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Freetown Lakeville Soccer

Spring Travel Soccer


The Spring Travel Soccer program is open to all Freetown & Lakeville residents U8-U16. Our Spring Travel Program is a competitive soccer league and is for the more serious soccer player who is interested in continuing to develop their skills and play competitively in the South Coast Soccer League. Travel soccer is regional in nature. In other words, your player will be representing Freetown - Lakeville playing against other towns in the region. This is similar to a baseball all star team with respect to both talent and commitment. Try-outs are required but the league has different divisions and a long history of being able to find spots for nearly all interested players.

Travel soccer is more focused on competition. As such, most Travel coaches are expected to "play to win" and have special requirements including multiple practices per week that take into account, technical, tactical and psychological aspects of the game. Team unity and bonding are very important and required to help form a cohesive team capable of understanding and anticipating each other’s style, pace of play and abilities. It is through frequent team practices, scrimmages, games and tournaments that teams become unified, strong and able to compete against the regions’ top teams. There are only 8 games each season!

Even if your player has the technical skill to earn a spot on the a Travel team, parents must carefully consider if they’re ready for multiple weekly practices, scrimmages, and a rigorous game schedule that includes travel throughout the South Coast Region. Coaches will do their best to organize around other Freetown & Lakeville town sports activities but this isn’t always achievable. Because missing practices and games will adversely affect the team’s performance, coaches may decide to reduce play time of the less committed players, especially as age and competition increase. We understand that our children will be involved with other sports and activities but also recognize that Travel soccer is designed for more committed players.

Parents should also not expect equal play time in Travel Soccer. The coach will establish play time based on a variety of factors including the makeup of the opponent, team formation, individual player fitness and aptitude for a given position. The Freetown Lakeville Soccer club has other divisions, programs and activities that focus on balancing play time and don’t require as high a level of commitment. 

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Travel Process Overview

Freetown Lakeville United complete guide explaining our tryout process can be downloaded via the links section on the right.

Order of Events

Prior to placing players on a travel soccer team, coaches will first be selected. This will help ensure that the head coach is responsible for determining the final roster. However, prior to the coach being selected players must be evaluated. If a coach is requesting a position coaching a team that his or her player may not be suited for, it will be taken into consideration during the coach selection process.
1.  Tryouts
2.  Coach evaluations from parents
3.  Coach profile from coaches
4.  Player selection
5.  Player exception process
6.  Coach selection
7.  Coach exception process
8.  Team formation and communication to players & parents

Coach Evaluation Process

The following process will be used to determine how coaches are assigned a team.
Each year we face two dilemmas.
1. The first is that there are more travel players than interested coaches. This condition happens only rarely but requires us to reach out to prospective parents to help coach.
a. When interested parents are found, we require that they take the Mass Youth Soccer Association Level G course which provides a solid overall background in coaching youth soccer.
b. We also require all coaches to complete the CORI form on the MYSA web site.
2. The second dilemma is that we have more than one interested coach for each available head coaching slot. When this happens we use the evaluation process below to determine who will be the head coach. We don’t recommend co-coaching to avoid confusion for both players and parents. Co coaching must be approved by the head of coaching and president of the club.

