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SLYSA helps us by offering a competitive league locally
“SLYSA helps us by offering a competitive league locally, both for our Recreational and Competitive teams. Teams can find games in multiple locations around St Louis which is very helpful, especially for the Recreational teams that now don’t have to go to St Charles for all of their games.”
Steve “Ole” Olson of SoccerSTL.net talked with Chris Fuchs, Club Director of WC St Louis on behalf of SLYSA. Here’s their discussion on the Club, it’s development approach and some other topics of interest to the community.
Club Name: WC St Louis (Founded 1996)
SLYSA Member: 12 years
Geographic Area served: Greater St Louis
Age Groups served: U7 to U18
Tell me about your Club
WC STL is a family friendly club that offers a lot of opportunity for player development across a wide range of players.
How is the Club approaching player development?
The emphasis from the beginning has been on ensuring that the players have fun and enjoy the game. Training is focused on footskills and cone work across all of the age groups along with smallsided games. We emphasize the Coerver Method, focusing on ball mastery. For the older players, in particular the girls, we’ve benefitted from our friendship with Anson Dorrance and the Camps he runs. We’ve taken multiple teams for eight years now and I consider him a mentor and a friend. We have two teams attending the North Carolina Girls Soccer Team Camp program this Summer.
How do you measure the development?
Development is measured in a number of ways. One method we’ve enjoyed within the Club is called “Competitive Cauldron”, held on Mondays when players compete in a number of exercises that can be measured and tracked. For example, a 1v1 competition that requires them to apply their ball mastery skills. There is also a “Skills Ladder” that allows similarly ranked players to test their skills against each other and move up the ladder within the Club.
Discuss goal-setting within the Club?
Goalsetting is done oneonone with the players on a regular basis, tied to their results within the “Competitive Cauldron”. It happens on a consistent basis throughout the season and allows the player to concentrate on the positive results they are achieving and grow in that way.
What role does competition have?
It’s a very important part of the game and a players development. The kids are naturally competitive and we offer an outlet with the programs outlined above. That helps keep it fun and positively focused.
Is there a Recreational or Competitive team choice within the Club?
There is. We have a number of teams that may only play one season (Fall or Spring) because the players are participating in other school or club sports the other season. We also have a number of Competitive teams, especially in the High School age groups. A nice number of WC STL players went on to represent the Club at the MAC AllStar game last year for example.
What role does SLYSA play in achieving your Club goals?
SLYSA helps us by offering a competitive league locally, both for our Recreational and Competitive teams. Teams can find games in multiple locations around St Louis which is very helpful, especially for the Recreational teams that now don’t have to go to St Charles for all of their games. For the Competitive teams, there are plenty of good challenges here which helps when they do travel to Showcase events.
What other organizations is the Club involved with?
We regularly compete both in the Missouri State Cup and the Presidents Cup. In addition we will have teams that compete in the Midwest Regional League (MRL). Players are also encouraged to pursue Olympic Development Program (ODP) when they are looking for additional challenges.
What Tournaments will you be participating in this season?
WC St Louis hosts a pair of tournaments that draw well and help support our nonprofit organization. Our Boys Invitational is held the first weekend of October for boys U8U14 teams. The Girls Invitational is held the 3rd week of September and includes U8U18 teams. We are also fans of the GSI Cup in Kansas City in (month?) as well as the SEC Soccer Showcase in Memphis in February.
What is the biggest change you’ve seen in the St Louis Club environment?
The Club environment has become a business which changes the decisions that are made related to the game and the players. That has also increased the cost of participation.
How can parents best impact their child’s development?
I’d like to see parents allow the Coach to coach. Cheer their child’s effort and success on the pitch rather than yelling instruction which could well contradict what their Coach has asked them to do. That can also include the ‘postgame ride home’ when a kid doesn’t want to hear a litany of things that could be done differently.