As the landscape in Calgary’s Soccer community continues to change, CMSA is prepared to be a leader in providing equal and equitable opportunities for all players to pursue the game of soccer to whatever their desired level. Given that language precedes culture, CMSA wants to ensure a clear direction is put in place regarding the labels of “Development” and “Recreation”. These definitions will align with Canada Soccer's philosophy and principles around the Skill Centres and Designated Player Programs to ensure all players have access to quality programming.
Our traditional model of tiering young players early in their athletic endeavors is flawed in the following ways:
- It does not accurately predict potential or future performance;
- It can often turn away players who might have high potential but who are simply inexperienced at that moment relative to their peer group;
- Early selection prior to physical maturation implies early exclusion of the majority and can discourage players who might otherwise have become as good or better a little later if given the chance to develop;
- The characteristics that define “talented” athletes in early age are not the characteristics that define elite athletes later in their career.
Which Program is best for your child?
This short VIDEO defines what the developmental and recreational streams look like to help guide your family to selecting a program that meets the needs of your child.
This traditional model only serves to identify players who are advanced in relation to their peers; at that specific moment in time, rather than identify players who have potential to develop into a proficient player, if given the opportunity. A selection-based approach [or tiered approach] alienates a significant percentage of our player base and pushes kids away from the game (Canada Soccer Skill Centre Program Manual p. 3).
The labels of “Development” and “Recreation” are not to be used to differentiate between a player's current ability or future potential. These labels are used to provide clarity to players and families when registering for soccer. Players interested in a “developmental” stream would typically be those more interested in soccer, more likely to be a full-time soccer player (those that register in recurring Outdoor and Indoor Seasons continually) or looking for increased amounts of play and training participation within their club environment. Players interested in a “recreational” stream would typically be those that have many other interests or commitments outside of soccer, more likely to be a part-time soccer player (those that register sporadically) or looking for decreased amounts of play and training participation within their club environment to allow for flexibility within their life schedule.
CMSA is advocating to all clubs that they look to balance their Development and Recreation rosters in playing ability and utilize social relationships (friendships) as a key determinate for forming teams. This will allow for all players to have different challenges and developmental experiences to aid in the retention and enjoyment of the majority of players.
The key difference that clubs should be aware of in the developmental and recreation streams for the Outdoor 2022 season is the season length and therefore commitment level from the family and player involved in either stream.