Competitive Parent FAQ's

                    

(click on question to link to answer)

 1.   I am not sure my child is good enough; should they try out?

 2.   In what leagues do North Toronto teams compete?

 3.   What competitive programs are available for a player my child’s age?

 4.   Who will be providing instruction?

 5.   Where do North Toronto competitive teams train and play?

 6.   What is the commitment for competitive soccer?

 7.   Why is commitment considered so important?

 8.   What happens if my child does not fulfill their commitment?

 9.   What is the club’s vacation policy?

10.  What are the consequences of taking more summer vacation without Club approval?

11.  What is the policy for playing time?

12.  My coach is not following the club’s playing time policy. What should I do?

13.  Should my child be playing every position on the pitch?

14.  What can I do if my child is not playing in certain positions?

15.  Why are volunteer coaches running some of the practices and the games?

16.  My coach is supposed to be there but is not turning up.

17.  What feedback can I expect on my child’s performance?

18.  My child has not been offered a place on the team I think they should be on, what can I do?

19.  I don’t like the way my child is being treated but I don’t want to speak to the coach directly; what can I do?

20.  It’s August already, why can’t I get the winter schedule?

21.  This is North Toronto Soccer club; why aren’t all our practices in North Toronto?


1.   I am not sure my child is good enough; should they try out? 

  • The NTSC competitive program aims to provide a place for all to play.
  • The technical staff will recommend a program that is best for your player at this stage of their development.  

2.    In what leagues do North Toronto teams compete?

  • The club aims to offer playing opportunities at every level of competition. In 2017, North Toronto SC will play in these leagues:
    • Provincial Leagues: U13-U16 in the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL), U15+ the Ontario Youth Soccer League (OYSL),  and U21 in the Ontario Women's Soccer League (OWSL).
    • Regional Leagues (U14 and up in 2017: Central Soccer Leagues (CSL).
    • District Leagues; U8 to U12, Youth District Soccer League (YDSL); U13 and up, Toronto District Youth Soccer League (TDYSL).
  • Our ability to offer a team in every league level is dependent on interest from our members and the skill level of players interested.  

3.  What competitive programs are available for a player my child’s age?

  • Elite Soccer Program
    • Begins at U13
    • Full-time commitment to soccer for 10 months a year
    • Players play in the Ontario Player Development League (OPDL) or OYSL
    • Train year-round with professional coaches  
  • Competitive Soccer Program
    • Begins at U8
    • Continues after U13 for those not entering the Elite Soccer Program
    • Train for 10 months a year
    • Commitment level less intense in winter
    • Play in summer and winter leagues
  • Select Program
    • U10 Teams (players born in 2008/2007)
    • U12 Teams (players born in 2006/2005)
    • Open try-outs in early Spring
    • Season runs April-September and off during winter months
    • Commitment level less than full competitive program
    • Does not enter a league.  Tournament and exhibition play

4.    Who will be providing instruction? 

  • The majority of instruction in the Competitive Programs is provided by professional coaches who specialize in youth skill development.
  • In the younger age group teams, the professional coaches are supported by volunteer coaches to help with training and provide guidance at game time. The volunteer coaches receive coaching accreditation from the OSA. (NTSC supports parents and other volunteers who are willing to invest their time to take the OSA courses that are offered).  

5.    Where do North Toronto competitive teams train and play?

  • Outdoors on turf and grass fields in the North Toronto, and surrounding North York region.
  • Indoors on turf at Lamport Stadium, Downsview Hangar and Dome, Toronto SoccerPlex, Upper Canada College and St. Michael’s College School; and in several local school gyms.
  • Teams travel to other clubs for away games: U8 to U13 playing in the Toronto Soccer Leagues remain in the city for league games, whilst U14+ travel regionally or provincially based on league.  

6.    What is the commitment for competitive soccer?

SUMMER commitment             

  • Commitment in the summer is of primary importance.
  • Players are expected to attend EVERY practice and game.
  • May miss occasional practices for school and family events or because of injury but notification MUST given to coach or manager.
  • Maximum TWO weeks vacation over the summer (see point 9. for the one exception).
  • The number of practices and games will vary from team to team.

