Prospector TOPSoccer Coordinators: Heidi McFarlin & Susan Slattery
The Official Program for Youth Athletes with Disabilities
TOPSoccer, created in 1991, is a community-based soccer program that is designed to meet the needs of children with physical and/or mental disabilities. The emphasis of this program is on development, training, and meaningful participation rather than on competition.
Athletes are placed on teams according to ability NOT by age. Our goal is to enable young athletes with disabilities to develop their physical fitness, technical skills, courage, and self esteem, through the joy and excitement of playing soccer. TOPSoccer fosters the physical, mental and emotional growth and development of America’s youth through the sport of soccer at all levels. In short, TOPSoccer takes kids from the sidelines to participating in the game.
TOPSoccer is open to any child with a disability including but not limited to: A.D.D., Autism, Hearing Impaired, Sight Impaired, Cerebral Palsy, Traumatic Brain Injury, Cystic Fibrosis, Down’s Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Muscular Dystrophy, Seizure Disorder and Spinal bifida.
What is the TOPSoccer Parent’s Role?
You will need to provide transportation to and from all practices and games. Please also stay and lend support in a positive manner. Always ensure that your child is dressed and brings appropriate equipment (shinguards, footwear, soccer ball) to all practices and games. Parents should also provide necessary information to program administrator and coaches that will enhance your child’s experience and progression in the program. It may be necessary to provide a doctor's permission slip in order for your child to participate.
Family involvement in coaching and/or managing teams is essential to the success of this new soccer program. EDYSL will provide coaching instructors at each of the training sites to teach participants how to play soccer. The EDYSL instructors will also help train volunteers/family members in developing their coaching skills to ensure that coaching is consistent for the athletes, which will add to the success of the soccer program.
What a parent should expect from the program:
It will be a fun and meaningful experience for you and your child.
The game and activities shall be adapted in ways that will ensure your child learns at his/her own pace. Practices and games will be organized.
TOPSoccer will improve the overall fitness, self-esteem and social skills of your child.
Sense of belonging, value of being part of a team. Improved self-esteem, fitness and social skills. Success based on ability. FUN!
TOPSoccer Players Rights:
The right to decide when to participate in soccer. The right to participate in every game and to play at least 50% of each game. The right to participate at a level that corresponds to each child’s ability.
The right to participate in a safe and healthy environment.
The right to play as a child and enjoy participation in the sport.