Our under nine (U9) program challenges players' fitness components such as agility, balance, coordination, and endurance while expanding on sport specific skills. As noted in the Soccer Canada Long Term Development model, this is the age where children become “less self-centered, able to reflect on their actions and learn from mistakes”. We create a supportive learning environment where children are encouraged to take risks on the pitch and put their critical thinking skills to the test. We encourage our athletes to learn from their mistakes and work on increasing confidence in their decision making. Rising Stars believes that players learn best through interactive experiences whereby instant feedback and positive reinforcement is at the center of our training philosophy. We develop skills like two touch passing, moving into open space and communicating with teammates using soccer specific language such as “down the line, switch the field of play, give and go”. Players will build on their critical thinking and strategic approach in game like situations that are fun and inclusive. Above all, our activities and training focus on collaboration, initiative, building a sense of “TEAM” by placing emphasis on respect, supporting fellow teammates on offense and defense, and learning how to be an active player on the field with or without the ball.