Player Development

Reaching Your Full Potential

Established Guidelines

The SF Aftershocks FC provides all of its members with an opportunity to play the game while learning about it and growing as individuals. The opportunity to participate follows a player development pathway established by US Youth Soccer for competitive/select clubs. The competitive/select pathway includes: US Youth Soccer National Presidents Cup, US Youth Soccer Regional and National Leagues, the US Youth Soccer National Championship Series and the US Youth Soccer Olympic Development Program (US Youth Soccer ODP).

The SF Aftershocks FC also uses a player development model to guide the growth of its members. Central to this model is a sound development curriculum. True player development occurs when each player’s training and playing environment is of the highest quality. When this environment is consistent - with a clear and shared vision of what lies ahead for the players - development is maximized.

U.S. Soccer uses a Player Development Pyramid with three age Zones that are useful for providing the development process with basic guidelines. These age Zones give broad direction to soccer environments while seeking to positively impact the development of youth players. The SF Aftershocks FC follows these guidelines for its members.

Zone 1: U6 - U12

Zone 1 has a technical emphasis that is accomplished by focusing on player development versus match outcome. The intent is for coaches, administrators and parents of the players to spotlight the process of playing the game, rather than the score. The measurement of success in Zone 1 is the players’ improvement of ball skills, understanding of the rules of the game, playing fairly and learning general game principles.

Zone 2: U13 - U17

The emphasis in Zone 2 is on club culture and the daily training atmosphere. There are more training sessions and fewer matches so players can learn the details of tactics, team formations and game strategies. As noted by U.S. Soccer, the focus in Zone 2 needs to be on training sessions relative to match play. Matches should be fewer in number and of an appropriate level of competition. This approach maximizes exposure to important tactics and strategies.

Zone 3: U18+

Zone 3 takes the player toward collegiate and even professional player development. This development will occur in college, semi-pro and professional and youth national teams. This is the age to focus on the outcome of the match as well as the quality of performance. The long-term objective of Zone 3 in the U.S. Soccer Player Development Pyramid is to develop future U.S. National Team players.