Player Development


Player development is the top priority of SVFC. Unlike most clubs, we follow a European approach to player development that focuses on five pillars: Technical, Tactical, Physical, Mental and Social. These pillars are at the core of our age-appropriate curriculum and the coaching education that our coaches instill in all of our players.


We are not a club with teams that function independently, but rather we are a CLUB with a clear identity and a recognizable culture and style of play that is unique to SVFC alone.


All SVFC coaches are professional, licensed, experienced and highly trained individuals who hold coaching licenses from the USSF, NSCAA, and UEFA. In addition, the age groups in which our coaches are selected to work with are carefully chosen based on each coach’s personality and past coaching experience in order to maximize the developmental needs of all players based on their specific age.


























Style Of Play | General

Offensive Style


All teams will be encouraged to display an offensive style of play based on keeping possession and quick movement of the ball.


Quick Transitions and Finishing


The speed of play, avoiding over-dribbling, looking for an organized and quick movement of the ball and finishing will be encouraged in all age groups.


Position Specific


A team must be organized defensively, keeping their specific positions in the formation. However, players will look for spaces and movements to support forward when attacking by moving away from their original positions.




Coaches will make the determination of which formation is best suited considering the level and abilities of the players on the team. However, older teams are encouraged to play a 4-3-3 as this formation allows for more space in wide areas of the field, conducive to the possession-oriented style of play that SVFC teams are taught and it allows space for outside backs to move forward in attack. Younger teams who play 8v8 are encouraged to play a 3-3-1 formation. This formation helps players express the principles of play specified below.


This system allows for better adaptation to a 4-3-3 formation as the players progress to 11v11.


Style Of Play: Specific


Passing & Receiving

Passing the ball on the ground with pace from different distances and receiving the ball while keeping it moving will be encouraged in all age groups.




Players must develop the ability to shoot from different distances.


Ball Control & Turning


Players will be encouraged to keep close control of the ball and use different turning techniques to move away from the defender.




Playing Out from the Back


All teams must feel comfortable playing the ball from the back through the midfield and from there to the final third of the field.

Possession & Transition


All teams must try to keep possession of the ball playing a one-two touch game. Players will be encouraged to support and move, thus creating passing options. Once the possession game is consolidated the team must learn how to transfer the ball in the most efficient way from one area of the field to another.


Offense-Defense Quick Transition & Vice Versa


When possession is lost, players must react quickly and apply pressure to regain the ball. Once possession is regained, players will be positioned immediately to counter-attack.



Speed & Agility


These qualities will be evident in the game from the early ages. Coaches are encouraged to see speed ladders, hurdles, etc. to improve player’s speed, agility, and coordination from U9-19.




Individual players and teams will train to be resilient to high-intensity action.


Strength & Power


Strong players develop their speed more quickly, prevent injuries and are more competitive in games



Respect & Discipline


Players will adapt to a role on the team and respect teammates, coaches, referees and opponents.



Each player will be part of a unit and will cooperate with teammates to achieve the objectives for a given task, session or game, as well as for the entire season.




Competitive players will be rewarded for their effort and focus.


Principles Of Play: Coaches


  • Possession games are a means to improve both the technique and tactical understanding of the players.

  • The opposition will be encouraged to increase the competitiveness of the players.

  • High-intensity games based on speed and agility. Short but intense working-periods.


Principles Of Play: Players


  • 1, 2 or 3 touch maximum: Minimizing the number of touches improves the speed of play.

  • Keep the game simple: Do not force situations, over-dribble or be careless with the ball.

  • Keep the ball on the ground: A ball on the ground is easier to control and can be moved more efficiently by the team.

  • Accuracy and quality of the pass: Passing must be firm and accurate, with the proper weight.

  • First touch: Make a clean, controlled first touch without stopping the ball. Take the touch away from pressure and into free space.

  • Perception and awareness: All players with or without the ball should constantly scan the field.

  • 1v1 situations: Encourage determination to regain control of the ball in defense and keep it simple in the attack by taking a touch to the side, at speed, to beat the defender.

  • Individual transition: Players must react quickly when possession change from offense to defense and vice-versa.

  • Shooting: Always keep an eye on the goal. All players are encouraged to shoot.

  • Take risks: Soccer is an error-prone sport and mistakes are part of the game and learning process. Players are encouraged to take risks in a training session to increase the speed of play.


Principles Of Play: Team


  • All players attack and all players defend: All players must be involved in the game as a unit.

  • Numerical advantage: Soccer is a game of numbers where we try to create a numerical advantage in attack and avoid being in a numerical disadvantage in defense.

  • The flow of the ball: The ball should flow from the inside (of the space) to outside and outside to inside. Balls out wide are more secure and the ball in the middle increases the options of play.

  • Triangle principle and passing options: The player in possession of the ball must receive constant support and have at least two passing options.

  • The speed of play: Quick movement of the ball creates 2v1 situations.

  • Movement off the ball: Find the best available space to create passing options for the player in possession of the ball.

  • Pressure as a unit: Organized pressure forces the opponents to commit errors.

  • Transition: Improve transition by reducing the number of passes needed to arrive at the target area or the opponent’s goal.

  • The direction of the game: The game flows in two directions. Keep the essence of the game in the majority of your practices.

  • Take initiative during the game: Team breakdowns will occur. The team must be capable of adapting to new situations and imposing its own style of play during the game.