A PARENTS GUIDE TO DEEP RUN SOCCER
Welcome to the Deep Run Valley Sports Association Soccer Program. Each year, we provide a wide variety of soccer programs to children ages 4-18. This document will hopefully explain to you the many different programs that we offer, as well as discuss the various paths that different players may follow as they progress through our club.
Most of our players play in the Futures, Juniors and Aces program which offers soccer for children ages 4-10.
Players in our Rec Program play with and against other players in Deep Run, at our main facility in Hilltown Township, PA. Depending on participation numbers at Deep Run some of our Recreational teams will travel to play similar teams from other clubs from Bucks and Montgomery Counties. We do this to offer variety in competition.
Deep Run offers soccer in the fall season and the spring season. Our more competitive and athletic players ages 8-18 play in the Travel Program. Deep Run attempts to field teams at every age group (teams are formed by birth year). Travel teams play against teams from other local area clubs. Occasionally, we play against teams from other states. A few teams over the years have traveled to tournaments in places that require overnight stays. However, most travel teams stay local, rarely traveling more than an hour away from the Deep Run Complex. At Deep Run, we highly encourage players to play at a level that will provide them the greatest opportunity to reach their potential even if it means they end up leaving for clubs that offer regional and national competition.
While over 95% of players playing at Deep Run live inside of the Pennridge School District, Deep Run has no geographical boundaries and welcomes players from any zip code.
Below is a brief description of some of the programs that Deep Run offers, along with a description of some of the paths that players choose to take during their years with Deep Run.
DEEP RUN ACADEMY SOCCER
The Deep Run Academy program is set up to provide players the building blocks to a successful future in soccer regardless of the path they pursue.
In 2016 US Soccer mandated that all soccer teams be formed by birth year. While Deep Run understood and supported their justification we have come to realize this was not in the best interest of our families. Simply put kids want to play with their friends and classmates. Therefore, the Deep Run Academy will revert to forming teams by grade beginning with the Fall 2018 season.
PREK/K – FUTURES
Many of our players start playing as young as 4 years of age. Our PREK/K programs are directed by very experienced soccer coaches who have a great understanding of the physical, mental and social attributes of 4 and 5-year old children. Our primary objective is to have the players fall in love with the game. We teach them the basic skills of the game and give them lots of time to play in small sided games with modified, age appropriate rules. It is our hope that all children leave the soccer field each week with giant smiles on their faces and a strong desire to play again soon.
The first 25-30 minutes of each session is devoted to basic skill development. Each child works with his / her own soccer ball (a size 3 ball, much smaller than what older players use). Children are led through a wide range of fun, skill-oriented activities. With a 1:1 ball per player ratio, skill development takes place at a fast pace. The coaches all work under the direction of a Deep Run staff coach who is present at every session.
The remaining 30-35 minutes of each session is devoted to small sided games. These games are modified to suit the needs of the youngest players. Games are either 3 vs. 3 or 4 vs. 4 on small fields with smaller goals and no goalies. These small sided games ensure that all players are always involved in the play and get plenty of touches on the ball throughout the game. This leads to greater skill development and more fun for the players. We do not keep score in these age groups. Players meet once a week during the season (fall season and spring season).
Some of the players in these age groups will be very apprehensive about playing at first. It is normal for some players to be afraid to go out on the field with the coaches and other players. For many of these players, it is simply a matter of time. Many of them get the hang of it after a few weeks and start to feel comfortable on a soccer field. In time, most of the players will develop a passion for the game. Please do not expect this to happen right from day 1. For some, it takes a little bit of time.
GRADES 1/2 - JUNIORS
Like our Futures program the Juniors are directed by very experienced soccer coaches. Our primary objective at this age group is to continue teaching basic skills with a focus on ball mastery. At this age we strive for all players be extremely comfortable dribbling, passing and receiving the ball with all surfaces of the foot.
