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I would challenge parents to stay focused on positive support
“My experience growing up guides me. My father gave me nothing but encouragement and support and only offered an opinion if I asked. I knew when I had played well or not and I didn’t need him to tell me that. In fact, the most negative thing I ever heard from him was “I’ve seen you do better”. I would challenge parents to stay focused on positive support.”
Steve “Ole” Olson of SoccerSTL.net talked with Tony Glavin, Founder and Club Director of Tony Glavin SC on behalf of SLYSA. Here’s their discussion on TGSC, it’s development approach and some other topics of interest to the community.
Club Name: Tony Glavin SC
SLYSA Member (years): 20
Geographic Area served: St Charles County primarily
Age Groups served: 5 to 18 plus PDL team (U23 St Louis Lions)
Tell us about your Club
We are celebrating 20 years of focusing on player development here in St Charles County. From the very beginning, that has been our emphasis with the goal of helping the players ‘move on’ to whatever level they aspire to.
How is the Club approaching player development?
From the beginning, I approached development from the grassroots level. Learning to strike the ball properly and otherwise become comfortable with the ball. An early focus on small-sided games, from my experience in Scotland while earning my Scottish Advanced Coaching license and seeing how other European clubs were approaching it. In the beginning, we played on small fields at Cave Springs and today we continue that effort at the Tony Glavin Soccer Complex. We build from the earliest ages, where the emphasis is on fun through to the fundamental stage, the formal stage and finally the fulfillment stage. The stages are similar to the new US Soccer recommendations that suggest limiting 11v11 play for U13 and up.
How do you measure the development?
We have established criteria for each of the stages mentioned above. At the youngest ages, a focus on fun while limiting the number of rules imposed . Beyond that, we look at touches and their grasp of the fundamentals and later the integration into a team.
What role does competition have?
Kids are naturally competitive. We love 1v1 as they test their touch and mastery of the ball against their peers, and we use small-sided games that grow as they do. We often invite other clubs to join us in small-sided games. Our obligation is to the player and we want to allow them to grow into the full-sided game and pressure to win later.
Is there a Recreational or Competitive team choice within the Club?
We do offer teams both routes, depending on their goals. We want to provide a place for all players who want to play.
What role does SLYSA play in achieving your Club goals?
SLYSA has been a part of TGSC from the very beginning, 20 years ago. They provide wonderful facilities and the league structure that provides our teams a competitive outlet. There are good levels of competition for our teams in the league. We would like to see them offer more opportunities to promote the ‘purity of the game’, by offering more 6v6 and 8v8 leagues.
What other organizations is the Club involved with?
The Club competes in the Missouri State Cup and the President’s Cup. In addition we have teams that compete in Midwest Regional League (MRL) and we promote participation in the Olympic Development Program (ODP) for individual players. We also participate in the Super Y League offered by United Soccer League (USL). The team is tied to the St Louis Lions, our Professional Development League (PDL) team for College Players. Our Super Y League teams are open to any player in the region, both boys and girls, not just TGSC players.
What role do the other organizations play in achieving Club goals?
Truly elite players are only 1% of the total players. Super Y League provides a top competitive outlet for the members of those teams. There is also an ODP style program with Super Y League and we are proud to have three players attending the camp in Florida in February. The goal is always to find the right balance of competition and cost for the players.
What Tournaments will you be participating in this season?
Tony Glavin SC offers the Classic Tournament in early May and the Celtic Fall Pre-Season Kick-Off in mid-August. We focus on offering the best possible experience for the teams who join us. We are also big fans of the Schwan’s USA Cup in Blaine, MN. It features teams from around the world and always makes a big impression on our players.
How can parents best impact their child’s development?
The great thing I see within our Club is the amount of parent support we have, encouraging the kids by being involved themselves. I would caution parents however from over analysing and instead focus on supporting their child. My experience growing up guides me. My father gave me nothing but encouragement and support and only offered an opinion if I asked. I knew when I had played well or not and I didn’t need him to tell me that. In fact, the most negative thing I ever heard from him was “I’ve seen you do better”. I would challenge parent’s to stay focused on positive support.