Coaches are evaluated using a 4-1 ranking system with 4 being the highest and 1 being the lowest. Each category is weighted to emphasize the values and priorities of the club. We use 4 basic criteria to objectively determine the coach. In the event there is a tie, an anonymous vote is taken by the FLSC board.
1. Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association Certification Level
a. Rating: 4-1
i. 4-Level D, C, B or A Certification
ii. 3-Level E Certification
iii. 2-Level F Certification
iv. 1-Level G Certification*
*G is the Minimum Certification for travel coaches. There is no minimum level for assistant coaches. However all coaches must complete a CORI on the Mass Youth Soccer Association web site.
b. Weight: We will weigh certification levels higher than other factors.
c. Weighting Rationale: To achieve a high level of certification a coach must have completed classroom and on field training by the Massachusetts Youth Soccer Association. This training prepares coaches with the latest techniques and teaching methods to best teach and coach emerging soccer players. Higher levels of certification also indicate a coach’s commitment to the sport and help the FLSC establish consistent processes and methods across our coaching staff.
2. Results of yearly Coach Evaluation Survey from player parents.
a. Rating: 4-1
i. 4-All Positive Comments
ii. 3-Mostly Positive Comments
iii. 2-Mixed Comments
iv. 1-Mostly or All Negative Comments
b. Weight: Average
c. Weighting Rationale: Parents attend many games and practices and are in the best position to gauge the overall happiness of their player. If parents and players are not happy, no matter how successful the team, it reflects poorly on the primary principles of fun and learning that the club was built on. This must also be kept in context as most parents are not certified coaches and many might not fully understand the sport or techniques being leveraged by the coach. One unhappy parent doesn’t always indicate a bad coach.
3. Team success in SCSL across all divisions, age groups and genders.
a. Rating: 4-1
i. 4: Placed #1 in SCSL division multiple times
ii. 3: Placed top 3 in SCSL division multiple times
iii. 2: Placed top 3 in SCSL division at least once
iv. 1: No top 3 finishes or never coached SCSL
b. Weight: Average
c. Weighting Rationale: Travel coaches are expected to work hard and win games. Coaches with a proven track record of success have clearly found ways to train players and motivate their teams. This must be kept in context however, especially at younger ages where the
4. Years of experience as a soccer coach
a. Rating: 4-1
i. 4: >6 years
ii. 3: 5-6 years
iii. 2: 3-4 years
iv. 1: 0-2 years
b. Weight: Average
c. Weighting Rationale: It stands to reason that the longer one spends practicing the more accomplished they will become. This rationale is also true for coaching soccer. If coaches have spent years coaching soccer with kids of different ages then they will likely have developed many strategies for communicating with and motivating players. They will be familiar with the laws of the game and can link training strategy to specific deficiencies observed on the field. However, experience is a single data point and more time behind the whistle doesn’t always equate to better, happier players, superior teams and a better overall experience. It must be balanced alongside the other criteria above.
5. Years of experience coaching non soccer sports
a. Rating: 4-1
i. 4: >6 years
ii. 3: 5-6 years
iii. 2: 3-4 years
iv. 1: 0-2 years
b. Weight: Average
c. Weighting Rationale: It stands to reason that the longer one spends practicing the more accomplished they will become. This rationale is also true for coaching. If coaches have spent years coaching kids of different ages, in a multitude of sports then they will likely have developed many strategies for communicating with and motivating players. However, experience is a single data point and more time behind the whistle doesn’t always equate to better, happier players, superior teams and a better overall experience. It must be balanced alongside the other criteria above.

Coach Tie Breaker Policy
If there are two coaches seeking the head coach spot for the same team and there is no material difference in their overall scores after taking the above criteria into consideration. The FLSC Board Of Directors will be required to vote. During this process the director of coaching will provide a verbal summary to the board of all information collected in the evaluation process including certification levels coach evaluations, and experience. The director of coaching may also offer additional information not collected during the evaluation that may help the board make a decision.

Player Evaluation Process

  1. Coaches for Division 1 and Division 2 teams will be determined using the coach selection process identified above prior to team formation. This is done prior so that head coaches can make all final decisions on team make up.
  2. Prior season travel coaches must submit a player evaluation (see details below) form prior to team selection date. All existing players must have an up to date evaluation form completed by his/her coach in order to be placed on a team for the following season.
  3. The coach evaluation counts for 60% of the overall evaluation score. The other 40% comes from tryout results.
  4. If there is no player evaluation for a player who played Travel Soccer in the prior year, a zero will be averaged in for 60% of the player’s overall evaluation. This will significantly impact the player’s ability to qualify for a Division 1 team.
  5. If there is no player evaluation for a player who is new to FLSC then we will compare the player’s tryout score to similar scores from those of the same gender and age group and use the average player evaluation.
  6. If there is no tryout score due to sickness or injury we will compare the player’s coach evaluation to similar scores from those of the same gender and age group and use the average tryout score.
Player Experience Evaluation from Coach
Player evaluations will be based on observations from four main categories technical, tactical, physical & psychological. Technical will include observing skills such as passing, receiving, dribbling, heading, defending and attacking. Tactical will be comprised of observations during game play with a focus on understanding position. Physical will include dominant and non dominant foot skills, speed, aggressiveness and hustle. Psychological will include leadership, attitude, communication and practice & game attendance.
Coaches will provide the following information for each player:
1. Primary Position
2. Secondary Position
3. Dominant foot
Ratings 1-4 (4-Outstanding, 3-Good, 2-Fair, 1-Poor):
1. Dominant Foot Skill
2. Non Dominant Foot Skill
3. Speed
4. Game Awareness
5. Communication
6. Leadership & Attitude
7. Aggressiveness
8. Hustle
9. Practice Attendance
10. Game Attendance
11. Heading
12. Passing
13. Receiving
14. Shielding
15. Defensive skills
16. Goalie Skills*
17. Shooting
18. Dribbling
*no player is penalized in this process for being specifically a goalie or not having any goalie ratings

