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AYSO Region 1079 Red Mountain Serving Mesa and Surrounding Areas

AYSO Playground

What is AYSO Playground?

AYSO’s Playground program is for children born in 2014 (based on the development stage of the child) that focus on Fundamental Motor Skills (FMS). We can no longer assume children are physically equipped (through free play) to perform all the tasks we require in soccer.  We must cultivate their physical development in order to add soccer specific requests.  Otherwise, we are often asking players to perform technical actions that they are not yet physically equipped to execute (which can lead to frustration for the child and the coach). 

  • A child development program that focuses on FMS, using soccer merely as a common thread.
  • Designed for 4 year old players
  • It is a one day per week program that lasts for 6 weeks.
  • Each player will have a parent (or other adult) working with them on the field to help guide them within each activity.
  • Sessions are lead by a “Playground Leader” who will introduce and explain a game / activity that will apply to a certain fundamental motor skill or technical skill.
  • Playground is NOT the worlds cutest soccer game!.
What are Fundamental Motor Skills (FMS)? 

  • Fundamental Motor Skills (FMS):
    • Locomotor (i.e., running, hopping, skipping, etc.)
    • Non-locomotor (i.e., balancing and twisting, etc.)
    • Object Control (i.e., catching and throwing, kicking, etc.)
    • Children should be exposed to a wide base of FMS in their early years to provide a solid foundation for future movement activities and sports.  If we miss this important window of opportunity, their development and opportunity can be hindered.

  • FMS Hierarchy:
    • Walking before running
    • Balancing before twisting and rotating
    • Rolling a ball before underarm throwing a ball
    • Stopping a rolling ball before catching a ball
    • Jumping before skipping

  • Translating this to Soccer:
    • A child need to be able to stand on one foot to kick or control a ball
    • Children who can underarm throw have more success in facing a target, knowing the release points, following through and recognizing ball flight. All key skills in passing.
    • Twisting and rotating is needed when dribbling, especially when passing and opponent. 
    • When catching, a child learns to track the flight of a ball. A key component for trapping a ball. 
  •  DO's
    • Be enthusiastic and encouraging
    • Monitor players for signs of fatigue, stress, overheating or conditions that compromise their safety
    • Help you child understand the activity and guide them along as needed
    • Help paint the picture and tell the story
    • Let them experiment
    • Let them make mistakes
    • Be patient and tolerant (there is a purpose behind the simplicity of the activity and expectations)
    • Make them confident learners
    • Thank them for letting you be part of their soccer life. 

  • DON'T's
    • Be late (we need you and can't start without you)
    • Coach, correct or direct. Let them PLAY!
    • Compare them to other children (players)
    • Criticize them or tell them they are not working hard enough
    • Take it too seriously, it is just a game. 

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AYSO Region 1079 Red Mountain Serving Mesa and Surrounding Areas

P.O. Box 21414 
Mesa, Arizona 85277

Email Us: [email protected]
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