We spoke to Grant Leckie, the executive director of STAR Soccer Club in Cincinnati, Ohio, to discuss the clubs recent acquisition of TopTekkers. We got an insight into STAR SC’s approach to development and their vision for the perfect young player, as well as how TopTekkers will become an integral part of the club’s training programme.
Club name: STAR Soccer Club
Located in: Cincinnati, Ohio
Number of teams: 33-40 depending on season
Kit colours: Red or Black/White
TT: How long has your club been using TopTekkers?
GL: Since early March 2020.
TT: Which age groups/players in your club are using TopTekkers?
GL: Our U8-U15 teams.
TT: How have you implemented TopTekkers at your club?
GL: We have had each of our coaches assign team and individual learning plans to their players. We believe that our coaches know their players best and have the ability to have a positive impact on their development during the COVID-19 pandemic.
TT: Why did you get TopTekkers for your players?
GL: Once we realized that we would not be able to train as normal due to the pandemic, we decided to purse virtual options for our players to continue their individual development away from training. TopTekkers provided great value for money and the content is exactly what we were looking for!
TT: How will TopTekkers become a part of the coaching cycle or curriculum within your club?
GL: TopTekkers has and will continue to be a huge part of our coaching toolbox. The program and app is in line with our player development philosophy and provides our players with the opportunity to continue to train and improve in a structured environment away from training. TopTekkers also gives our coaching staff the chance to continually engage with and train our players year-round.
TT: What do you personally like about the app?
GL: There is so much to like about the TopTekkers program and the app:
- Ease of use for players, parents and coaches
- Content, variety of skills (and their accompanying challenges) and the continued addition of new content
- Instructional videos and coaching points
- Competitiveness driven by the awarding of trophies and team leaderboard
- It is player centered and age specific
TT: What’s your club’s development philosophy?
GL: Under the leadership of our professional staff, STAR Soccer Club’s focus is on individual player development with an emphasis on long term vision versus short term goals which will help foster a lifelong love for the beautiful game. Rostering players at their age group (U8-U15), we aim to appropriately challenge each individual at the club and provide an environment which allows them to grow both technically and tactically, whilst playing at the appropriate level of competition.
TT: Why is practice away from the training field important?
GL: As we all know, practice makes perfect. However, we understand that unfortunately not many players train outside of their 2 or 3 training sessions with the club. By utilizing TopTekkers, we are putting a huge emphasis on training away from the field and helping each individual player improve their own individual technique, so that each player has the tools to reach their full potential.
TT: Describe the perfect STAR Soccer player. A player that embodies your organization on and off the field. What does that player look like?
GL: On and off the field, a perfect STAR Soccer Club player will demonstrate our core values: integrity, teamwork, respect, character, sportsmanship and leadership. We would expect that our players have fun, play with a smile on their face, work hard (during training & games) and enjoy the sport. As a club, we encourage our players to be creative and brave on the ball, take risks, learn from their mistakes, train as much as they can away from the field and take every opportunity they can to learn about the beautiful game.
For more info on STAR Soccer Club please visit https://www.starsoccerclub.org/