Whitehorse United FC Player Development Process

The concept of player development is essential to the long-term growth and improvement of the player. Player development demands that “the player is central” to all decisions made regarding training and competition. The coach who believes in player development will ensure that the following objectives are met:


  • Games and activities are used that players want to participate in because they are enjoyable.
  • Every player has a ball for training.
  • Games and activities are designed to maximize the number of touches on the ball by every player.
  • Training sessions are designed to improve a player’s technical abilities and their tactical application.
  • Competition is an element that can be added to a practice in varying degrees that will help to motivate and challenge the player.
  • The training environment is safe and dimensionally age appropriate.
  • The equipment is safe and age appropriate.
  • The training or game environment matches the physical, mental, technical and tactical proficiencies of the player which will allow them to develop and succeed.
  • The training session demands, expectations and desired outcomes are realistic and attainable.
  • The coach should challenge the players thought process or decision-making skills through Q&A which will help to develop their soccer IQ.
  • The coach should finish the practice or game with a debrief to see whether the information provided was heard, understood and applied.
  • The coach should carry out consistent player evaluations and provide regular and specific feedback to the player.
  • The players need to participate in games to learn how to play on and as a team.
  • Educating players about respect will help to develop an appreciation for the game, teammates, opponents, referees and coaches.
Grassroots Program – Timbits (Coed U4, U5)

Whitehorse United FC’s grassroots program is called Timbits. It is an excellent platform to introduce our youngest players to the game of soccer. The grassroots phase of our developmental model will focus on 5 key elements while playing small sided games.

  • Running with the ball
  • Changing direction
  • Visual awareness
  • Decision making
  • Playing as a team

Learning while playing is a great way to create a love and passion for the game. It also helps to build social bonds, teamworking skills, physical literacy and self confidence. The ball will be the vector to help develop each players gross motor skills and co-ordination. As a result of developing these concepts the player will have a solid foundation to move on to more technical elements of the game. The program will utilize some of club’s top coaches and technical trainers as well as some coaches in training (youth) and volunteers. This will allow the program to introduce some fundamental technical skills like passing, receiving and dribbling from time to time. Although this is not the focus of the program it will help to prepare the player for the next stage of their soccer journey. This methodology will help to create a fun and exciting learning experience for our players of the future.

Recreational Program

Indoor: (Coed U6, U8) + Boys & Girls (U10, U12, U14/U16)

Outdoor: (Coed U6, U7, U8) + Boys & Girls (U10, U12, U14/U16)

Whitehorse United FC’s recreational program is the foundational building block that supports the club’s values and future sustainability. It is an environment that enables the youth of Whitehorse to express themselves through the game of soccer. It is an opportunity for participants to have FUN and play a game with no pressure, demands or expectations. By participating in the recreational program, the player regardless of ability or knowledge of the game is allowed to learn the game through PLAY. The primary focus is to allow the game to flow with limited stoppages, parameters or restrictions. Learning through playing the game helps to create a further interest in the game of soccer as well as creating a level of creativity and teamwork. The games will be as continuous as possible to maximize both game time and touches on the ball. Game play will be the focused activity of the recreational program but there will be a 10-15 minute warm-up or coaching element at the beginning of each session. To expose players to a more competitive environment the program will offer a round robin style tournament for all teams at the end of each season. The program is offered 1-2 nights per week and each team will have an assigned volunteer coach and assistant if available. The games will be managed by a trained youth referee. The recreational program will be overseen by the League’s Coordinator/Head Coach. The recreational Head Coach has the ability to reorganize teams at any time based on team roster numbers and the technical abilities of players to keep everything as fair as possible.  

** Prices currently $125 (u6) and $175 everyone else (indoor)

Pre-Competitive Program – (Coed U9-U11)

Whitehorse United FC’s pre-competitive program objective is to educate young soccer players on proper technique, while building a strong foundation of soccer skills. This program is in large part about the “How” and the “Why”. These two concepts will help bridge the gap between playing recreational soccer and playing competitive soccer. They will also help to build a soccer “IQ” which is another very important part of being able to play the game at a more competitive and demanding level. It will be a fun atmosphere that will focus on the individual for the most part through the execution of technical footwork exercises as well as some small group technical/tactical activities and soccer-related games. These sessions are more demanding than the recreational play for fun environment and are skill development oriented. The environment will consist of one training group and will be run by the club Head Coach or another Tier 1 coach. Depending on registration numbers the group may also be assisted by one or more club coaches.