Tryouts

Groups are divided by age but players can try out for older groups. There will be no tryout for U8 players however, during the early fall there will be a skills evaluation to help establish teams. Spring tryouts are conducted during the last two weeks of June.  This date was selected for a number of reasons.
  1. Kids are not yet out of school and summer vacations have not yet started. This makes it easier to notify parents through school communication and ensures that we get higher participation by not conflicting with summer vacation.
  2. Spring travel has completed and fields and players are available. During the Fall season, field and player availability on weekends is limited due to our Fall recreational in-town program, fall Travel program and other activities.
  3. With the Spring travel season having just ended, player’s form and fitness are at their peak.
  4. Teams can be formed early allowing coaches to start practices, play in tournaments or enter fall leagues with their Spring Travel team.
  5. Ratings can be used to help balance teams during our Fall recreational league.


Groupings

Note: due to a rule change in the SCSL, we are offering additional odd year teams. Prior to 2014 odd year teams were not eligible to compete at MTOC. Starting in 2014 they are allowed to compete at MTOC. We will have the following boys and girls age groups. The FLSC Board must vote on any exceptions to these groupings.
  • U08 – turns 8 on or after July 31st of the current year*
  • U09 – turns 9 on or after July 31 of the current year
  • U10 –turns 10 on or after July 31 of the current year
  • U11 – turns 11 or after July 31 of the current year
  • U12 – turns 12 on or after July 31 of the current year
  • U13 – turns 13 on or after July 31 of the current year
  • U14 – turns 14 on or after July 31 of the current year
  • U15 – turns 15 on or after July 31 of the current year 
  • U16 – turns 16 on or after July 31 of the current year 

*U8 teams will be made up of ONLY U8 players per the SCSL rules. It is the only division whereby players are not allowed to “play up”. However, there is one exception. If your player is a U7, but in 2nd grade, SCSL will allow this player to play with a waiver from the league. This must be requested by the parent and presented by the coach to the FLSC Board.All other divisions will be made up by combining players of different ages. For example the U10 teams will consist of U9 and U10 players, U12 will have U11 and U12 players and so on.This will have the following benefits

  1. Ensure that we have enough players to form competitive teams throughout all divisions
  2. Ensure that kids from different grades learn how to play alongside older kids from the area. This needs to happen well before walking on to their high school soccer field for the first time.
  3. Create better learning opportunities for the younger kids playing alongside older kids
  4. Helps eliminate politics associated with coaches keeping “their” teams for their entire time playing in the Freetown Lakeville Soccer Club. All coaches see the game differently and it is important that kids get different perspectives and learn how to adapt to different coaching and teaching styles. This also needs to happen before they enter high school.


Tryout Ratings

Ratings will be based on observations from two main skills & game play. Per request by parent/player we will also include goalie skills. Players will be rated on a scale of 1-4 with 4 being outstanding, 3 good, 2 fair, and 1 poor.

