TOPSoccer is a program designed for special needs children who require more one-on-one attention than can be provided in our traditional team-based programs. The special needs include any physical or mental challenges, such as Downs Syndrome, ADHD, Cerebral Palsy and any form of Autism including Asperger’s.
Our goal is to give each player a sense of accomplishment and belonging to something. It may be a small group of friends to play with, or being a part of a sport. Modifications are made to the game and training environment to allow full participation and enjoyment to each athlete that participates. Each coach is looked on as a mentor to achieve our goal.
In the TOPS format, coaches or “buddies” work with the TOPSoccer players in a one-on-one format on the field. This could be one player with a coach participating in a small sided game with other players, or one player and one coach alone.
The “buddy” role is to build self-esteem and confidence. Soccer experience is not required; all the buddies need is a desire to help build the confidence of a child. We will help train the buddies.
Here are a few links explaining the program:
http://www.spencernewleader.com/pdf/AUB.2012.06.23.pdf (Look on the bottom right of the front page then page A7.)
A video of a TOPSoccer event held at MASS Youth headquarters in Lancaster.
This is the official site for Mass Youth Soccer, TOPSOCCER program.