TOPSoccer is "The Outreach Program for Soccer"

providing soccer for kids with disabilities from age 4 on up.

"We Play Soccer, Because We Can"



TOPSoccer in the News

From Sam Snow

US Youth Soccer has delivered a new coaching course to the 55 state associations. The course is for coaching in The Outreach Program for Soccer (TOPSoccer). The TOPSoccer coaching course is a state association delivered four hour course. The course is three hours of classroom work and one hour on the field. The field session is done with the instructor and candidates, so no players are required for that portion. There are PowerPoint presentations and group breakout work during the classroom session. Our broad goal with the course is to get more folks involved in coaching TOPSoccer players and to increase the number of participants nationwide in this program.

The materials for the course have been delivered to the state associations. Those whom the Association will designate as instructors of the TOPSoccer course must first earn the certificate. This will provide continuity for the instructors. This is the standard operating procedure for all of our coaching education, you have to actually hold a certificate or license before you will be considered as a possible teacher of the course. So to get the course off the ground US Youth Soccer is conducting regional symposia for TOPSoccer administrators and coaches. The course will be delivered during the symposium. Check your region's web site for the details on the TOPSoccer symposium in your region.

Please note that the region symposium is NOT an instructors' course. Many folks may attend the symposium and earn the TOPSoccer coaching certificate but they are not automatically a state instructor of the course. Who teaches the course within each state association is to be decided by the state Technical Director. Candidates who successfully complete the course will earn a certificate issued by the state association. Then for those who have earned the certificate continuing education for TOPSoccer coaches and administrators will take place at regional symposia.

Here are the topics covered in the course.

• Why People Play Soccer

• Players' Challenges

• Qualities of Coaches

• Prevention and Care of Injuries

• Risk Management

• Communication

• Ideas for Coaching

• Characteristics of well-selected games and inclusion activities

• Organizing a training session

The course objectives include:

1. Apply existing coaching skills and experiences to meet the needs of players with disabilities

2. Establish basic communication skills

3. Appropriate safety and medical considerations

4. How do we modify activities to include all players

5. Demonstrate coaching methods

Remember that we all have disabilities, in some of us they show!

Alaska TOPSoccer Programs

Anchorage

Alaska Rush Soccer Club

Website: www.AlaskaRush.com


Anchorage Youth Soccer Club

WebSite: www.anchorageyouthsoccer.org

Fairbanks

Fairbanks Youth Soccer Association

Website: www.FYSASoccer.org
Contact: Linda Burke, Tel. 907-456-3976 or email at fysa@mosquitonet.com

Wasilla

Wasilla Youth Soccer Association

Website: www.wasillayouthsoccer.org
Contact: Lisa Catlett, 907-232-6425, wysadirector@gmail.com

TOPSOCCER HANDOUTS AND PRESENTATIONS

Volunteers Wanted

TOPSoccer needs volunteers. We are looking for volunteers to assist with the TOPSoccer Programs in your area. Please contact: Robert DeVassie, TOPSoccer@alaskayouthsoccer.org or 907-727-2189.

TOPSoccer - General Information

TOPSoccer is "The Outreach Program for Soccer". It was formed by US Youth Soccer to further their goal "To foster the physical, mental, and emotional growth and development of America's youth in soccer at all levels of age and competition".

History

TOPSoccer is for any young person with a disability. The program in Alaska was begun in 2002 by Linda Kelly, with one location. We now have programs across the state offering a soccer experience to children with disabilities. The Alaska Department of Education indicates that more than 55,000 children in grades K-8 are determined as having disabilities. Our program touches just a few of these individuals, and we hope it continues to grow and reach many more.

What's Involved?

TOPSoccer is overseen through Alaska Youth Soccer Association (AYSA), and hosted by local soccer clubs and organizations. Ideally, a club will inquire about hosting a TOPSoccer program in their local area. We ask them to identify interested volunteers as coaches, Coach Assistants "Buddies", locate a facility, and determine dates they wish to run the program. AYSA will help provide the knowledge to set up a successful program. Most programs run 8 week seasons once or twice each year. The programs are typically held in school gymnasiums or indoor soccer centers as they offer more secure sites that are not be affected by weather. Outdoor sessions are perfectly acceptable.

TOPSoccer Buddies are typically high school age students who assist the coach. If the disabilities of the participants are significant, a buddy may be needed for each participant. Usually 2-5 buddies are sufficient for a program. The "Buddies" receive Community Service credits toward graduation, and can be nominated for AYSA recognition as "TOPSoccer Buddy of the Year". US Youth Soccer has announced a program for selection of the TOPSoccer Buddy of the year who will be recognized at the national US Youth Soccer Workshop and Awards Dinner.

Alaska Youth Soccer provides oversight and support for the programs and information is available for coaches.

Costs

This program varies in cost to players by the participating areas that host TOPSoccer programs. TOPSoccer players are covered by Alaska Youth Soccer insurance. Donations and Sponsors are accepted, which are generally used to purchase medals for the players and prizes at the end of the season. Facilities are usually donated, but reasonable rents and equipment will be paid by the hosting area.

Personal Satisfaction

Anyone who has the opportunity to work with these special needs children will receive much more than they will ever be able to give. These kids really appreciate the opportunity for physical and social activity, and are energetic in expressing their feelings. They are patient, tender, and like to receive attention. They have fun participating in the TOPSoccer program, and the smiles on their faces will warm any heart. It is great fun to see them improve their motor skills throughout each season. You will have fun participating as well, guaranteed.

Information

To gain information on starting or participating in a TOPSoccer program, visit the Region IV - TOPSoccer page, then click on the News & Events tab, or contact:
the Alaska Youth Soccer TOPSoccer Chair Robert DeVassie at
Phone: 907-727-2189 or e-mail at TOPSoccer@alaskayouthsoccer.org.

TOPSoccer provides children the opportunity to enjoy soccer and the thrill of playing a team sport.

We look forward to helping start a TOPSoccer program for the children with disabilities in your community. These are children that cannot participate and play with the majority of the kids, or may be shunned because they cannot keep up. This is a special program for special kids who really appreciate any effort to help them have fun. Join us as one of Alaska's TOPSoccer soccer clubs.

TOPSoccer Parent's Guide

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