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Carolina Soccer Center of Excellence


PROJECTED START: Late spring / early summer, 2021

Small group or "pod" training is for 9 - 16 year-olds from any organization. As this is a training program, with no teams being created, any
player or any group of players from any club can participate in this program.

There are no try-outs for this program, however, the Apex program is for advanced players only: Premier, Region, and National levels.
(As 9 - 10 year olds to do play at these levels, to qualify for this program 9-10 year-old Academy players need to be playing at least one
year up.)

Small group training is the most effective, efficient, productive way to train, which is why we gave it the name "Apex". It is the best. Fewer players
means the coach is able to dedicate more time per player than opposed to when training a whole team. At the same time; group training, as opposed
individual training, offers an infinitely greater amount of choices regarding session design options.

Why 5 - 10 Players?

We think that five players is the smallest number of players permissible to fulfill all necessary components of a "real game", as explained below:

A. Regarding Possession Scenarios
When a player has possession of the ball, 4 situations can occur: (i) The player passes or dribbles. This only needs ONE player. (ii) The player
passes the ball and the immediately receives the ball back. This needs TWO players. (iii) The player passes the ball and the recipient then
passes the ball to a different player. This requires THREE players.

B. Regarding Defensive Scenarios
A player is either the first defender (ONE player), the supporting ("cover") defender (TWO players), or a supplemental ("balancing") defender
(THREE players).

C. Regarding "Layers"
There are three basic layers of play: defensive, midfield, forward. To successfully cover all of these areas, a minimum of THREE players is

D. Regarding Distances
There are three basic distance-options to play the ball: short, medium, and long. To successfully cover all of these options, a minimum of
FOUR players are needed: a short option, a medium option, a long option..... and the player playing the ball.

E. Regarding Dimensions
To successfully recreate a realistic game-like scenario, a minimum of FIVE players are needed to provide the necessary dimensions: height, width,
depth, and a pivot.

Taking all the above considerations into account: it takes a minimum of FIVE players to successfully create and train any game-like situation with
a small group. A maximum of ten players means that one could create equal "teams" and thus enable fully-opposed training.

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Carolina Soccer Center of Excellence


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