The Hollandia Difference
Since 1994, Hollandia has continuously updated its player development methods to keep pace with conventional best practices, but our philosophy has always remained the same; Soccer is about players, and everything that we do should be based on what is best for technical, tactical and personal development of our players.
Hollandia uses a player-centric developmental philosophy in line with the Canadian Soccer Association's recommended Long Term Player Development (LTPD) model, rather than a results-based philosophy.
While we recognize that winning is important, it is not THE most important aspect of our philosophy. Our philosophy puts the development of the individual player at the forefront, until players reach the Training to Compete stage (U15-U19 Female/U16-U20 Male) at which time team development takes precedence.
We recognize the need to improve and develop the fundamental skills of all players, regardless of ability or division. Mastery of the fundamentals of the sport is the key to future enjoyment and success. We work closely with the Community Associations in our zone in an effort to create seamless development opportunities and programs for both coaches and players.
Single Year Age Groups
In the absence of the recommended single year age groups in the local leagues, Hollandia forms "junior" and "senior" teams in each age group up to the Under 15 age group. This allows players to progress and compete at a level appropriate for their mental, social, cognitive, physical and technical ability. It also allows junior teams to retain stronger players as well as giving older players a chance to develop, rather than being displaced by a young player.
Human Coaching Model
Hollandia asks our coaches to recognize they are in the people business; dealing with emotions, ambitions and many different personalities. In addition to superior people skills, Hollandia coaches are required to be certified by taking coaching courses, working with the technical personnel, and attending the skills development sessions. Our coaches are asked to hold themselves to the True Sport Principles and the Coach Code of Conduct.
The backbone of Hollandia's coaching system is based upon a series of trained skills development coaches who mentor parent coaches and provide supplemental training for our players. Age group specialist coaches understand the psyche and needs of the age group with which they work. The coach must master and be capable of easily executing different methods of coaching according to the situation.
Four Phases of Development
PHASE ONE: THE BALL IS THE FOCUS (Ages 5-7)
In the first phase of development, the coach uses interesting and playful activities designed to keep the player interested while giving them the ability to manipulate and control the ball and a love of the game. The coach is positive and charismatic and provides constant positive feedback and discovery opportunities.
PHASE TWO: GAME INTELLIGENCE IS THE FOCUS (Ages 8-11)
In the second phase of development, the ball is still the focus, but players learn the basic forms of the game by constant repetition of small sided games and soccer specific situations in game-like forms. Drills become less frequent and are used more in warm up or cool down phases of the practice. Players are encouraged to think and problem solve by being questioned rather than being told what to do. The coach is more of a teacher, guiding players through new skills and techniques, using a guided discovery and question and answer methodology. Individual tactics are developed with an emphasis on individual ball possession.
PHASE THREE: LEARNING TO WIN THE GAME (Ages 12-15)
In the third phase, the focus on pure ball skills is supplemented by a focus on the small-sided game. Learning and training is intensified with the addition of tactical game situations that emerge from the three "moments of truth" - when in possession, when out of possession, and transition from offence to defense and vice-versa. Game intelligence becomes a major focus with the coach forcing players to think, and presenting them with positional specific challenges. Attacking play is based upon solid ball possession and methodical build up. Communication is important, and players are encouraged to coach each other, and to have open discussion with coaches. Coaches must learn to let go and be open to respectful questioning from players. The coach is not a hero with all the answers, but is a skilled learning facilitator. Individual development takes precedence over team development.
PHASE 4: LEARNING TO WIN THE TOURNAMENT OR LEAGUE (Ages 16-20)
There are many challenges in the fourth stage, as players realize other interests and options, including work, preparation for university and even the realization of exactly where they fit in the soccer world. The team now becomes more important than the individual. Coaches must teach position specific functionality and players learn to perform various roles for the betterment of the team. Players are now also taught to win games by using a variety of tactics, and employing their skills in a certain predetermined fashion.
Hollandia believes in meaningful competition. This means that competition should be fair, but that the outcome should not be totally predictable. Competitions that lead to National competition at the Under 14 age group does not line up with the LTPD recommendations. We therefore discourage players of 12 and 13 years of age participating in these competitions, or National competitions.
Enhancing our community by inspiring people to enrich their lives through soccer.
Hollandia is the club of choice, building community and a membership which commits to behaviour consistent with our values.
To inspire players, parents, and coaches to be passionate about soccer and to reach their full potential through player-centric programs.
- Respect: We affirm the dignity, potential and contribution of participants, parents, partners and staff.
- Integrity: We act consistently with Hollandia's mission, being honest and transparent in what we do and say, and accept responsibility for our collective and individual actions.
- Commitment: We work together effectively to serve our members and the larger community for the betterment of the game.
- Excellence: We constantly challenge ourselves to the highest levels of learning and performance to achieve greater impact.
- Diversity and Inclusion: We value and respect all people regardless of race, creed, religion or orientation and welcome those new to our society and culture.