Our Philosophy

The RYSA Coaching Philosphy is based on total player development. We believe total player development should consist of educated coaches, a player-centered approach, stages of development, playing environment, style of play and understanding winning and losing.

Coaches: Coaching Philosophy

The philosophy of the Rochester Youth Soccer Association is based on total player development. Neil Cassidy, RYSA Director of Coaching, and Chris Belcher, RYSA Director of Player Development, believe total player development should consist of the following:

  • Educated Coaches
  • Player Centered Approach
  • Stages of Development
  • Playing Environment
  • Style of Play
  • Winning and Losing
Educated Coaches

Educated coaches assist in total player development. The table below displays the necessary education needed to coach the different programs within RYSA.

Age Appropriate Curriculum
Kindergarten Kicks RYSA High School Players In-house training Online manual developed specifically for Kindergarten Kicks
Recreation Parent Volunteers In-house training

Y module
Online manuals developed specifically for RYSA REC
Competitive Parent Volunteers

Professional Coaches
Minimum USSF ‘E’

Online manuals developed specifically for RYSA competitive Program

“Ultimately, RYSA coaches’ long term goal should be to prepare the player to successfully recognize and solve the challenges of the game on his or her own. “

Player-Centered Approach

The player is at the forefront of everything RYSA does. We must strive to prepare them for soccer and life in all that we do. RYSA has taken steps to help make this a reality. We have provided information from professional leaders in their areas, via the website that covers the four modern components of the game:

  • Technical – Training sessions and resources
  • Tactical – Training sessions and resources
  • Physical – Nutrition information for the player
  • Psychology – Sport Psychology for players, parents and coaches
Stages of Development

As coaches responsible for the development of players, we must keep in mind that the majority of our players are children. We must treat them as so and not as small adults. Therefore, training sessions need to be developmentally appropriate. More information on age-appropriate activities can be found in the RYSA manuals and also throughout the RYSA website.

Playing Environment

As coaches, we must set up the appropriate playing environment for players to learn and be successful.

“Set up situations where the players can learn by playing the game. The game is the best teacher for players” (US Soccer Best Practices)

“….. we need coaches who can develop environments in which players are encouraged to be creative and expressive without the fear of failure” (The FA – The Future Game)

How can you tell if the activity is appropriate? Ask yourself the following:

  • Does it look like the game?
  • Are there aspects of the game involved in the session? For example, attacking, defending and possession.
Style of Play

Encourage RYSA players to play a possession-based style. This approach encourages all players on the field to be technically proficient with the left and right foot.

“We would also like to encourage and develop vision, awareness and sound decision making based on what the game is presenting them at any particular moment” (Chris Belcher – RYSA Director of Player Development)

Winning and Losing

We believe that winning and losing do not paint the correct picture that relates to the development of players. How the players perform and the style of play is more important than the win-loss record. Winning at all costs can be a one-dimensional approach. This approach fails to develop effective team play; for example, a player who can kick the ball really far (defender) plays the ball up to the fastest player (forward), and they score lots of goals, thus winning.

In terms of overall player development, players have to understand how to win and lose with dignity. This is one of the life lessons we strive to incorporate.

We want the above philosophy to be known as “The RYSA Way”. The RYSA Way follows the major development models of the world governing bodies of soccer.

“If we all work together using the RYSA way, we can create a positive learning environment that will enhance the growth of our players and coaches.” (Neil Cassidy – RYSA Director of Coaching)