Skill

There will be no “skills” stations.  Technical skills will be evaluated during small sided games.As outlined by the Mass Youth Soccer Association in Vol 2, Issue 3 of their E-News letter (see quote below), there should be no “skills” portion in tryouts.“We recommend a very simple tryout process in which there are no lines or stations.It is most important that we evaluate players' ability to play the game of soccer. Evaluation of their technical skills and tactical proficiency will be done within small games. Technical skill done at 50-percent pace in isolation at a station is of no importance when it comes to playing during a game.At the end of tryouts, it is our goal to find the most effective players in game situations to place on teams. Their ability to have an effect on the game is the most important variable. Technically proficient players who cannot perform in traffic or when under pressure should not be placed on top teams. In contrast, some players whose technical skills may not be as advanced as others, but whose athletic skills and understanding of the game are advanced, should be challenged in an optimal environment to develop technical skills and help the team.”

Game play

Observers will rate players on both small and large sided games. Players will be placed in a variety of positions and evaluated based on all aspects of the game. Game play weighted higher for U12-U16 players.

Tryout Evaluators

Evaluators will be comprised of coaches, board members, and other members of the FLSC community with soccer backgrounds with the following exceptions:
  1. Coaches cannot evaluate any player they are related to
  2. Coaches cannot evaluate players in their upcoming age grouping. For example, if a coach is likely to coach a U12 team then she or he cannot evaluate any prospective U12 players. 
  3. We will seek 10 coaches to perform evaluations including 2 from an outside club soccer organization to help provide additional objectivity. One will evaluate boys the other girls.
  4. We will strive to have boys coaches evaluating girls teams and the girls coaches evaluating boys teams.

Team Selection Process

  1. Once results are finalized they will be tallied by the director of coaching
  2. The director of coaching will then add the tryout evaluation score for each player to the coach evaluation score to arrive at a total evaluation score. Exception process below will be used for any player who is either new (and missing a coach evaluation) or has a coach evaluation but missed one or more days of tryouts.
  3. Players from each age group will be sorted by their total score.
  4. The Division 1 coach will have first selection, then D2 and so on
  5. Tryout results will not be made available to coaches. Evaluations will be kept confidential. However, the FLSC Director of Coaching, President and Vice President will be able to answer specific questions on rankings/coach ratings to assist coaches with potential changes. However, we are making an effort to keep this information as confidential as possible.
  6. Coaches will be provided a roster that the BOD believes best positions the club and the players to be successful in the SCSL and qualify for the MTOC in 2012. This takes into account tryout results, coach evaluation, team sizes, across age groups and divisions.
  7. The top 8 players in 8v8 teams (U10/U12) and top 11 players in 11v11 teams (U14, U16, U18) will automatically be assigned to the division 1 team. The coach cannot swap these players.
  8. Change requests can be made but must be justified by the coach and approved by the club's Director of Coaching, President and Vice President. These requests can only be made for players not covered in section 7 above.
  9. Limited team top tier changes will be allowed. Division 1 teams will be able to make changes to their roster if they can make a compelling argument using the exception process below as to why a player who scored high enough to be on the division 1 team should not be there.  These reasons could be, but are not limited to, team dedication (practice/game attendance), attitude (disruptive nature/bad for team), mis-evaluated based on achievement history, etc.   Conversely, a player not rated high enough to place on the division 1 team and thought deserving by the coach may be placed on a Division 1 team using the exception process below. Reasons for this might include one missed tryout day, illness, injury, no coach evaluation, etc.
  10. Once rosters are formed, coaches will have approximately one week to communicate with parents. Coaches are strongly encouraged to discuss the travel soccer requirements with parents to ensure that the players on their roster are able to make the commitment. If parents cannot commit to the requirements of a particular coach or division, changes can be made within approximately one week.. These changes must also be approved by the Club's Director of Coaching, President and Vice President. Thereafter, rosters will become permanent.
  11. Only temporary hard copies of tryout results and coach evaluations will be made available at the meeting. These will be re collected once the team has been selected and will be treated as confidential by the director of coaching.
  12. All exceptions must be presented to the President, Director of Coaching and Vice President who will make final approval. Final rosters must be approved by the head of coaching and director of Spring travel.
  13. Tryout Exceptions
    1. U10-U12 Top 8 players based on evaluations and tryout results must be taken
    2. U14-U18 Top 11 players based on evaluations and tryout results must be taken
    3. If there is a compelling reason why the a top rated player should not be considered for a division 1 team then coaches can present a case to the director of coaching, president and VP. The President, Director of Coaching and Vice President will make the final decision.
  14. Target Roster Sizes
    1. U8 – 11 players
    2. U10 - 13 players
    3. U12 - 13 players
    4. U14 and U16 - 18 players
    5. In the event that there are not enough players to form two teams, up to we will use the maximum team size allowed by the SCSL. Remaining players will be notified by the head of coaching that they did not qualify for a travel team.
  15. Any player with a total rating below a 2.0 will not qualify for travel soccer

