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Windham Soccer Association Travel Program
 

WSA has a philosophy of promoting good sportsmanship and promoting a healthy, competitive environment on and off the field.  Our purpose is to field competitive soccer teams that are comprised of dedicated and talented players committed to a high level of instruction and a higher level of competition.  We serve those players willing to make a greater commitment to and learn the game of soccer at a higher level.  We promote and emphasize a sense of teamwork as well as strong discipline.  WSA Travel Soccer is a member of the New Hampshire Soccer League (NHSL) and is comprised of non-Competitive Teams for U10-U11, Competitive Teams for U12, and the NHSL Early Development Program (EDP) for U8-U9.  

Commitment
Players who wish to become part of the Travel program should be aware of, and willing to commit to the following:
- Travel Soccer is a 2-Season Sport (Fall runs form the end of August to early November) (Spring runs from early April through mid-June) - players are expected to commit to both seasons.

- Teams practice 2 afternoons a week during the season.
Games are played in Windham and away.  (travel can be up to 60 to 90 minutes from Windham)
Travel Teams participate in 2 Tournaments a year and may also participate in a Jamboree.  (typically, the tournaments are held Columbus Day Weekend and Memorial Day Weekend)

We understand that many players are interested in and participate in many different sports and activities.  Players and their families should understand that being part of a travel team entails a commitment to team practices and games.  While we do try to work with everyone as much as possible, players unable to make this commitment should consider playing at the recreational level in town.  

 

Fees:  
WSA Travel Fees plus the cost of the uniform (not included in fees).  If you are selected in the Fall to fill an open roster spot on a Spring Team, the cost is pro-rated from the full year fees (not including uniform)
See the Registration Link for more details about fees and estimated uniforms costs


Coaching/Training
WSA uses professional trainers to provide training in an age appropriate plan for all teams at each practice as well as dedicated coaches from our own community.  Additionally, players are invited to attend specialty clinics outside their team training that are sponsored by WSA and free to our travel players.  Indoor sessions are increasingly popular and are put together by coaches and parents outside of WSA in the off seasons at an additional cost.  


Philosophy

Travel Soccer is divided into two distinct areas, competitive and non-competitive. Although all travel teams play other town and club teams, the scores are only recorded for U12 teams and above and team standings are published based on those scores.  U8 and U9 are classified as early development programs.  With the dedication of our professional trainers and coaches, as well as the Coaches from our own community, we nurture the development of each child in our Travel program.

The three areas of a child's development we are concerned about are:

a. Physical development, by learning soccer skills and improving fitness and conditioning.
b. Psychological development, by learning to control their emotions and developing positive feelings of self-worth; and 
c. Social development, by learning how to be a part of a team and display appropriate sportsmanship.

Similar to our excellent Recreational program, we feel that the best environment for a child to develop in these areas is an environment where there is no pressure to win! If we strive to encourage each child to do their very best and not be concerned about winning, then we feel like each child will be able to experience personal success and growth - and that's a winning program!  

Once players are part of a U12 team, they will begin to focus on more detailed positional play, team set movements and game-winning plans.

To ensure a players’ development progression, coaches will attempt to play each individual at least 50% of the time in all U8 through U11 games. Thereafter U12 and above, game play will be assessed based player commitment, skills and positional requirements. However, the 50% goal will still be a fair benchmark, but left to the coaching team to determine.

 

Registration

Registration for the FALL/SPRING league will normally begin in early May.  Tryouts are typically held shortly after Memorial Day, with team announcements coming at the end of the NHSL season.  
Registration for SPRING only (used to fill open roster spots or for teams in divisions that only offer spring-only) will normally begin in early October.  Tryouts for Spring only are typically near or after the completion of our Rec season 

Making the team

Please see the registration page for more information on Team Formation, including a link to our Travel Team formation document

Travel Criteria  
The following are some of the criteria used in evaluating players during the travel tryouts.  WSA is providing this information to give parents a better understanding of what the evaluators will be looking for during tryouts and also what coaches will be asked to provide feedback on at the end of the season  

- Passing & Control            
- Dribbling Technique       
- Finishing/Shooting Technique    
- Defending          
- Positional Play  
- Aggressiveness
- Effort/Enthusiasm          
- Speed  
- Goaltending (if applicable)
- "Coachability" - the ability to take direction and critiques, to be a good team mate, to be a positive member of the team

Windham Soccer Association’s policy on “Playing Up”
Please see the registration page for more information on Team Formation, including a link to our Travel Team formation document

Coaches and Volunteers
The Windham Soccer Association relies solely on volunteers from the community to run the league. If you are interested in being a head coach, assistant coach, or team manager, please indicate so on your child’s registration form.  All coaches must complete the Kid Safe form prior to coaching on the field.  Please note that the number of teams offered will depend on the number of volunteer coaches. Any questions regarding volunteering can be directed to  Chris Burke, VP of Travel.  A coach’s meeting will be offered prior to the beginning of the season.  Additionally, the WSA also offers full reimbursement for any Coaching certification courses that a coach takes and passes.  We strongly recommend all coaches in Travel to be certified at some level within 2 years of joining the program.

Season Dates and Practices

WSA recommends that all travel team players try to attend the Challenger run team camp in mid-August if possible (see website for more details).  Our practices begin immediately following camp, with games scheduled from the 1st week in Sept through the 1st week in November.  Practices are created each season based on Coaching, Field availability and Trainers.  

The Spring season starts with outside practice around the 3rd week in April, and games beginning the 4th week in April going through to the middle/end of June.  WSA will try to provide indoor practice space for teams earlier in April if available.  


Tournaments
Each team is sponsored and urged to attend 2 tournaments a season, normally Memorial Day weekend and Columbus Day weekend.  However, if the team wishes to attend more than two a season, the fees associated will be the teams’ responsibility.  There are also opportunities to attend Jamborees as well. 

Jewelry
Please note that no jewelry of any kind is allowed during play (games or practice). This includes: necklaces, earrings, rings, bracelets, anklets, and headgear. Please note this also includes newly pierced ears. Covering the ears with band-aids and tape is not allowed.

Zero tolerance rule

Unfortunately, youth sports have recently seen a surge in spectator and even coach tenancies to become abusive or aggressive. The WSA with New Hampshire State Soccer League and NHSA have a zero tolerance for this, and as such have issued statements detailing the warning process and ultimately the rejection of suspension of coach and spectator attendance.  All players, parents, and coaches must abide by the WSA Code of Conduct.