Welcome To U13 2012 Season

Welcome to our Ottawa boys U13 soccer program for 2012. Our team is made of wonderful kids who are eager to learn, practice, play, and make friends. We are accepting motivated and hardworking 1999 and 2000-born players for the 2012 season. Players who wish to join should contact the coach for tryouts.

Our emphasis is on skills development, our style is Brazilian soccer.

We have three main objectives in our program:
  1. Soccer skills development
  2. Fitness
  3. Sportsmanship
These objectives are described in more detail below.

The team practices and plays in Ottawa's west end (fields tbc), with 2 weekly practices plus 1 match (total 3X week), as follows:
  • League: EODSA U13 L5 Div 1
  • Practice 1: Saturdays 9AM
  • Practice 2: Mondays or Tuesdays (tbc) 6PM
  • Matches: Thursdays 6PM
  • Location: central/west end 
  • Tournaments. The team will play in about one tournament every month, 3 or 4 events in total for the season.
  • Team events. We try to have monthly team bonding events, pizza days, barbecues, attending semi pro soccer matches, etc.

Soccer Skills Development: Brazilian Style

We focus on skills, skills, skills, from basic ball reception, passes, to more advanced types of plays, feints, moves, and including 11v11 tactics. Some players are naturally gifted, others need lots of practices, but they can all improve and more importantly, develop a life long passion for the game, and for being active and fit (and away from TV and video games!). Players also learn from each other, this is a reason we like to mix players of different skills.

We call it the "Brazilian Style" because we teach South American style of soccer with an emphasis on basic ball control and skills, but add moves and styles by Brazilian players. We start every practice with a warm-up, followed by practicing moves, basic dribbling using the sole of the foot (Brazilian style), step overs, scissors, etc, and progressing to more advanced moves (the Rivelino elastic, Ronaldo, Ronaldinho, Rivaldo, Tostao, Maradona, Pele's cow move, etc), and every now and then we shows them new moves by famous players such as Cristiano Ronaldo or Messi, Cruyff, and others.

We then progress to specific drills focusing on one or two activities, shooting (placement strength, one timers), passing (inside, outside, sole, heels), air game (volleys and headers), set plays (corners, free kicks, etc.).

Goal keepers receive specific training as well. We do many fun competitions and have many prizes throughout the season, for specific accomplishments, as well as Players of the Month type of awards

After a few weeks, most of the players master these moves, and they are usually proudly showing the "Maradona" around or simply juggling the ball all over the place.

We finish practices with scrimmages. The players love playing under no pressure to win. Scrimmages also increase fitness levels, so players become fitter without realizing it. At least once a week, we also invite parents and siblings to join us in a big fun scrimmage (completely optional). These are a tremendous amount of fun, a lot of laughter and running around, and the children love it.

While in Canada in general there is a lack of practice time compared with match time, we believe younger children should be practicing and fun playing significantly more to develop skills, without the need to focus on wins. Our objectives, by the way, are in alignment with Ontario's LTPD. We wish we could practice and play 7 days a week!


There are three components to our fitness program:
  • Endurance. Our players do a lot of  activities geared towards them being able to play a full match 11v11: running, jumping, uphill, running on sand.
  • Speed: speed training is quite different from distance running and uses different muscles. Speed is necessary by all players, in particular strikers. Activities include many types of fun sprint races and muscle training
  • Core Body Conditioning: As players get older, they will see that they are no longer made of "rubber", and need to develop their core bodies to strengthen their bodies and prevent injuries. Activities such as warm-up, stretching, cool down become essential. Core body conditioning helps prevent injuries.


We really emphasize good sportsmanship. we try the kids to be "good citizens" in many ways. These include, respect for opponents, officials, referees, never swearing or using vulgar language. We know that coaches and parents are role models to the kids, so we expect the same from them.

We also do not allow diving or faking or "professional fouls". It is against FIFA rules to dissent from a referee's decision. That should be respected.

In addition, we expect the players to focus and work hard during practices. Practices are much more important than matches.


No child is turned away from soccer due to financial constraints. No questions asked.

Furthermore, we also raise funds for worthy charitable causes, either directly for them, or by using part of the funds we raise ourselves as several of the players do have financial constraints.

What we require and is expected from the players:

  • Attendance. We ask (hope!) for attendance of 75% to practices and 80% to matches.
  • Focus and Effort. We are volunteers very dedicated to teaching soccer skills. What we want is that the players focus 100% on the activity at hand and work hard during practices on both their skills and fitness
  • Sportsmanship: We require that the players display good sportsmanship at all times, as outlined above

Contact us at u13ottawa at gmail .com


These are some photos from the 2011 activities.