Exception Process

The following conditions may occur:
  1. Player was unable to try out. When this happens the player can be placed on a Division 2 team without further action. If there are more than one Division 2 teams then the player will be placed on the one with fewer players. If this player would like to be considered for a Division 1 team they must attend the makeup date (process makeup/secondary tryout process described below).
  2. Player tried out but missed one day. In this case the average tryout for the entire age division for the missing day will be used.
  3. New player with no coach evaluation. Average coach evaluation for same gender players with a similar tryout score in this age group will be used.
  4. No tryout or coach evaluation – Player is only eligible for Division 2.
  5. Injured players. players with a previous history on a Division 1 team but injured during the tryout period can be assigned to the team by the head coach. This requires the approval of the Director of Coaching, President and Vice President.
Exceptions that qualify must be directed by the coach via email or in person to the Director of Coaching, President and Vice President for approval.

Make Up Date & Secondary Tryouts

(THIS SECTION IS OUTDATED AND WILL BE UPDATED SHORTLY. IT DOES NOT APPLY TO 2014 TRYOUTS)

Makeup Dates:

Although we expect players to make every effort to attend tryouts on the regularly scheduled date, we realize that there may be unforeseen circumstances that would prevent a player from attending. Therefore, a separate make-up date will be scheduled to ensure that all players have the opportunity to be evaluated. Qualification: The following is a list of acceptable reasons to excuse a player from tryouts:1.       Play-off game in another sport (this does not include practice)2.       Family vacation that was scheduled prior to tryout dates being announced3.       Illness or bereavement 4.       Previously scheduled alternate activities such as baseball playoff game (not practice), dance recital (not rehearsal), religious ceremonies, etc.Approval: Parents and/or coaches with known conflicts must request to have their player evaluated on the makeup date by sending an email to tryouts@freetownlakevillesoccer.org  The director of coaching will approve all player/parent/coach requests to switch to miss the regularly scheduled tryout and attend on the makeup date.Rules: ·         The makeup date will be no longer than two weeks from the original date in order to establish teams and rosters as quickly as possible. ·         The secondary tryout will follow roughly the same format as the original tryout with small sided games (large sided also pending sufficient volume of participants).·         NOTE: Due to the nature of a volunteer organization we recognize that there may be limited evaluators available on the make-up date. FLSC will make best efforts to have as many qualified evaluators available for this date as possible.

Secondary Tryouts

Upon occasion previously selected and rostered players will decide not to play. When this happens it may leave a team with a gap in their roster that needs to be filled. In this case the coach can request a secondary tryout to evaluate previously unevaluated players or re-evaluate players from a lower division.Qualification: Players drop off of the team due to unforeseen circumstances leaving the team with an insufficient number of players to be competitive. D1 team without sufficient number of players at time of team selection.Approval: The coach must send an email to tryouts@freetownlakevillesoccer.org requesting a secondary tryout. The director of coaching will approve all coach requests to conduct a secondary tryout.Rules: The secondary tryout date and location will be set by the director of coaching. The coach is required to make a reasonable effort to invite all other players in the age group to also attend the secondary tryout. The tryout results will then be re-tallied along with coach/player evaluations to see where these players fall with the previous tryout results. The player chosen for the team will be the one with the highest total result. This may or may not be the player originally considered for the slot. Anything outside this process must go to through the exception process with the BOD.