Provincial Team Program FAQs


FAQ - Provincial Teams Program

Frequently Asked Questions 
Provincial Teams Program, Updated July 2017

 
 

- - - - - General Questions - - - - -

 

  • What is the purpose, philosophy, and goals of the program?

The goal of the program is to identify our province’s most talented players and expose them to higher levels of training, coaching, and competition.  We operate with “player-first” philosophy, meaning the development of the player is the main priority.
 

  • Can anyone tryout for a provincial soccer team?

No, tryouts are by invitation only. Tryout invitations are determined by the scouting of NLSA provincial competitions, as well as consultation with regional and club technical directors & coaches. Tryouts weekends commence in the fall of each year.  All player must pre-register for the tryouts. In some cases the U18 age division may be an option tryout, but players still need to pre-register
 

  • What sort of commitment is required to play on a provincial team?

Rather than weekly training, the program operates with a training-camp format. The program consists of 7 training weekends:

  • Fall camp (outdoors)
  • 2 Winter camps (indoors @ Techniplex)
  • 3 Spring camps (outdoors)
  • Pre-Competition camp (2-4 days immediately prior to travel)

Players are expected to attend 100% of the camps. A full commitment is necessary to ensure the proper development of the players, and the preparation of the team. Players who fail to make a full commitment to the program may find themselves released from the team.
 
We make an effort to avoid major dates and events such as Christmas holidays, Easter break, most long weekends, school exams, etc
 
Players are also expected to be committed to regular training with their respective club soccer teams, and to perusing exceptionally high fitness standards that are required to compete at the next level.
 

  • Can I play other sports?  

Yes, of course. We see the benefit of being a multi-sport athlete and have no problem with that. Please note, however, that in the event of a schedule clash, players are expected to make provincial soccer the priority. Missing a training camp due to another sport is not acceptable.
 

  • How many players are selected for the provincial team?  

This varies per age group and per team. While some coaches may prefer to select their team immediately following fall tryouts, other may choose to select a “training pool” before determining their final roster in the spring. There are benefits to both approaches.
 

  • What is the cost of playing on a provincial team? 

Although the NLSA is able to slightly subsidize the program through government grants and sponsorship, it is largely a user-pay program. We operate on a zero-based budget and charge only what we need to in order to operate the program. There are 2 areas of cost:
 
1. Provincial Team Training Fees  : This fee is due immediately upon being selected to the program, prior to the commencement of the program, and is paid to NLSA office. This fee includes facility rentals, training kit, match uniforms, equipment, first aid, coaching, and subsidies for travelling players & coaches. The fee is calculated annually based on our costs to run the program.  (2016-17 program fee was $375)
 
2. Team Expenses :  Each provincial team will also have their own budget that is development by the team manager and approved by NLSA. The major items in this budget are travel costs such as airfare, accommodation, ground transport, meals, etc. Other examples of items typically included in the team budget are team apparel, team socials, etc. The per-player cost determined by the team budget will vary from team to team, depending on the location of the competition, but typically ranges from $1000-1300.
 
 
PLEASE NOTE:  There are some avenues that can be perused to help those families who may not be able to meet the financial requirements. Together with the commitment of the family, the NLSA will work to support and aid players in need. We encourage all players to tryout for the provincial team and not decline the invitation due to worries about financing.
 
 

- - - - - - - Travel Questions - - - - - - -

 

  • Where and when do provincial teams compete? 

Our provincial teams compete in the Atlantic Championships, which take place in late or early July, depending on the age group. Host cities in recent years have included Halifax, Moncton, Charlottetown, St. John’s, Corner Brook, Fredericton, Wolfville, etc.
 

  • Can I book my own travel for my child?

No. All travel will be booked through the NLSA office.
 

  • Can I request a one-way ticket so I can make other travel plans around the trip? 

Possibly. Some airlines accommodate these requests while others do not. We are tied to the policies of the airlines.
 
One-way travel requests will be considered only for the departing leg. (ie: All players must fly together with the team to the tournament.; a player cannot meet the team at the tournament location).
Where possible, one-way tickets may be issued so that the player does not return to St. John’s with the team and the family can continue on to a vacation.
 

  • Can I use my reward points towards my child’s travel?

No. You cannot use points as part of a Group Booking.
 

  • Which airline will the team fly on?

We select whichever airline offers the best rate on the specific travel times and destinations that we require. Please note that not all “seat sale fares” that you may see advertised are available to Group Bookings.
 

  • Can parents travel on the team bus?

