The North Shore Soccer Club travel soccer program strives to teach the fundamental game of soccer to the youth of our community while fostering the disciplines of good sportsmanship, fair play, and a healthy life through active participation. Player separation by skill level is completed at the discretion of the Director of Coaching. Teams are then established by age appropriate (not grade level) & gender grouping. The travel program is dedicated to a higher level of commitment and play; thus, upon selection to a travel team, players commit to one full year of play broken down into two formal seasons (fall & spring) and encouraged to participate in winter play via an appropriate league. A season (either fall or spring) will consist of two training sessions per week plus a league game on either Saturday or Sunday. Requests to play with friends should be made through play at the intramural level and will not be considered at the travel level. While all efforts are made for the best experience possible for each player, the intended goal of a higher level of play becomes the leading factor in team management.
In short, the North Shore Soccer Club travel program is for the player who wants to take his or her game to the next level in a supportive, caring environment, with the benefit of experienced coaching.
What does the season entail?
There are 2 seasons (Fall & Spring) which comprise the annual year (September to June) for travel soccer. Accepting a roster spot is an annual commitment. While we offer and encourage winter play as well, all winter programs are optional. The majority of players in the travel program want to play all year round. Choosing to play only one season will take a spot from a player who is committed all year and hinder the development of an entire team of players. Full payment on the fall and spring season must be made by November. We offer family discounts if you have multiple children in the program.
The U7 and U8 age groups make up our Pre-Travel Program. No cuts are made at these age groups as we give children time to develop. This time also allows coaching staffs time to analyze all the kids over 1 to 2 years. The only exception to exclusion from the travel program at that age is poor behavior. Children who are unable to control inappropriate behavior will not be eligible for travel play.
The U7s train twice a week in the fall and once a week in the spring. The future U7s will be participating in a new local town league created by Gold Coast F.C. The U8s train twice a week both in the fall and spring. U8s either participate in the Just Say Soccer (JSS) League or the Long Island Junior Soccer League (LIJSL). All U7 and U8 games are on the weekends and will vary in terms of days. The games are 6 vs 6, so a team of 9 to 10 players is ideal.
U9 is the official start of travel. For U9 & U10, players move to a larger field & play 8 vs 8 (50 minute games). Teams usually consist of 12 -13 players. At these age groups cuts may be made and distinction between ability levels is used to determine team composition. We look to make 2 teams per age group (an A & B team) if possible. The majority of the teams are placed in LISJL, which plays Saturday games. The teams practice twice a week throughout both seasons.
At U11, teams play 9 vs 9 (60 minute games), and at U12, teams move to the full size field where they play 11 vs 11 (60 minute games). All of these age groups from U9 to U12 practice twice a week and have Saturday games in LIJSL. The only exception is if a team plays in the New York Club Soccer League (NYCSL), which has Saturday or Sunday games. But for the most part we try to keep all of our teams in LIJSL.
U13 and Up
At U13 (70 minute games) and above (up to 90 minute games), the cost of the program is reduced due to the fact that a majority of players now in 7th grade will be playing Middle School & High School Sports (5 days a week). The issue of course is the lack of professional training & coaching they have received over the past few years, but we can’t risk burning these kids out. The plan is they just play on the weekends in LIJSL or NYCSL for the fall. Optional practices at a fee will be offered to those who want it for the fall. For the spring, the teams go back to training twice a week and playing one weekend game.
What’s the environment of the club like?
The club’s rich history began with a passionate men’s program. Young sons playing with their father’s led to successful youth players moving on to the collegiate level. Parents led the coaching of youth soccer in our area for many years with a limited player pool compared to other towns and in many cases an inconsistent philosophy. In a growing competitive youth sports environment, this town club moved in a direction of offering consistent and professional training/coaching to the early age groups right through potentially U19 several years ago. The results are reflected in the quality of play in our growing younger teams.
The teams are all under the supervision of the Director of Coaching, Michael Cipriano, and his staff. Teams are professionally coached and trained starting right at U7. Parents may volunteer to help on sidelines or do administrative duties but ultimately team training, set up, selection, and coaching is done by the trainers. Parents shall never dictate where a kid plays or what team that player is on. All selection is based off of ability and attitude. We also try to keep the age groups together, meaning same practice times. We try to make the teams interact to give that club like feel. There are no renegade teams.
Are teams set for years to come?
No. A child chosen to play on a 2nd/ B team one year may develop, improve, and could make the 1st/A team at some point. And vice versa. Youth development varies by child and desire. The issue remains with players moving down to a 2nd team and the reaction after the fact. It’s never easy to deal with, but as a Travel Soccer Club, it comes with the territory. It’s never personal and the assessment on a child is as honest and current as you can get. We are always assessing the kids and their development.
It seems like a commitment and way too costly…
Compared to other clubs’ fees, NSSC’s annual cost is reasonable & competitive to what is offered. You may pay as much as $1,500 to play annually at certain travel programs across Long Island.
Each sport in youth athletics has now begun to encourage their athletes to compete in that sport all year. Travel soccer is no different; the majority of our players want to play all year round. While it is out intent to let your child fall in love with this great sport, we recognize they may have other sports interests as well. Only family decisions and commitment can manage your athlete’s development.
We get that the kids are busy but the reason you are signing up your child for travel soccer is your child has an interest in the sport and wants to get better. You should not be signing up your child for any other reasons.
What do you have to offer for the more talented, committed child?
Gold Coast F.C. offers a year round tournament team that allows the more talented and committed children to play at a higher level, all the while keeping that child at North Shore Soccer Club. Gold Coast starts at the U8 level. Playing with Gold Coast F.C. allows you to play with North Shore Soccer Club. Children must try out to enter this program. www.goldcoastfc.org
In closing, it’s a great club with a great philosophy, staff, and environment. It’s the perfect setting for your child to develop and enjoy the most popular sport in the world.