The first 30 minutes of each session is devoted to training. Each child works with his / her own soccer ball (a size 4 ball) and in small groups. Defense, shooting and passing are incorporated into most sessions, but the primary focus is still developing the individual. The coaches all work under the direction of a Deep Run staff coach who is present at every session.
The remaining 35-40 minutes of each session is devoted to small sided games. Games are 4 vs. 4 on 25 X 35-yard fields. We do not keep score in these age groups. Players meet once a week during the season (fall season and spring season). Field space is also allotted for teams to practice 1X during the week
At these ages, some children will begin to separate themselves from their peers. For these players we are introducing U7 Select* and U8 Select* teams.
U7 Select* and U8 Select* teams are formed by birth year. Players still play within the Academy structure outlined above but receive an additional night of professional training and play in festivals and/or tournaments against other clubs. U7 Select* teams typically play 4v4 games during festivals whereas the U8 Select* teams will play in 4v4 festivals, 7v7 in tournaments and if enough players are interested we will put them in a 7v7 league.
GRADES 3/4 - ACES
By this point in the development process players interested in competitive soccer have already matriculated into the Travel Program. Players in our Aces program will play 7v7 under the same rules as EPYSA Travel leagues against other Deep Run teams. Referees are assigned to these games as well. Teams meet once a week for 50 minutes games and time is set aside for team practices once a week. As with the Futures we will offer a U9 Select* team. This is for players who aren’t sure about travel soccer but haven’t ruled it out quite yet. U9 Select* players will play in tournaments and receive professional training once week.
*In addition to intramural registration and separate registration will be required for select teams. Pricing will be determined by the level interest and what events the teams (parents) decide to participate in.
DEEP RUN RECREATIONAL SOCCER
Our Recreational Program has divisions for players up to 14 years of age, however teams are formed by grade (Grade 5/6, Grade 7/8 etc.). In the Recreational Program, practices are on weeknights and games are played on weekends.
We do our best to keep all games in house but on occasion teams may be placed in a combined intramural league with other clubs who offer similar programming. Travel distance is determined by the participating cubs. 5th and 6th grade teams play 9v9. 7th and 8th grade teams play 11v11.
If there is enough interest, we will also form HS aged teams. These teams will most likely play against other clubs and could be coed.
DEEP RUN TRAVEL SOCCER
Deep Run offer two tiers of travel soccer. Deep Run Classic and Deep Run FC Bucks.
The Deep Run Classic Program is geared for our more competitive and athletic players. The commitment is much greater than that of the Intramural Program. Playing on a travel team is a 10 month commitment (mid-July through end-May). Players are encouraged to also play other sports during the year. During the fall season, teams have two practices a week and a game every weekend and participate in tournaments on select weekends. In the winter, most teams have one practice a week and play in a local area indoor league. In the spring, our teams play in the state cups, tournaments and some also play in a league. Players who hope to play at the high school level when they are older should be playing in the Travel Program, not the Intramural Program. From U9 through U12 each team is assigned a technical director who will run training sessions throughout the season and serve as a mentor to both players and coaches. While the technical directors will not be at every practice or game they will be involved enough to ensure your player is receiving the proper instruction and training as it pertains to their skill level.
The Deep Run FC Bucks Program is for the player who has high ambition to play soccer in high school and beyond. Deep Run FC Bucks teams follow the same schedule as the Deep Run Classic Program but will be trained 2 or 3 times a week by professional coach who will also attend games. Typically, these team form at U11 but there is nothing to prevent a team forming earlier if the parents want to pay for the full-time coach.
Through our partnership with FC Bucks, Deep Run players are provided a pathway into the Elite Clubs National League and the National Premier League. These teams play and practice at either Council Rock North HS or Bryn Athyn College and travel from MA to MD for away games. Combined over 95% of the players who reach this status go onto play in college or professionally. Currently, Deep Run has close to 70 players on an ECNL or NPL team which further solidifies our commitment to putting the player first.