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North Canton Soccer Club

North Canton Soccer Club

Development First Club

We say “development first club” a lot in our communications and on our website.  It is important we clarify what we mean by that phrase.  In our opinion, a development-first club is one that focused on players’ individual skills over the results of the team.  Our goal for all players is to leave our club after 8th grade and go on to successful high school and college careers if they so choose.  We believe in order to support their ongoing success to have a very solid foundation of individual skills.  A favorite quote we use with the players is: “The difference between a great player and a good player is that a great player does the ordinary exceptionally.” Meaning you rarely see a professional player miss a trap or poorly execute a 10-yard pass.  In order to be great, your individual basic skills need to be of high quality.

Being focused on individual skill over team results means our practice meets the team where they are in their skill development journey.  Our focus practices are a mix of fundamental skills and basic team tactics. Coaches focus on decision-making and playing with a purpose - meaning players are able to assess a situation, make a decision and execute.  In some cases, we will sacrifice execution for a correct, timely decision. Players are encouraged to try things in practice that might result in the team losing a game.  A good example of this is working on playing the ball with limited touches and being ok with playing backward to a teammate.  A player in a game could make the correct decision to play a backward pass but execute it poorly resulting in an opponent’s goal.  This decision would be applauded by the coach.  The concept being worked on was playing quickly and making good decisions.  The decision was correct - the execution was off.  

We don’t “game plan” for opponents or games to try and win.  All players receive quality playing time in each game.  Games are used as a showcase for what players have learned within the practice.  The Club’s goal is to place teams in divisions where they go .500 to ensure they are exposed to teams that challenge them and improve their decision-making. We don’t always get it correct and we err on the side of more challenging. Sometimes the league will not let us have more teams once we have final registrations. Therefore we have teams that struggle during league play.  We instruct coaches and players to focus on the development process and the improvement being made throughout the season.  As a club, we will fix the division issue during the next opportunity. 

Development first club is our ideal throughout league play and the season.  We want to ensure all players have a solid soccer foundation as they progress through their development.  Our goal is for players to start in the Vikings Academy, and graduate to travel once they are U9/10 age which allows the Academy to provide a consistent foundation for our travel program to build upon. We understand some players strive and desire more competitiveness and we welcome players moving to premier clubs.  We have programs for players who play both premier and with our club to ensure they still get the opportunity to be involved in their community.  Our mission is to allow as many players as possible to experience and be successful in their soccer careers. 


North Canton Soccer Club
PO Box 242 
Greentown, Ohio 44630

Email: [email protected]

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