Values and Principles

Iowa Soccer Club

Iowa Soccer Club Values and PrinciplesEvery player, regardless of natural soccer ability, is given the same focus, attention, and devotion by the ISC coaching staff.

  • ISC coaches are dedicated to helping coach and mentor all players with the same attention and concern as any other player in our program.
  • ISC coaches will not give less attention to a young athlete simply because they may seem to show less potential than their peers.

Loyalty to our players is a fundamental value that guides and influences all coaching and administrative decisions in the ISC. 

  • Once a player has completed at least one season in our advanced year-round program, we will always find a roster spot for them as long as they continue to meet our commitment requirements, financial requirements, and are in good standing with the coaches in regard to their practice and game behavior/attitude.
  • Players may be moved between “A” and “B” teams within our system based on their development, however, we will always make a roster spot available, and provide them with opportunities to develop.
  • We make sure that all players play in both halves of every game in the advanced year-round program for 9U-14U teams.
  • In the advanced program 15U-19U, we do not guarantee equal playing time, however, we try to ensure that players reach their developmental goals.
  • Our long-term team and player development focus means that our priorities are centered around the improvement of all of our players, not just the players that are furthest ahead.

We do not “hide” players from responsibility in games.  We give all players critical roles in each match regardless of where they fall on the developmental spectrum.  

  • Our style of play requires that all players on the field participate fully. While we give our players freedom to express themselves as individuals, our tactical approach is such, that all players on the field must pass the ball well, and have proficient technical ability because of the possession-based style of play that we encourage.
  • We require our coaching staff to play all 9U-14U players in two positions in every match in order to provide all players with a broader developmental experience (with the only exception being the 13U-14U state cup).
  • We do not waiver from this approach even as some would like us to focus on short term results.

 We recognize and understand that all children develop physically and as soccer players at different rates. 

  • We want players to choose what level of play that they would like to pursue in the ISC, rather than “cutting” players off from our high level programs at the youngest ages.
  • We recognize that a player may be a late developer, or have simply joined the club at a later stage of development.

We have proven over the past 23 years that it is possible to run a successful, and developmentally focused program, without implementing tryout procedures at the 9U-12U ages.  

  • We accept all 9U-12U players that are willing to make the time commitment to the advanced year-round team program as long as we have roster spots available in the age group.
  • One of the cornerstones of the ISC pathway is to allow kids to choose at 9U-12U if they want more or less commitment.  If the adults are always the “gatekeepers” to the programs through the process of tryouts at 9U-12U, kids are not always given the opportunity to show the coaches, their peers, and even their own parents what they are able to do in sports.
  • Our director, Jon Cook, who has been with the club for the past 21 years, has structured what he calls a “self-tracking” entry in the club for 9U-12U soccer players.  Kids enter the “track” or pathway which they think most suits their interests during the 9U-12U years.

We form “A” and “B teams at the 13U age group; however, we believe that by delaying the ‘A” and “B” selection until 13U that we are able to develop a larger pool of talented players that will stay in the game for a longer period of time.

  • If you are new to the ISC advanced year round program at the 13U-19U level, you will need to tryout.  We will do our best to place all new players, but will assess each player to make sure they are a good fit for the program.

We understand that kids should play multiple sports in order to avoid overuse injuries.  

  • There is compelling evidence that participation in multiple sports at certain ages enhances overall athletic development.  With this said, most of our programs are year round programs and players cannot have success in this sport without the correct amount of skill and tactical training at the correct ages.
  • There is a window of critical development that players cannot “under train” in if they are to develop the technical skills to be successful in soccer.
  • We constantly try to stay abreast of the most relevant information from all sources to best guide our families and players. Therefore, we have done our best to structure our year round program in such a way so as not to discourage or prevent our players from doing other sports at the 9U-15U levels.

While winning games is one way to assess soccer performance, it is not always the best indicator of a team or player’s actual progress at the youngest age groups. In our view, winning games at the youngest ages should NOT take precedence over the development of each and every single player, especially in the age groups from 9U-14U.  

  • In the ISC we take a long-term, no SHORT CUTS, approach to the development of competent, skillful players that are capable of playing in multiple positions on the field.
  • ISC coaches want all of our players to be successful in soccer for as long as possible. In order to help young players have long term success, our coaches have to have the courage to coach games with the intent to win but not at the expense of making sure that players have no room to make mistakes.
  • Our track record proves that if you take the long term developmental approach, while you may lose some games at the younger ages, your teams will have more success when it matters, in the 15U-19U age range.