April 2011
May 2011

July 2011
August 2011  

Fitness (or fun?) session

Our Approach and LTPD

Our philosophy is aligned with LTPD, Ontario Soccer's Long Term Player Development program. It has been for years, before LTPD was being implemented.

LTPD is a new initiative which focuses on player development instead of winning. The new directions apply to all OSA soccer leagues in Ontario and are very welcome for the simple reasons that if coaches did not have to worry about standings they could really focus on skills development. At the younger ages our focus should not be on winning, or on the elite players for that matter, but on making all kids learn and like the game, and be fit - for life.

There is nothing wrong with winning, and LTPD is not against winning. However, focusing on winning at the younger ages is detrimental to the development of skills. Coaches know that it is relatively easily to win a match in ways that are not helpful for kids development. Such ways limit the players and become huge barriers later on in life.  We are well-aware that children would improve much faster and would remain in the sport in much bigger numbers if there were no standings, no silly team promotion and demotion.

In an Oct 26 letter, Alex Chiet, OSA's Chief technical officer, mentioned that the Technical Advisory Council will be recommending a league structure that will emphasize skills development at the youngest ages (U4 to U12) with a more appropriate practice-to-game ratio  and less emphasis on “winning games”, and much more on enhancing skill development of all players. This is long overdue. Practices is exactly what we focus on.

In this context, winning-losing stats are irrelevant. Children have fun and are happy when they know they played hard and well, even if they lose. They develop a wonderful love for the game, and of physical activity, hopefully for life.

We see many other coaches telling their kids that they should play "aggressively to win". This is quite negative. Yes, players should be taught to be the first to the ball and win it, but by being faster and smarter and using skills and tactics to beat their opponents. Tactics are needed to play as a team in 11v11 situations in a full soccer field, They learn to play as a team (7v7 involves less tactics in mini fields, but is appropriately used for younger children).

Soccer is also not about bumping or pushing your opponent out of the play. This sort of behavior will only get the kids so far. It works while some of the kids are bigger and stronger, but eventually skills will prevail, and all those "aggressive" players are left behind.

Our approach is to practice and play as much as possible. We play and maintain optional practices outdoors until the ground is frozen. We use every opportunity we get from the weather to play outdoors. We also open weekly games to parents and siblings, and by mixing children of different skills levels the players learn from watching and playing with others. This works wonders. We schedule scrimmages with whomever we can, boys or girls, older and younger. We play and practice to have fun. The more the kids play, the better they will become.

We also tell them about fair play and sportsmanship, never to swear or argue with a referee, never to dive and fake, and to always respect opponents and spectators. It is unfortunately not what we see at all out there because they need to "win", and those kids will be very limited when they get older.

It is not about winning at all costs. It is about the kids learning skills and having fun. The benefits of physical activity are more than obvious and well documented.

As for moving to the professional spheres, and success at the Concafaf, Olympics, or World Cup level, the kids with most talent and skills and commitment will naturally move to the advanced or professional streams as they get older, armed with an arsenal of new soccer weaponry and a great attitude. These will be much better and stronger players when it counts, and with hopefully a well defined path to get there. The others, the not so talented or committed ones, or the ones with other interests in life, will still play for fun for the rest of their lives, and be fit and healthy.

The LTPD is also closely aligned with FIFA's Grassroots objectives, whose main objective in to bring as many people as possible into the game, because football is "a school of life,” as well as Grassroots festivals. The idea with the festivals is to provide children with a positive experience and to give them all the same opportunity to play, without an overall winner being declared at the end of the day, something not always possible in tournaments, where teams can be knocked out quickly, denying young players to chance to play and sometimes giving them a "negative impression of the game" (FIFA quotes).

The status quo is not acceptable. No wonder we have not made to the WC in more than 20 years on the men's side. LTPD was long overdue.

It is Not About Winning

 From an article I wrote published by Ottawa's EMC chain November 24 2011

Coach Biography


I am a senior OSA/CSA certified coach. I have a PhD in Electrical Engineering but a bigger passion for sports, including soccer, tennis, and running which I avidly practice. I was born in Chile and I grew up in Brazil, where most people live and breath soccer every day. It is a place where during vacations children go to the street soon after breakfast and play soccer until sunset, and during the school year, they go out to play soon after they get back home. Recesses consist also of soccer. Their skills develop naturally, and winning too - based on skills and a developed passion for the game that comes with it. They play on dirt fields, some playing barefoot (grass fields and cleats are a luxury!)

I have coached recreational and competitive teams, I run soccer summer camps during my vacations, and I also run spring, fall, and winter skills development sessions outdoors, on gyms, as well as in domes when we can find turf time. I also organize a pickup game open to all for over 17 years. We play outdoors in the west end, our record is December 8. We are still going at it. Come and join us!