Newton, Ma. : The Valeo FC girls program is an elite developmental soccer club headquartered in Newton, Ma. The girls program at Valeo FC is considered a smaller program in comparison to the local club soccer conglomerates. The girls program at Valeo FC does not facilitate hundreds of teams nor does it oversee thousands of youth players. In fact, the Valeo FC girls program currently manages 15 female teams and develops an average of 250 female players in a given year.
When it comes to looking at the sheer number of female participants in the club, the Valeo girls program is a far cry from being the largest organization in the world of club soccer. At Valeo FC, it is by design.
Focusing on the “Right Numbers”
Rather than create as many teams as possible or bring in as many players as possible, Valeo FC focuses its efforts on more detailed numbers. The Valeo FC girls program was founded on the philosophy of maximizing individual player development by providing an environment of self-confidence, empowerment, discipline, understanding and work ethic. The philosophy and environment within the Valeo FC girls program is structured with a year-round training curriculum for each age group as well as providing a staff of experience, committed and educated coaches.
The “right numbers” that the Valeo girls program focuses on are: What is the percentage of players who are developing at the expected development rate from both the cognitive and physical aspects of each age group? What is the retention rate of players from a developmental rate from our youngest age groups through our oldest age groups? What is the percentage of players being recognized by outside organizations such as the Women’s National Team Training Center, the Olympic Development Program and/or other elite development organizations? What is the percentage of players being recruited to play at the collegiate level through our program?
Maximizing Individual Player Development
The girls program at Valeo FC believes the correlation between player development and participant management allows Valeo to provide further opportunities for our players and maximize their individual development. The girls program is able to provide a higher coach to player ratio that allows more focused training sessions on individual development. Valeo is also able to offer 3-4 training sessions per week for each player in the program within a full year training curriculum for all club players.
“We limit our “numbers” within our girls program because it allows us to fulfill our mission for the development of each individual player in a more focused atmosphere. Such direction gives our program the opportunity to have a higher coach to player ratio, which creates a more player focused training session. Subsequently, the competitive level amongst our players and teams enhances significantly within our training sessions. In hindsight, the development and competitiveness created amongst each of the players allows our female players to propel and progress through our developmental curriculum. The end result illustrates elite player development from both the cognitive and physical aspects of the game.” – Brian Leighton, Girls Director
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