Albion SC; San Diego, CA [www.albionsoccer.org]
A member of the Southern California Development League, Albion is lead by TD/DOC, Noah Gins, who “has pushed the club to the top of youth soccer in the US.” They “aim to be recognized as the model program for youth soccer players…to fully develop and be capable of reaching” any level. Noah had this to say about iSoccer: “We looked long and hard at iSoccer and after really looking at it, recognized that it was a perfect fit to give our players something new and allow them to challenge themselves against their own teammates or players from around the country on a technical level. What will end up really happening is each player will challenge themselves more and in the end progress their individual game by gaining more touches and become more motivated to achieve success on the ball. We are excited to be launching the program at Albion SC immediately!”
Ballaz International; Kingston, Jamaica [www.goballaz.com]
iFootball (iSoccer) forms its first partnership in Jamaica! In early 2002, Ballaz Director and Founder, André Virtue, began sharing his dream to use his talent in football to impact the lives of Jamaica’s youth and has continued to share every since! Scott Leber, iFootball Founder & CEO had this to say about the relationship: “”We’re thrilled to be working with such a like-minded organization and very excited to establish our first partnership in Jamaica as well as the Caribbean! Their dedication to player development through individual ownership of, and dedication to, ball mastery ties directly to iFootball’s methodology of motivating the individual player to spend more time with the ball. Also, teaching life lessons through the game of football is a big part of what iFootball does, and Ballaz International clearly strives for the same goals…”
Heat FC; Las Vegas, NV [www.heatfcnevada.com]
Heat FC was founded in 2003. The Board of Directors of Henderson United Youth Soccer Association (now Southern NevadaSoccer Association) has had from its inception a commitment to excellence in the development of youth soccer players. Heat FC is the result of its determination to provide a full range of playing options for youth players, recreational through the highest competitive levels. Starting its 8th year, Heat FC has become one of the largest competitive clubs in Nevada. Led by Club Director, Eric McDonald, Heat FC lives by the motto: “Player Development for Competitive Success…it is what we do and what we achieve!”
Issaquah SC; Issaquah, WA [www.issaquahsoccerclub.org]
About Issaquah SC: Founded in 1980, the Issaquah Soccer Club has established itself as a valuable member of the greater Issaquah/Sammamish communities and is dedicated to promoting sportsmanship and the love of soccer. The Issaquah Soccer Club is home to over 300 youth soccer teams, helping more than 3,000 children each year, learn, compete and grow as athletes and citizens. The club is one of the largest and most successful youth soccer clubs in the Northwest.
Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club; Milwaukee, WI [www.mksc.org]
About MKsc: “In the late 1960s, organized soccer was virtually unknown in most areas of the country. However, the soccer phenomenon swept the Milwaukee area in 1968 when the Milwaukee Kickers Soccer Club (MKsc) began formal operations. MKsc founders had a vision: attract, develop, and retain soccer players of all ages and abilities without regard to gender, race, national origin, religion or socioeconomic status. To do this, MKsc created a cost-effective and financially stable organization with quality coaches, referees and administrators. While American youth soccer did exist before 1968 through ethnic clubs, the sport was not widely accepted. In its first year of operation, MKsc started small with 78 players on five teams (four youth and one adult). Games were played on a weekly recreational basis. But MKsc quickly grew.
Today MKsc enjoys a membership of 7,000. Players range from 5 to 21 years of age and enjoy recreational soccer as well as highly competitive play. MKsc spans from as far north as Germantown to as far south as Mukwonago. Remarkably, MKsc is home to 650-plus teams encompassing 1,300 coaches and 64 different leagues. Our membership includes 40 percent women and serves nearly 14,000 children throughout the Milwaukee area with our programs and clinics. The Kickers are as diverse as they are large and are committed to children as well as the game of soccer.”
