Ruben Vloedgraven, Westfield Soccer Association Director of Coaching, Joins Red Bulls Youth Programs Seasonal Orientation as Guest Presenter.
Grant Findlay, Regional Manager, New York Red Bulls:
“New York Red Bulls is dedicated to offering unparalleled support and education to the youth soccer community. One of the many ways we execute this is to put our newly hired trainers through a very intense and comprehensive training week before our 10-week in-season education program which starts in early September.
Our recruitment and education team has brought in 30 new trainers to Youth Programs, all with the desire to make a positive impact on the soccer landscape throughout the tri-state. Some of the key topics covered in the orientation included: The Red Bulls Approach to Development, long-term player development versus winning, creating fun training environments, game day coaching and team formations, code of conduct, risk management and observation of practical coaching sessions delivered by our education managers.
For me this year, one of the more beneficial and productive modules was the presentation and Q&A session delivered by Ruben Vloedgraven of the Westfield Soccer Association. Ruben provided a very insightful angle on the standards, expectations, needs, and relationships of one of our longest-standing partner clubs.”
Ruben Vloedgraven, Director of Coaching, Westfield Soccer Association:
My presentation intended to show the New York Red Bulls youth coaches what it means to work in one of the Red Bulls' partner clubs. The Red Bulls have a “Red Print” on the basic principles and values they want to instill with young soccer players; teaching the game in a safe and challenging environment. In addition to this, I was able to add our own beliefs, principles, and basics that we also want to be instilled within our players at our club.
I aimed to provide all the new coaches in attendance with a better idea of our overall development philosophy; how we envision to play the game and how that impacts our training and coaching methods. All the while keeping in mind our vision. A vision in which we want to instill a club-wide playing style across teams. Recognizing that this takes time and patience and that we must take the right steps along the way to meet our development objectives.
By sharing the WSA development philosophy, and the training and coaching methods utilized within the program, I hope to have painted a better picture of the "why" behind all that is done with the club. There is a thought behind all that is done while allowing the professional coaching staff creative freedom to help us meet our objectives.
We have been a partner club of the New York Red Bulls for over a decade. During this time we have both evolved but always maintained the same key objective of providing soccer players within the Westfield town and surrounding areas the best possible training and coaching environments.
We enjoy working with the Red Bulls as it provides us with a direct connection with the local professional club. A club that is well known for its ability to develop youth soccer players to the professional level. You know there is a great emphasis on the development of youth players in this environment. Something we seek to do, though at a slightly smaller scale.
We know that the Red Bull coaches are very well trained and provided with constant support to further their development. The overall development philosophy of the Red Bulls and the WSA align well, with an emphasis on player development, which is another reason to partner with the New York Red Bulls.”
Abigail Katz, Senior Manager of Youth Coaches, New York Red Bulls:
“It was great to have Ruben at our orientation and present to our new youth coaches. Ruben was able to show how Red Bulls Youth Programs and Westfield SA work together on the same mission while instilling The Red Print and incorporating the specific needs of the Westfield Soccer Association. The new coaches will be placed in a variety of clubs and having Ruben in helped them to see how each partnership is unique while having full alignment with Red Bulls Youth Programs.”
Westfield Soccer Association: Red Bulls Partner Spotlight
Westfield Soccer Association and Union County FC
Town and Location Served:
Westfield and surrounding communities in Union, Middlesex, Somerset, Morris and Essex Counties.
Mission statement/Program Philosophy:
We create and provide high-quality soccer experiences for children of all abilities within our community that inspire a love of the game through positive personal growth as players and people.
Westfield Soccer Association is a not-for-profit organization established to promote the sport of soccer through a variety of programs and activities. Sportsmanship, fair play, and fun are the core values of the Club. Please visit www.westfieldnjsoccer.com regularly for the latest Club news, programs, events, and announcements.
Westfield Soccer Association provides opportunities to approximately 2500 players each year between our recreational, travel, premier, volunteer, adult, and special needs programs. We seek to provide playing opportunities for anyone, no matter their age, gender or ability. Given the size of our club, Westfield Soccer Association can provide its players with an opportunity to play in an environment that suits the player’s needs no matter the skill level.
Westfield Soccer Association has been affiliated with New York Red Bulls for over ten years. We enjoy the partnership as both organizations seek to maximize player development, for the overall improvement of how the game of soccer is not only played but taught and coached.
A relationship with a professional franchise is very powerful and influential for our players and parents. Children need role models to look up to, in anything they do. The idea of potentially becoming a professional can be a powerful means to increase the intrinsic motivation among youth players.
Charlie Falletta, VP Player Development: “Westfield Soccer Association is very proud of its long-standing affiliation with the New York Red Bulls and the value that the organization brings to our club. As we continue to develop our recreational, travel, and Union County FC premier programs under the direction of Ruben Vloedgraven, our Director of Coaching, we look forward to continuing our relationship to ensure that our players gain the appropriate level of technical and tactical experience that inspires a life-long love of the game.”
Westfield Soccer Association is proud of the progress we have made as a whole, across all programs. We have developed and implemented age-appropriate priorities and training methods for our players throughout each age group and skill level. Our teams participate in EDP, Mid New Jersey Youth Soccer, the Suburban Youth Soccer League, as well as our in-town leagues. Our travel and premier teams also participate in numerous tournaments throughout New Jersey, as well as Pennsylvania and Delaware.
Westfield Soccer Association is also particularly proud of the overall development of our Union County FC premier program as it continues to attract top players from surrounding communities. Both the overall standard of play and the interest in the program have increased over the last several years. As a non-profit community-based organization, Westfield Soccer Association can selectively provide unique playing and learning opportunities for our players as our teams tend to have smaller rosters that maximize playing time without the financial pressures that many for-profit clubs face.
Additionally, the Westfield Soccer Association offers a soccer program exclusively for special needs children in the Westfield and surrounding communities. The program, called “Westfield Winners”, is designed to meet the needs of children with physical and/or intellectual disabilities.
Westfield Winners is a non-competitive, one-on-one soccer program designed to offer a safe environment where special needs children can learn to play and enjoy the game of soccer. Children will play at their own pace in a relaxed atmosphere guided by their own dedicated ‘Soccer Buddy’. Westfield Winners also aims to encourage higher self-esteem and a sense of belonging to a team.
This program is offered free of charge to children between the ages of 6 and 17.
Club Contact Information:
Ruben Vloedgraven - Director of Coaching
firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com
Facebook: Westfield Soccer Association
Facebook: Union County Football Club