Community Programs

From the grassroots program to our developmental programs, EMSA West follows the Canada Soccer and FIFA-endorsed Preferred Training Model for our athletes. This model uses the principles of Long Term Player Development. This plan is designed to give players an optimal soccer experience at every stage by putting their needs front and centre.


Canada Soccer Pathway – LTPD Community Guide

When children learn the right skills at the right time – supported by a caring soccer community of parents, coaches, officials, and volunteers – they become more confident in their abilities and have a lot more fun. This means more of them will grow into healthy, active adults with a lifelong love of the game.


Our grassroots program is focused on building a foundation of the love of the game. Each training session is focused on general movement, coordination, soccer technique, and small-side games.
Canada Soccer Coach Tool Kit – Stage one


For this age group, our focus will be building a foundation of physical literacy and further developing their love of the game. Each training session is focused on soccer technique, trainability, speed, flexibility, and small-side games.

This is also the age group that players may choose to try out for the more competitive club stream which also focuses on development.

More emphasis in the training session will be on small-sided games.

Game Format:

  • Outdoor – 7 v 7, 60 minutes (20 minutes skills and drills and two x 20 minute halves of a soccer game)
  • Indoor – 7 v 7, 55 minutes (10 minutes skills and drills and two halves of a soccer game)

Canada Soccer Coach Tool Kit – Stage Two


This developmental program is balanced so that players of all ability and skill levels are challenged and developed. Focus will be on tactical and environmental awareness, encouraging decision-making, and self-critical game play.

This is also the age group that players may choose to try out for the more competitive club stream, which also focuses on development.

Game Format:

  • Outdoor – 8 v 8, 70 minutes (2 x 35 minute halves)
  • Indoor – 7 v 7, 55 minutes


This is for all players who want either recreational or competitive level. Players can be newcomers to the sport just taking an interest now or long time players.

Players at this age group have many options to remain physically active in sport whether it be in school leagues, camps, recreational leagues and/or competitive leagues. At this age group, we want to allow for flexibility for an athlete to participate in all activities while focusing on refining their skills. These age groups will further learn about disciplined game warm-ups, cool-downs, nutrition, strength, stability, sportsmanship, agility, and speed.

Game Format:

  • Outdoor U13 – 80 minute games (2 x 40 minute halves)
  • Outdoor U15 to U19 – 90 minute game (2 x 45 minute halves)
  • Indoor U13 to U19 –  7 v 7, 55 minute game

Keeping Kids Active

As they get older, it can be a challenge for kids to get enough daily activity. This can be due to:

  • increasing demands at school
  • a feeling among some kids that they aren’t good at sports
  • a lack of active role models
  • busy working families

In spite of these barriers, parents can teach a love of physical activity and help their kids fit it into their daily lives. Doing so can set healthy patterns that will last into adulthood. Organized sports are a great way to keep kids interested, actively engaged, and teach them teamwork.

Benefits of Being Active

When kids are active, their bodies can do the things they want and need them to do. Why? Because regular exercise provides these benefits:

  • strong muscles and bones
  • healthy weight
  • decreased risk of developing type 2 diabetes
  • better sleep
  • a better outlook on life

Physically active kids are also more likely to be motivated, focused, and successful in school; mastering physical skills builds confidence at every age.

Age-Appropriate Activities

Age-Based Advice:

Preschoolers: Preschoolers can’t understand complex rules and often lack the attention span, skills, and coordination needed to play sports. Instead of playing on a team, they can work on fundamental skills. Soccer contributes to the well-being of children by engaging them in the sport while teaching them basic movements. At this introductory level, the objective is to get moving and keep active. Our U4 & U5 programs start with 30 minutes of Skills & Drills, focusing on fundamental movement skills, followed by a 30 minute mini-game.

Early school-age: Our U7 FUNdamentals program focuses on developing the ABC’s of movement: agility, balance, and co-ordination, as well as speed, running, jumping, twisting, kicking, throwing and catching.

Small children are egocentric – playing with the ball is the most important objective. However, they now need to be introduced to cooperation between players. They gain an understanding of the game through playing situations. which helps to build game intelligence and decision making.

No standings – jamboree format – EMPHASIS IS ON FUN!

Pre-teens: Pre-teens are starting to discover their likes and interests. They begin to enjoy the fun of the game and are excited to go play as they grow, mature, and develop better muscle/body control.

Players move from self-centered to self-critical, and they have a high stimulation level during basic skills training. For this age group, it is an optimal window for trainability of speed, flexibility and skills.

Our U9 & U11 programs work to build a greater repertoire of soccer related movements; technical skills are developed in training and within the context of basic soccer games. We work to develop tactical environmental awareness and encouraging decision making, simple combinations, marking, and running into space.

Teens: Teens have many choices when it comes to being active from school sports to after-school interests. It’s a good idea to have an exercise plan since it often has to be sandwiched between school and other commitments.

Do what you can to make it easy for your teen to exercise by providing transportation and the necessary gear or equipment (including proper workout/exercise clothes). In some cases, the right clothes and shoes might help a shy teen feel comfortable biking or going to the gym.

As children mature we work to focus on flexibility, disciplined warm-up and cool-down, agility, aerobic and anaerobic endurance, strength, core strength and stability, balance, nutrition and proper diet (pre-game, post-game, tournaments), prevention and care of injuries, and the importance of rest/recovery. Personalized programs are needed in order to respect the growth spurt. We are able to introduce more advanced techniques to each individual’s skill level; technical acquisition in a more complex environment and position-specific skills.

Kids Fitness Personalities – CLICK HERE