On the Beautiful Game
Abbey Villa S.C. (“AVSC”) emphasizes a player-centered development approach based on the Dutch principle of play, which revolutionized the game in the early 1970s, known as “Total Football” (totaalvoetbal). The legendary footballer, Johan Cruyff, who played and managed at F.C. Barcelona is credited with the enduring popularity and dominance of this style of play.
This philosophy emphasizes developing complete players, technically and tactically, so they can perform in any situation on the field. AVSC’s player development model focuses on building each player’s technical ability within a controlled “pass and move” style of soccer with the objective to maintain possession of the ball. It believes that players at a young age (U8 to U19) taught to play this way will develop superior first touch and when older can easily adjust to a more direct (“kick and rush” ) game if and when the tactics demand.
Younger players who develop in a more direct “kick and rush” environment will struggle with a transition to the more technically demanding style of possession soccer as they get older. Each AVSC trainer and coach embraces and adheres to the club’s shared philosophy and understands the critical importance of the early stages of soccer development. Each player is encouraged to play a controlled game, where ball control, crisp passing (“short and soon”), quick decisions and movement off the ball.
AVSC is committed to developing players by allowing them to play and make mistakes and learn from those mistakes. We are not concerned with winning and losing games, we want to develop soccer players, first and foremost. AVSC does not chop and change team rosters or cut players from the Club to effect better game results. This is not what we do, we are fully committed to the development of players, everything else is secondary to that objective.
These key elements of success combine to produce the style of soccer that all AVSC teams strive to play throughout the stages of player development – controlled possession at a fast and furious pace. The intent and expectation is for each player to use all of their skills, working together with teammates, toward familiar and common goals. AVSC strives to produce skilled, composed, creative and confident, two-footed players with superior ability to pass, receive, control, dribble, maintain possession, and shoot the ball while making quick and intelligent decisions.
On Youth Soccer Training
AVSC believes that all training for young players should be done with the ball maximizing touches. A training curriculum with efficiency (quantity of repetition) and purpose (quality of exercises) will produce soccer players that have superior touch and technique. As part of the efficiency in our training, fitness derives from the aerobic activity during the progression of a training session in which a player will have hundreds or even thousands of touches on the ball.
On Youth Soccer Coaching
AVSC believes that kids should play soccer in a pressure-free environment to develop their soccer skills. Developing players should be allowed to express themselves with the ball and without any concern for making mistakes. This is a critical component to the challenging, but fun environment necessary for kids to develop their skill as well as their passion to play. AVSC will strive to give every player an opportunity to play in every position. This will be done over time and not necessarily in one game or even over a season.
Our approach is concerned with building skill and confidence beginning with the earliest ages of development through opportunities to play on the right side of the field, left side of the field, in the center of the field, facing the opposing goal and back to the opposing goal.