Toronto FC is set to host their inaugural Youth in Soccer Symposium this Thursday at the BMO Training Grounds. The event will focus on youth soccer development and the maturation of young athletes.
The sold-out event gives coaches the opportunity to hear from leading edge professionals about long-term athlete development & physical literacy, how to develop a physical training curriculum, and other front of industry topics.
The Toronto FC Symposium will be a first of its kind held in Canada and is the first to have a specific focus on youth development. The afternoon event will be broken in four 1-hour sessions.
Toronto FC’s Head of Strength and Conditioning Tom Williams will host the first session. Williams enters his third season with TFC. Before his move to Toronto, Williams worked for Mansfield Town, Sheffield United, and English Premier League side Leicester City. His session will focus on the stages of development in youth athletes & the benefits of adding motor development activities to your practice.
The second session will be hosted by Ashley Merryman (PHD) and focus on the psychology of a developing athlete. Merryman is the co-author of the instant New York Times bestseller “Top Dog: The Science of Winning and Losing.” Merryman has taught Olympians on how to better perform under pressure and she has advised top executives on building a winning culture. Her session is titled “How to build a champion” and it will be tailored specifically for those working with youth athletes.
The penultimate session will be hosted by Dr. Tim Dwyer of Orthopedic Surgical Consultant Services. Dr. Dwyer has worked directly with Toronto FC consulting on the team’s orthopaedic needs. The session is titled “Understanding Maturation and its Impact on Youth Soccer Injuries.” Coaches will learn about the most common injuries in youth soccer, how to treat them, and how to help prevent them.
Finally, Dr. Tim Taha from the University of Toronto and Jim Liston, Toronto FC’s Director of Sports Science will be hosting the final session on player monitoring. Dr. Taha is an associate professor at the University of Toronto in the Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education. Liston has been with Toronto FC since 2014. Before coming to Toronto, he worked for the Columbus Crew, Chivas USA, and the LA Galaxy. Their session titled “Player Monitoring: Measuring Training Load in Your Practice.” will instruct coaches on how to quantify the physical cost of their training sessions and how to periodize their seasons.
The event will be running from 3:00-8:00 PM on Thursday. You can follow on twitter of live coverage from the event.