*prices currently $200 (indoor)

Competitive Development (Tier 2) – (Boys U13, U15, U17) (Girls U13, U15, U17)

Whitehorse United FC’s Competitive Tier 2 program is offered for both girls and boys of ages U13 to U17. This environment enables a player to continue their soccer development pathway with a little more commitment, expectation and competition when compared to the recreational program. A player in this program can expect to be a part of a structured training environment with a head coach leading the session. The emphasis will be on developing a player’s ability to execute and apply the basic technical and tactical skills in a game like situation. The programs objective is to build upon the foundations of the game like first touch, dribbling, passing, shooting, turning and combinations of footwork to enable players to become comfortable and successful within a competitive training or game environment. Players within this program will be given the time and freedom to learn through repetition without the high pressures and demands associated with a Tier 1 environment. Players within this program can move into the Tier 1 program after an assessment of abilities and fit has been carried out. Players within this program will also learn the tactics of the game and how they apply to team play. The Tier 2 program will train 1-2 times a week and depending on enrollment numbers will have a team and will play 1-2 out of Territory tournaments a year*. The Tier 2 environment allows a player to develop at their own pace, gain tournament experience while having the ability to move into the Tier 1 system if their abilities and commitment levels meet the requirements necessary. *This tiered structure can invite players from Tier 1 to play Tier 2 games if a player is available and there is no conflict

Competitive Development (Tier 1) – (Boys U13, U15, U17) (Girls U13, U15, U17)

Whitehorse United FC’s Competitive Tier 1 program is offered for both girls and boys of ages U13 to U17. This opportunity will provide players that are assessed to be at the top of their age group the chance to train in an environment where the coach will push the limits of each player’s technical and tactical competencies. The players around them will also be of the same abilities which will help the individual and team development process. This program is not for everyone because it requires a greater level of commitment from the coach, player and parent. It is challenging, demanding and performance based. This program utilizes the technical foundations of the game in a high pressured environment. The coach will start to introduce and build on concepts like “field awareness” and principles of defending, attacking and tactical shape for team play. The coach will monitor how each player performs to make sure the environment remains suitable for the player to develop*. Playing games or participating in tournaments is a large component of this program and is a great gauge to determine individual and team progress. The Tier 1 team should be looking to challenge the players in a realistic environment where the focus is on achieving the best result possible. The players who are selected for this team will play a part during these games however playing time will vary depending on a player’s performance. This program does not guarantee equal playing time but will support the “Player Development Process”. The Tier 1 program depending on numbers will have a team and will look to train 2-3 times per week and will look to participate in 2-3 tournaments outside the Territory a year**. The focus of the program is to be as fluid as possible allowing players to move freely within the Tiered programming structure based on ability, fit and commitment. The player and coach is held to high standards and is expected to act, train and prepare accordingly. *If the coach of the Tier 1 team feels that a player is not suited to the program the Club Head Coach and the Club Technical Co-ordinator will come together to make a further assessment and decision about moving the player to Tier 2.
**If numbers do not allow for travel Tier 2 players may be asked to join the Tier 1 team for travel and visa versa.

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Mission statement could go here.

1 Team player
To accomplish things, you have to do it together

2 Responsibility
Take good care of things as if they were your own

3 Respect
Respect one another

4 Integration
Involve others in your activities

5 Initiative
Dare to try something new

6 Coaching
Always help each other within a team

7 Personality
Be yourself 

8 Social Involvement
This is crucial in sports, and even more so in life in general

The basics

10 Tactics
Know what to do

11 Development
Sports develop body and soul

12 Learn
Try to learn something new every day

13 Play Together
An essential part of the game

14 Creativity
The beauty of sport