The goal of TOPSoccer is to enrich the lives of young players with disabilities through the game of soccer, and to provide a safe environment for players to participate based on ability, not age. This unique community based outreach program is designed to meet the needs of children aged 4 and older with physical and/or mental disabilities. It is geared toward player development, rather than competition.
Making Soccer Available To Everyone
The ability and participation level of these Players will be diverse. TOPSoccer players should not be defined by their disabilities. Remember, first and foremost, they are Players with different personalities and abilities. The key to the success of these players is patience. Each player will develop at his or her own rate. We are in their time zone. We cannot rush the time in which they will learn, but we can make this adventure fun for all involved. These Players require physical activity for optimum health and the opportunity to participate in organized sports. Participation in the TOPSoccer program can help the player develop a positive self- image and self-confidence.
Check with your league or club to determine the starting age of TOPSoccer players.
For many of these Players, this will be their first experience in organized team sports. Many do not have the basic understanding of the concept of the game. The TOPSoccer program will consist of a wide variety of ages and abilities. Keep in mind that the parents of the TOPSoccer Players will be on hand to assist you in dealing with their Players.
How To Start a TOPSoccer Program
Have a Mission Statement:
To promote the growth of TOPSoccer by providing educational and practical support to Region IV members and encourage local affiliates to start and/or grow TOPSoccer programs in their communities.
- Identify person/persons willing to coach and/or administer program
- Contact State Association Chairperson to discuss questions/information regarding starting a program
- Set time, place and date of first parent meeting
Flyers for School Districts/Regional Centers:
- Flyers for distribution to schools, regional centers, support group should include contact information and time, date, location and directions to meeting site
- Include general information regarding the TOPSoccer program in your league, or state association
- Submit flyers for approval by your TOPSoccer Chairperson as well as school districts and other appropriate agencies.
Prior to a Meeting:
- Confirm meeting location and attendance of State TOPSoccer Chairpersons to help you
- Arrive to meeting at least 30 minutes early for set-up and questions
- Have all state association registration forms available as well as any additional information for the parents available.
- Discuss mission statement and your objectives
- Inform parents regarding cost, time, date and place of practice/games
- Discuss how your program will be run and communication with parents/coaches
- Recruit volunteers
- Contact parents, volunteers and coaches to verify first day, time and place of practice
- Confirm volunteer and coaches arrival at site 30 minutes prior to start of practice
- Have player equipment ready for distribution
- Greet all players and introduce them to coaches/buddies
- Start practice on time
- Resource Center and any outreach program that assist parents of players with special needs
- League newsletter
- Cost of program
- Cost of equipment
- State Chairperson/District Commissioner