NYPS & FPS; Rochester, NY & Longwood, FL [www.globalpremiersoccer.com]
New York Premier Soccer launched in 2010 via a partnership with Rochester Futbol Club. NYPS also operate a premier program in the greater Buffalo region under the name NYPS Knights.
Florida Premier Soccer was launched in the summer of 2010 in Orlando in partnership with multiple clubs in central Florida including FC America.
[Go to iSoccer.org to begin knowing your level so you can raise your level]
The iSoccer assessment was used at the Region IV ODP camp in Moscow, Idaho this past summer. Over 850 players were assessed and over 11,000 assessment results were collected. This report organizes and graphs the data, and compares the Region IV Girls’ results to the 2010 national standards as well as the emerging division I college standard.
To see the scores and graphs, download the full report: 2011 Region IV Girls Report by iSoccer
Go to www.iSoccer.org to begin Raising Your Level!
In the second year of the players taking the iSoccer Assessment at the Region IV Girls Camp, over 1,100 girls were assessed in just under three weeks this summer in Moscow, Idaho.
Coach Dean Koski of Lehigh University and Scott Leber at Lehigh University
“Having a strong familiarity with iSoccer as a training and evaluation instrument, we began using the platform for my college team during training sessions as part of our technical warm-up. The iSoccer model is easy to organize and execute, as well as dynamic enough to keep our players motivated and focused. While no test can fully assess a players’ readiness to compete at this level, the more information we have as coaches about our players and even potential prospects can only serve to help us make more informed decisions.”
Scott Leber, iSoccer Founder
“The College Standards Project is a very exciting initiative for many reason – But two of the top reasons are: One, being able to measure and then publish a ‘technical level’ of college teams is going to motivate thousands of youth players across the country. By giving our youth players a target to attack, I am confident there is going to be a lot more time spent with the ball trying to obtain the various levels. Secondly, the College game is known for speed and power, but not necessarily skill. The iSoccer Assessment empowers college coaches across the country to be able to measure, track and compare their players while empowering college players to sharpen their own technical ability. Over the long run, the technical level of the college game will hopefully begin to match the physical level.”
Focused Football Education and iSoccer partner to raise the technical performance of junior and youth soccer players in Australia.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Starting March 20, the Focused Football Education network in Melbourne, Australia will introduce its development players and coaches to the United States National Assessment of iSoccer. Although there are many teams and players already using the iSoccer program in Australia, Focused Football Education will be the first official club to launch in Australia!
“We are delighted to include iSoccer as an integral part of our Player Development programs. The Football Federation of Australia (FFA) has initiated programs across Australia to emphasize the importance of appropriate player development with young players,” stated Focused Football Education founder Daniel Jarvis Director of Player and Coach Development.
“We intend to utilize iSoccer as a platform to assess, monitor and initiate individual player development in conjunction with our training programs that incorporate the FFA’s National Curriculum and Skill Acquisition Programs. We plan to expose our club players, coaches and soccer and Futsal network partners to the iSoccer NSP immediately,” stated Glen Waverley Soccer Club, Coach Educator Daniel Jarvis.
Scott Leber, CEO and Founder of iSoccer, says, “We are thrilled to form our first partnership with an Australian organization. Focused Football Education is taking a long term approach to player development and we look forward to a long, lasting relationship beginning to raise the level of players in Melbourne and across Australia.”
