Canada Soccer has created the Skill Centre to guide clubs towards the best principles in player development, by taking a nationally coordinated approach to developing young soccer players. The WIA Skill Centre follows the guidelines and standards outlined in the Canada Soccer Association Skill Centre manual.
Westcastle International Academy’s Skill Centre is a program that develops players’ fundamental skills to succeed at whatever level of the game they aspire to.
At WIA, the training environment resembles the game environment, with each training session focusing on relevant, game-realistic skill development, complemented with a multi-sport approach, to develop motivated athletes.
WIA has two Skill Centres
- @UVIC (Victoria) is an after-school soccer development program with a multi-sport component.
- @WESTHILLS (Langford) is a comprehensive soccer development program that covers the four pillars of soccer development with 2/3 sessions per week (two early evening and 1-weekend session).
WIA is a full member of the Lower Island Soccer Association, participating in the weekly LISA development league against other LISA member clubs.
The Skill Centre is a standards-based program. Any player applying to a Skill Centre must attend WIA’s ID camps for evaluation.
Players will be evaluated along all 4 aspects of player development; mental, physical, technical and tactical skill. Once ID camps are completed, selected players will be invited to join WIA’s Skill Centres.
Invited Players for the 2024/2025 season:
Players (U8-U10) – Training Players
- Offered at the Skill Centre @UVic location only.
- Training Program only.
- There is no LISA League for players in these age groups.
- WIA does not provide in-club weekend games for this age group.
- Players selected in this age group may opt to register with another LISA Club to participate in their House League.
- Players who register with WIA only may participate in the LISA Active Start Festival, as WIA Rangers.
Players (U10-U12) – Rangers
- Team formation is location-dependent.
- Selected players will register with WIA, and play for WIA in the LISA League – U11/U12/U13 Girls and Boys.
- Players will be placed in training groups.
- WIA does not have set teams, but fluid rosters that are created weekly according to the competition and individual player’s development
- As of 2024/2025, the Skill Centre will no longer offer a supplementary training program for players U1o – U12. All players selected to join the Skill Centre will be Registered with WIA.
WIA’s Philosophy on Player Placement
The placement of players is based on a variety of variables:
- “Soccer Age” (player’s maturity, physical age, technical ability and overall understanding of soccer)
- Stage of physical development and literacy (fluid and ever-changing)
- Team dynamic
- Biological age
Some players may play in their biological age group, while others are placed on teams based on their soccer age. WIA technical coaches decide a player’s placement on an individual basis.
Parents and players must understand the following as it relates to the Skill Centre and WIA Teams. WIA:
- Cannot enroll more players than the player-to-coach ratio allows
- Priority registration will be given to players selected for WIA Teams
- Should space allow, additional spots will be given to players seeking supplementary training from other clubs
- Cannot turn away players who show promise just because they are inexperienced at the present moment
- Cannot accurately predict the potential or future performance of a player
- Cannot guarantee that your player will make the BCSPL team at U13 because the characteristics of young players are not the same as those of mature elite athletes
- Can develop and support players who are ready and willing to train, follow our standards-based training methods and trust our judgement as it relates to their development
T-I-P-S Philosophy for Player Development
Technical – understanding of what a technical player is – willing to receive technical training, perceptive to developing technique (quality of the touch of the ball)… playing games and taking part in tournaments does not equate to the technical development of a player.
Intelligence – understanding the game, understanding instructions and ability to apply those instructions to play and game… following through the instructions (Game understanding – tactical understanding)
Personality – attitude, attention, coachability, decision-making, creative thinking, motivation, concentration, communication (psychosocial)
Speed – physical development, speed of thought and speed of action, problem-solving, intensity of training