No, sorry. The team bus is for players and coaching staff only.

  • Can parents stay at the same hotel as the team?

We strongly prefer if parents look for alternate accommodation. The coaching staff is responsible for the players 100% of the time during team trips. Being with your teammates 24/7 is part of the experience for the players and creates a specific environment that we value and would like to preserve. Should alternate accommodation not be available, we ask that parents stay on separate floors, and respect the team’s space at all times.
 
 

 - - - - - - - Training Questions - - - - - - -

 

  • What is expected of a player during a training camp weekend?

Because our training camps are fairly infrequent, the time we have together is very valuable. For that reason, there are a number of expectations placed on the players during a camp weekend. In addition to attending 100% of the sessions, players are also asked to refrain from participating in other sports and club soccer during a camp weekend. The reasoning is that a camp has the potential to be quite physically and mentally demanding. A camp may include 4 high-intensity sessions in a 36-42 hour period and that is a great deal to ask of any athlete of any age. Players who participate in other sports during a camp weekend are either putting themselves at risk of injury & over-training, or are not contributing their all to the team. Fatigued players do not contribute to the training environment, in fact they often hinder it. Neither situation is positive and that is why we request players focus solely on their provincial team during a training camp weekend.
 
Players are also expected to maintain appropriate levels of rest, nutrition, hydration, injury prevention and management, and sleep to allow them to perform at their best during a camp weekend.
 

  • Are training camp dates flexible?

No. It is very uncommon for a camp date to change. Only in circumstances beyond our control will a camp date be moved (severe weather, facility issues, etc)
 

  • Where are the camps?

All camps are held at various facilities in the St. John’s metro area. There are some subsidies available to players travelling from outlying regions of the province to help a little bit with transport cost.
 

  • What does a training camp weekend consist of?

A typical camp will include 4 on-field sessions (a combination of training sessions & exhibition games) plus the potential for a classroom session, video session, team social, etc.  Camps typically start on Friday evening and we do our best to clue everything up by early afternoon on Sunday to allow travelling players to make it home.
 
Camp schedules are distributed by the team manager via email approximately 1 week prior to the training weekend. 
 

  • Is there fitness testing?

Yes. We conduct program-wide fitness testing twice per year for all teams U13 and older. The first round of testing is conducted at camp #1 in January, and round 2 is typically conducted during camp #5 in May. The test we use is called the “Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test - Level 1.”
 
 

- - - - - - - Additional Info - - - - - - -

 
 

  • What else do I need to know about playing on a provincial soccer team?

Being a provincial team player is a privilege that is earned by performance. The opportunity to represent your province at a high level is something to be very proud of, but also something that should not be taken for granted.  We are looking for players who have the ambition and desire to relentlessly pursue excellence in every way. Players can expect their on-going performance to be consistently monitored.
 

  • Are there further opportunities beyond the provincial teams program?

Yes, certainly. The Canadian soccer landscape offers many opportunities for standout players who make the grade. In fact, our philosophy is to develop players and move them on to higher levels of play beyond the provincial program. Examples of such programs are:
 

  • Whitecaps Academy Prospects (formerly NLSA High Performance Center)

This is a training program that runs Nov-April for a small group of the very very best U13-U17 players in our province. The program is supported and scouted through our partnership with the Vancouver Whitecaps FC, providing a direct link to a professional club academy for players who make the grade.

  • Canada Games Team NL

Once every 4 years the NLSA enters a team into Canada’s largest multi-sport event. The next Canada Games is in 2021, and the talent identification process for that program is done through the provincial team’s program.

  • Youth National Teams

Canada Soccer operates Youth National Teams for U15, U17, and U20. The first step towards playing for your country is playing for your province.

  • University Soccer

Year after year NLSA players are receiving athletic scholarships to attend Canadian and American Universities after being scouted while playing for a provincial team or one of the above programs.
 

  • Can I volunteer to help out with the team?

Yes! We are always looking for organized & energetic parents to act as team managers. Should the team manager position already be filled, we encourage parents to work with the managers, as there may be areas to help such as fundraising leads, billeting, etc.
 

  • How would a company or an individual go about setting up a sponsorship or donation?

We are always looking for support for our program to help the players. In many instances donors can receive a tax receipt. Should any individual or company be interested in a sponsorship or donation we encourage you to contact the NLSA office so we can further discuss a mutually beneficial partnership: 
 
Mike Power, NLSA Player Development Director - mike@nlsa.ca
Rob Comerford, NLSA Business Manager - rob@nlsa.ca
 

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