Focused Football Education plans on its Players, Coaches and Parents utilizing iSoccer for the following reasons (to name a few):
• Promotes individual assessment and goal setting
• Presented in a media form that youth identify with
• Utilizes learning styles
• Ability compare personal scores to other players’ scores
• Ability to plan their own training
• Fun and engaging—motivates players to get better scores
• iSoccer is a leveled assessment and player development tracking tool
• Identifies players’ technical strengths and weaknesses
• Identifies key areas to individually tailor training programs
• Assess coaches training programs through player development
• Drills and activities available include APS to help coaches in the field
• Targets the four learning styles
• Great homework tool
• Collaborative goal setting
• Become more knowledgeable with regards to player development
• Able to review and compare their child’s technical development with a cohort of children
• Use as a tool to positively reward individual practice (hard work) i.e. If you do 3 iSoccer activities for the next 20 minutes you can have 15 minutes on the computer or Xbox
About Focused Football Education
Based in Melbourne’s Eastern Suburbs, Focused Football Education was formed as a sub group under the Inter Sporting Essentials banner in 2007, by Daniel Jarvis. Focused Football Education offers a variety of programs and services to junior and youth soccer and futsal, including, consultancy to soccer and futsal organizations, school holiday clinics, community outreach, school clinics, active after school care programs and regional/State team management and training.
‘iSoccer’s Technology Helps Motivate Soccer Players By Challenging Them To Do Better’ Interview by Soccer Nation
By: Diane Scavuzzo of Soccer Nation
Soccer Nation (“SN”) chats with Scott Leber, Founder and CEO of iSoccer. iSoccer is an online software development tool for soccer players. iSoccer’s assessment evaluates 16 soccer skills and scores players on performance. iSoccer says, “Know your level today so you can set goals to raise your level tomorrow.” Soccer players all have a level and “now it is time to raise it! Train harder at practice and at home!” Sounds like a great idea, how does it work?
SN: What is the idea behind iSoccer?
Scott Leber: “To motivate players to play more soccer. Before iSoccer, I used to coach U6 to U18 youth soccer for six years. I realized there were issues that needed to be resolved; how to motivate soccer players to practice more on their own and improve technically.”
“Before I was a soccer coach, I played for Columbus Crew in the MLS and Long Island Rough Riders. I also played years of competitive youth soccer. The real issues in youth soccer today are with Zone 1; the beginning level. Let’s empower the players to have the tools to play better.”
SN: Today’s youth soccer player attends an average of two practice sessions a week, but is that enough to become a better competitive player?
Scott Leber: “The root of the idea is that soccer players already spend a lot of time at practice … but are we providing our youth with the best tools to improve their skills technically?”
SN: How can iSoccer help?
Scott Leber: “Being an effective soccer player depends upon good tactical and technical training; players need to know what to do with the ball, how to properly and effectively push the ball. iSoccer empowers player to take charge of their training and continue their training when team practice is over. iSoccer is a technical skill based program.”
SN: How much does it cost to use iSoccer?
Scott Leber: “50% of what we do at iSoccer we make available for free to all soccer players. For free, you can go to our website and take our assessment and find your score – anyone can do it. Then the player and parent can look and see exactly what a player’s weakness and strengths are. This is a free service. You can take the test, figure out how you need to improve, practice and then take the test again and see your improvement.”
“When we work with clubs like San Diego Surf Soccer Club, the clubs buy the program for their players. The club is able to track player development and the players are able to watch more than 500 instructional videos and compare their level against the National Standard. ”
SN: How does iSoccer help players improve?
Scott Leber: “iSoccer empowers every single player to know how to improve. The long term vision is that if we all get better technically, we will all play better games.
SN: How does iSoccer work? Players’ skills are tested, ‘assessed’ at a certain level?
Scott Leber: “The iSoccer platform offers an equal field for assessment, or in other words, the assessment is the same for everyone.
SN: Is there a benchmark for the soccer skill assessment?
Scott Leber: “More than 250,000 soccer players have already completed the iSoccer Assessment. This information has provided a base for establishing a benchmark for what we call the National Standards Assessment Project. This is the starting point, the benchmark standard for soccer players across America.
SN: On The iSoccer’s website it says “Raising the Level tomorrow stats with Knowing the Level today.” This makes a lot of sense. How does the National Standards Project accomplish this?
Scott Leber: “iSoccer’s assessment levels the playing field; it doesn’t matter if you play for the A team or B team, once you take the assessment, you work on improving your own score, you are competing against your own assessment. iSoccer provides an objective measurement of a player’s ability.”
