The Ohio North Centers of Excellence (COE) program was originally created to demonstrate the value of U-10 "youth academy-style" training to progressive soccer clubs. Combining three or four teams of similar age players for practice generally provides for a more motivating and developmentally sound atmosphere within a club; and allows the best coaching talent to be shared across a wider range of young players.
Since the program's inception in 2001, COE's have been held in Akron, Amherst, Ashland, Austintown, Avon, Bay Village, Beaver Local, Boardman, Brunswick, Chardon, Cleveland Heights, Columbia Station, E. Liverpool, Euclid, Findlay, Green, Howland, Independence, Kenston, Orange, Mansfield, Medina, Mentor, Niles, Newbury, North Olmsted, Oberlin, Perrysburg, Rocky River, Twinsburg, Wadsworth, Westlake, and Willowick.
COE's are typically comprised of five or six two-hour training sessions scheduled over the course of a season (fall, winter, spring) or week (summer) and can accommodate up to forty U-8, U-10 or U-12 players. During the summer months, older teams can also be trained in a more traditional team-based format.
The three main points of emphases at COE training are technical development (dribbling, kicking, heading, and ball control), conceptual games (attacking, defending and transitioning), and positional understanding (6v6 and 8v8). Approximately 75% of each session utilizes competitive small-sided games as training tools.
The COE approach has become an excellent mentoring opportunity for new or inexperienced coaches and "hands=on" U-10/12 coaching certification can be earned in conjunction with the program. Course materials, training sessions, and post-COE mentoring is provided by Ohio North Director of Coaching Tom Turner and “assistant coaches” are expected to oversee small groups of players and participate, where possible, in training activities. Coaches seeking U-10/12 certification through the COE program must attend all sessions.
Only a limited number of COE’s are scheduled each season. For more information, contact Tom Turner by phone at (216) 496-4683 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.