WINTER Commitment

  • Competitive Program (U8-U21)
    • Players must attend TWO practices per week (often there are 3 practices available to accommodate players’ schedules).
    • Players playing a second competitive sport may attend ONE practice per week; details of the other sport are to be provided to the NTSC Technical Director, and the player is expected to attend as many training sessions as possible following the other sport's season.
  • Elite Program
    • Players must attend THREE practices per week.

7.    Why is commitment considered so important?

  • North Toronto’s competitive program employs a development methodology, for which commitment to training is a key component. Players will not develop as quickly as they could without the time with the ball and technical attention required. Without a commitment to training, players do not develop at the same rate as the rest of the team members who show commitment to training.  

8.    What happens if my child does not fulfill their commitment?

  • They could be moved to a lower tier team due to their level or rate of development.
  • At U11 and up playing time can be impacted as a result of poor commitment to training. Players showing a higher level of commitment to development may be rewarded with more playing time in games.

9.    What is the club’s vacation policy?

  • Competitive players are allowed TWO weeks vacation in the summer.
  • If you attend the NTSC Academy with your team, you may take ONE additional week’s vacation.
  • It is preferable if this time is not taken all at once as that can be hard on players to leave for an extended time while their teammates are continuing to train.  

10. What are the consequences of taking more summer vacation without Club approval?

  • Potentially your child could be dropped to a lower level team or removed from the competitive program.
  • Soccer is principally a summer sport and families taking lengthy vacations should consider the Select program.

11. What is the policy for playing time?

   The policy changes as your child moves through the program

Talent Development Program (U8-U11): Equal Playing time

  • All players have the right to equal time on the pitch as long as they are committing to the program.
  • The time might be equal across several games rather than in each game.

Pre-OPDL Program (U12): Fair Playing time

  • Players showing the best commitment and effort in practice may be given more playing time, and vice versa.
  • Players relative ability should NOT result in less playing time, only their effort and attendance.
  • Playing time might be equal across several games rather than in each game.

Competitive & High Performance (U13 and up): Fair Playing time

  • Players showing the best commitment and effort in practice may be given more playing time, and vice versa.
  • Players relative ability should NOT result in less playing time, only their effort and attendance.
  • Playing time might be equal across several games rather than in each game.

12. My coach is not following the club’s playing time policy. What should I do?

  • First, consider the following:
    • Coaches can only sub on their throw-ins, goal kicks and after a goal. Sometimes there just isn’t the opportunity to get your child on the pitch at the time that the coach intended to make a substitution.
    • Bear in mind that the playing time should be equal across the season not necessarily in every game.
    • Depending on the number of players at the game sometimes the math just does not work out for every player to receive exactly the same number of playing minutes. Some players might receive a bit more as a result.
    • Sometimes there is an issue with the player – not feeling well, acting up on the bench, and playing time was not deemed the right thing for the player at that time.
    • For older age groups (U11 and up):
      • Has your child been attending all practices?
      • Has your child been working hard and showing a positive attitude?
      • Have you recently returned from a vacation or injury? It is often risky to throw children straight into a game without practicing first.
  • If on consideration you feel the policy is not being followed:
    • Speak to your age group head coach, team head coach and/or manager about the issue.
    • If this does not bring satisfaction, speak to the relevant Assistant Technical Director - Talent Development Program, Marc Maunder; Competitive & High Performance Hermann Kingue.

13. Should my child be playing every position on the pitch?

Talent Development Program (U8-U11)

  • Yes your child should be playing every position including goalkeeper.
  • They should be put in over the course of the season rather than changing the position in each game.

Pre-OPDL Program (U12)

  • Players begin to specialize in different positions.

Competitive & High Performance Program (U13 and up)

  • By this stage players will likely be specialized in one, if Goalkeeper, otherwise two positions.

