2. Coaching Education must be done in tandem with a useable player development model framework, and with curriculum resources that can be used by all.

The program structure, teaching methods and available tools all have an inter-relationship that makes all three (Player Development Model, Coaching Education, Curriculum and Practice Planning) essential, and otherwise makes for a struggling system without each part. At the grassroots level, coaches need all three elements in order to make real progress.

3. A curriculum must be part of the process in learning how to plan practices and to create effective practice plans by understanding how things work.

4. Hyperbole, revolutions, magic fixes and moneymakers are killers

With the variety of potential sources of information on the market, coaches, parents and administrators are wise to avoid these:

  • A revolution in youth soccer
  • We will change your players lives forever for just $79.99 per year
  • Membership is free (but you only get 1% of what we offer)
  • Our secrets of success condensed into one video – now on sale for the next 2 days
  • Never have to plan a session again!


5. The role of free play is an active one (i.e., creating times to coach "less")

It is MSYSA’s position that deliberate practice and deliberate play both have a necessary role, and that our current soccer culture is unbalanced in this regard.  The value of free play – for both developing creativity and problem solving as well as for fun – can’t be overlooked at any level.  This is most true at the grassroots levels where love of the game is one of the main things being developed.

(full information on the core philosophies here)