SN: Players in San Diego can compare their scores with other players?
Scott Leber: “Through the iSoccer website, you can load your scores and compare those scores against this national standard. Players can see how they compare to the national average score across the country.”
SN: Does iSoccer rank players?
Scott Leber: “No, iSoccer is a player development tool. Not a player identification tool. It is all about development. We want soccer players to find out what they need to work harder at! Where they need to focus their energies to improve and become better soccer players.
SN: iSoccer helps kids motivate themselves to be better?
Scott Leber: “The psychology behind iSoccer is simple; because we are helping every player find success at an individual level, it is very motivating and self satisfying. iSoccer helps track a player’s improvement. It can motivate the beginning player and the very advanced player. iSoccer pushes players to be better. The goal is to achieve more. Success breeds success. Instead of just focusing on just winning, here we focus success on being the best player possible. This is a launch pad for more success. The great thing is that this is all about individual responsibility.
SN: Do players enter their own assessment? Do you expect players to try to cheat on their performance to get a better evaluation?
Scott Leber: “At the end of the day, cheating gets you know where. And the feedback that we are getting from across the country is that this is not an issue. When a club such as Surf Soccer participates with their players, the assessments are verified and entered in by the coaches. As players progress, a coach logs in and tags the player’s score to verify it. If a players enters their score, the information is tracked but considered unverified until a coach approves it.”
SN: How did you develop?
Scott Leber: “In 2008, I worked together with some of my former Stanford teammates to create the iSoccer Assessment. In 2009, we launched a beta version of iSoccer with pilot clubs and officially launched our program to help develop soccer players in 2010 at the Philadelphia conversion.
SN: Is iSoccer working the way you wanted?
Scott Leber: “Yes, the feedback we are getting from across the country is that players are spending more time with the ball outside of practice and actually working harder at practice. And that was always the vision.”
SN: Was that your goal?
Scott Leber: “It was finding a unique solution to a known problem. At all levels of the game, our players are not good enough at the international levels. Long term player development is something we all talk about but when we get to the weekend we forget about it and just want to win.”
“It is a tough culture we live in. Some of our coaches will not make a living if they do not win, maybe the system is not encouraging pure player development.”
SN: What was the greatest challenge in developing iSoccer?
Scott Leber: “One challenge was coming up with the assessment. We wanted it to be truly easy to replicate but an accurate assessment of technical capabilities. We needed the assessment to measure soccer skills and questions came up regarding how to design the assessment to measure drills effectively. For instance, within a 5 meter by 5 meter grid; how do you quantify dribbling? There was a lot of thought process that went into the developing of iSoccer.”
“The second challenge was convincing the market that it is worth while assessing your players. We are asking coaches to spend one training session every few months to assess players. There was a bit of hesitation to do this. We had to send a clear message that this was very important.”
SN: America is a big country. European nations are smaller and have distinct soccer styles. Are there significant challenges based upon our country’s size?
Scott Leber: “There is such a broad range of diversity of coaches as well as a wide variety of soccer styles but everyone seems to agree that we need to focus on training our youngest players, the Zone 1 players and get them to play with the soccer ball more.”
SN: How do you account for a coaches subjectivity?
Scott Leber: “The iSoccer system allows for very little subjectivity. We spent a year building the program to avoid the possibility of subjectivity, either you performed the skill or you didn’t. It is very easy to count the number of times a player performed the skill successfully.
SN: Can iSoccer evaluate players?
Scott Leber: “This is not a silver bullet. We know that the evaluation of a player takes into account the physical, tactical and mental aspects of the game.”
SN: What competitive soccer clubs are you working with in Southern California?
Scott Leber: “We are just launching with San Diego Surf Soccer Club and are very excited about working with the club which is well recognized for player development across the country. iSoccer is another tool for Surf players to get better. Surf is well known for not only for player development but also for success on the field. Surf is known as a great perennial club and we are excited to be a supplement to an already exciting program.”