14. What can I do if my child is not playing in certain positions?

Talent Development Program (U8-U11)

  • The policy should be followed and coaches need time to respond;
    • Speak to your team manager or coach about your concerns sooner rather than later.  
    • If the problem continues, speak to your age group head coach.  
    • If the problem continues, speak to Assistant Technical Director, Marc Maunder

Competitive & High Performance (U12-U21)

  • You are not guaranteed your child will play all positions at this age.
  • You may speak to your coach who should explain his/her thinking about your child’s suitability to different positions.

15. Why are volunteer coaches running some of the practices and the games? 

  • We are a community club not an academy and rely on volunteers to support our programs.
    •  The Talent Development Program (U8-U11) program promises:
      • TWO practices per week run by professional staff
      • Professional staff are contracted to attend SIX games over the season
      • Volunteer coaches run the games and additional practices following instruction from staff
    • Pre-OPDL and Competitive & High Performance Program (U12 and up)
      • All games and practices are run by professional staff or volunteers with comparable qualifications and experience.  

16. My coach is supposed to be there but is not turning up. 

  • If you are sure that your coach should be there and is not fulfilling the club’s commitment, then speak to your manager and ask him or her to contact John Hyland. (But first refer to 15. above.)  

17. What feedback can I expect on my child’s performance?

  • All players will receive written feedback from their technical staff coach once per year.
  • Players should also receive 1 on 1 aural feedback with their technical staff coach once per year.  

18. My child has not been offered a place on the team I think they should be on, what can I do?

  • Give yourself 24 hours to process and calm down
  • Consider the following:
    • Selection decisions are all made to put players in the best environment for their development.
    • Practicing and playing in an environment where your child can experience a lot of success is beneficial when developing fundamental skills.
    • Conversely, practicing in an environment where the child struggles to succeed can result in poor development – if step-over never works, will they keep trying?
    • In a lower tier your child will have the opportunity to be a dominant player and develop leadership skills.
    • It is desperately hard to see your child disappointed but set-backs are character-building and opportunities to learn important life skills.
    • A new team will mean new friends for your child.
    • A new team can be liberating rather than desperately trying to hold on to a place on a higher tier team.
  • Once you have had time to process, speak to the technical staff member who made the decision;
    • Ask for their rationale.
    • Identify areas for improvement.
    • Ask them to speak to your child directly, if you think that would help.
    • Ask for information about additional training, if you are interested.
  • Think about how the situation might benefit your child and speak to them about it to figure out your best response as a family.
  • If after engaging in this process you are still not satisfied you may speak to our Assistant Technical Directors - Talent Development, Marc Maunder; Competitive & High Performance, Hermann Kingue. The final step if still unresolved is to speak with our Technical Director, John Hyland.  

19. I don’t like the way my child is being treated but I don’t want to speak to the coach directly; what can I do? 

  • Speaking to the coach directly is usually the best option so try that route first if you can.
  • If you are really uncomfortable with that, speak with your team manager.
  • If it is a volunteer coach in the younger age groups, then you could also speak to the age group head coach.
  • If none of these options work things out, then contact our Assistant Technical Directors - Talent Development, Marc Maunder; Competitive & High Performance, Hermann Kingue. The final step if still unresolved is to speak with our Technical Director, John Hyland.

20.  It’s August already, why can’t I get the winter schedule? 

  • Unlike hockey, the winter soccer program is dependent on school facilities to run;
    • Permits for these facilities are not issued until early September.
    • The club is gradually accumulating access to private facilities for the winter program, but there is limited availability and they are MUCH more expensive.

21. This is North Toronto Soccer club; why aren’t all our practices in North Toronto?

  • Good fields are limited in our area and there are many sports organizations vying for access, but the situation is improving as North Toronto is committed to working with the community, school boards and City to help improve the field situation in Toronto
      1. Our collaborations with TDSB at Deer Park and Northern Secondary have given us access to local turf fields and have been well received by the schools.
      2. We are working on other projects with schools in the area that result in more fields witin the North Toronto community.
      3. NTSC also accommodates our 4,000 recreational players each week through the spring and summer.
    1. Real estate prices make the purchase of our own facility unfeasible at this time but we are open for donations or proposals on creative ways to make it feasible.