SN: Who else is supporting the National Standards Project?
Scott Leber: “As of right now, we have partnered with the NSCAA, U.S. Club Soccer, SAY Soccer, and several USYSA State associations.”
SN: Any final thoughts?
Scott Leber: “iSoccer gives responsibility to the player. You can decide, you have the responsibility as the player to improve your performance. Think of iSoccer as tools to take responsibility for you own development. Enjoy!”
San Diego Surf Soccer Club launch their partnership with iSoccer today for the enhancement of youth player development.
By: Diane Scavuzzo
San Diego Surf Soccer Club Selects iSoccer’s Motivational Program to Help Surf Players Practice Away From The Field.
Colin Chesters, Director Of Coaching, Surf Soccer Club says, “By adding iSoccer to our program, we feel we are keeping true to the progressive nature of our club. Surf Soccer Club is always seeking ways to improve our players and we feel by adding this program we are doing exactly that.”
“The San Diego Surf is one the premier clubs across the country and we are proud to have them join with us in our mission to raise the level of the game. The Surf is committed to impacting the lives of all of their players and through our relationship; we look forward to building on their existing culture of development. We are very excited to launch with the Surf but even more excited about the development in the months and years to come!” says Scott Leber, CEO of iSoccer.
“The Surf Soccer Club’s coaching staff and I have had several meetings to incorporate this program into our training. Our staff is excited. iSoccer will help motivate our players to train on their own, with a friend or with family members. We have always felt the best players are self-motivated and this program reinforces and encourages player to be so. The more time our kids spend with a ball away from their main training environment, the better the individuals, the teams and our club will become,” says Chesters.
“Colin Chesters and the San Diego Surf Soccer Club have continued to be on the cutting edge of player development on both the girls and boys side of the game. The Surf Club as a whole has acted as a leader in the development of youth soccer and we are excited to be working side by side with them to raise the level of the game,” says Rob Becerra, iSoccer’s National Director.
“I was at State Cup earlier this month watching some of our younger teams, and on many occasions, I saw them presented with a challenge that they were unable to solve. I instantly thought of an exercise in the iSoccer program that, if practiced thousands of times, would have given this player the skill set to:
1. Solve the problem
2. Be a more valued member of their team
3. Play more in meaningful moments of the game
4. Make their team more successful and,
5. Further enhance our clubs reputation of developing players for the next level.
I want to share some advice for kids and parents: Spend a minimum of 4 hours outside of training, practicing and breaking your current records. I have always been a big believer in homework assignments for younger players and this program provides this to our players in a way that is motivating and rewarding. Good luck to all the players, remember commit time to your own development. It will pay off in huge ways for you down the road,” encourages Chesters.
San Diego Surf Soccer Club launched the iSoccer program last week with player assessments. Players were eager to perform the skills for the evaluation and excited to start practicing more off the field.
iSoccer had the opportunity to speak at the Notre Dame Coaching Seminar for over 150 coaches this past weekend in South Bend, Indiana. Scott was brought in to present the youth portion of the weekend. Mike Dikey from US Soccer was the other featured clinician.
The key points to the presentation were:
1 – Giving Players a Number to Achieve is Motivating and Fun
2 – Isolating Specific Skills Allows Players to Truly see Their Strengths and Weaknesses
3 – 20 Seconds can be Powerful Training Tool
[Picture - Head Coach Bobby Clark of Notre Dame and Scott Leber of iSoccer)
Scott played for Coach Clark when he was the Head Coach of Stanford, so it was a nice little reunion as well!
What a great idea… A simple 2 minute video to summarize iSoccer. This video provides a fast overview of iSoccer’s Training Model: Measure. Track. Improve while also showing the 16 different assessed skills. It is a great place to start for anyone who wants to have a better understanding of iSoccer!