Frequently Asked Questions

Question: What is the vision and goal of NRFC?

Answer: NRFC is a community based youth organization focused on kids enjoying soccer, developing skills and engaging in healthy competition.

Our aim is to create a PLAYER-CENTERED environment where your child feels safe, learns, and feels they belong and are valued. At NRFC the goal is for every child to achieve their full potential on and off the field.

Question: How are players selected for U9+ Travel Teams? (TRYOUTS)

Answer: At NRFC – Travel, we aim to evaluate players’ abilities using our unique acronym G.O.A.L.S.:

  • G… Do they demonstrate GAME IQ? Can they read & understand the GAME?
  • O… Do they want to OWN the ball? Can they make their OWN decisions? Do they show OWNERSHIP of their game?
  • A… Do they show the right ATTITUDE – sportsmanship and respect for the game?
  • L… Do they demonstrate the ability to LEARN – looking and listening?
  • S… Do they show their SKILLS (perceive-decide-act) when under pressure? Can they use their SKILLS to create and also solve problems?

Question: Is Travel soccer much more competitive than Rec Soccer?

Answer: Yes. However, the Travel soccer program is still a developmental program, especially at the younger ages.

In order to address the range of teams and their skill-set, the Westchester Youth Soccer League offers multiple divisions for each age group to ensure that games are both fun and competitive for players of all abilities. For some of our higher level teams, they join premier leagues which also offer flexible rosters.

Question: At what age is Travel soccer offered?

Answer: We offer opportunities starting at U9 in the Westchester Youth Soccer League across various age-divisions and tiers. Also through our Premier Program, ‘NRFC Premier,’ we offer more advanced players who can compete in the New York Club Soccer (NYCS) sponsored by Elite Development Program (EDP) and United States Youth Soccer (USYS) North Atlantic National Premier Divisions.

Furthermore, they have the opportunity to attend various regional tournaments against top ranked teams in the region and nation.

NRFC can accommodate all levels of players.

Question: Is Travel soccer right for my child?

Answer: It depends on the child and the family. Both travel soccer and rec soccer provide fantastic opportunities to enjoy the game, but every child and their family is different. We encourage you to get more information by speaking with the directors of the NRFC board, the DOC for Travel and Premier, along with current and former travel parents.

Question: What is the commitment required of a travel player?

Answer: Travel soccer requires around 3 1⁄2 to 4 1⁄2 hours per week throughout both the Fall and Spring Seasons. This depends on if the team practices once or twice per week, the length of the training session and the game most often on a Sunday.

Question: Who is eligible to play Travel soccer?

Answer:Travel soccer is open to all players from U9 to U18.

Due to the significant commitment required, only ‘travel ready’ players are eligible. The term ‘travel ready’ can be loosely defined as a child that demonstrates appropriate attitude, and respects the time commitment.

You, as a parent, are the best judge of whether this program is right for your son or daughter.

Question: Who coaches the Travel team?

Answer: NRFC travel teams have a combination of parent volunteers and professional trainers/coaches. Some teams hire a trainer for practices and the parent coaches the game. In other instances the team uses a professional trainer for practice and game.

Every coach must complete orientation with the Westchester Youth Soccer League, plus the minimum course requirements by the WYSL. NRFC Coaches also complete mandatory HeadsUp Concussion training, and SafeSport abuse prevention training. 

Professional soccer trainers often continue their coaching education beyond the grassroots level. They hold the higher coaching licenses from the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) and United Soccer Coaches (USC).

Each team is also assigned at least one parent manager whose primary role is to communicate with the team, coordinate team activities and support the trainer. The team manager also performs other tasks as needed. Teams can have multiple coaches and team managers.

Question: What are the primary differences between Travel and Rec Soccer?

Answer: The main differences are:

Travel Soccer:

  1. Training:
    Travel soccer often involves extensive training of 2 sessions each week, that can be 1.25 – 1.5 hours, with/without a certified trainer. In addition there is a game on Sunday that is 50 minutes long. Many teams ask players to arrive at least 30 minutes before kickoff.In addition, some teams attend winter training and/or play in a league between the Fall and Spring season. This can be between 8 – 10 sessions.
  2. Tournaments:
    Travel soccer often involves tournaments throughout the year.
    Popular tournament weekends occur around Labor Day, Columbus Day and Memorial Day. In addition, there are a variety of indoor tournaments offered in the winter and other outdoor tournaments during the season.
  3. Competition:
    In travel soccer these teams compete against a new team each week from other towns/clubs.
  4. Travel and Commitment:
    Games are played across Westchester, Yonkers, NYC and occasionally in Rockland County.
    Traveling to games can range from several minutes to as much as an hour or more, for a Sunday game. With the exception of the high school aged teams, all teams play both the Fall and Spring seasons.
    Winter season can vary from training only, and/or training plus tournaments/league. The winter season is not mandatory.
Recreation Soccer
Rec Soccer gives every kid an opportunity to play, learn the Fundamentals of soccer to help them develop in the sport and most importantly, have FUN and make friends.
Rec is generally open to every child between the age of 3 to 14/15 years old regardless of whether he or she has previous soccer experience. Rec Soccer has training, drills and games on Saturday for kids Pre K to 8th Grade.
It’s a fun and professionally coached environment to hone in their skills. It differs from travel soccer that is based on selection depending on the player’s skills and abilities during tryouts.

Question: What is the price difference between programs?

Answer: The costs for each program can vary widely depending on team participation. A breakdown would cover the following:

  • Player registration (spring and fall)
  • Trainer fees (fall, winter and spring)
  • Tournament fee
  • Uniform

Overall, travel costs more than rec.

Question: Why is travel soccer more expensive than the rec program?

Answer: The price difference comes down to training sessions, cost of uniform, fields; and other costs for the Director of Coaching and registrar.

Question: Are kids able to commit to Travel soccer and still play other sports?

Answer: Many of the kids in travel soccer play multiple sports and we understand the conflict that may cause. We try to be flexible around practices to accommodate those kids, with an expectation they will be at the game.

Question: How much emphasis is put on winning?

Answer: We can all agree winning is nice! Kids play to win. However, kids DO NOT participate in sports because they want to win games and trophies.

Kids play soccer because it is FUN, and they want to DEVELOP.

This is particularly true for our younger teams where the emphasis is on PLAYER DEVELOPMENT.

Question: Are tryouts necessary for travel players?

Answer: Yes. Every player is required to try out for travel soccer each year for the younger ages (U9 and older).

Each player MUST attend two (2) mandatory tryouts. It is best to have 2 because everyone can have a bad day. It will also give our evaluators (professional trainers) more information to work with in order to grade the players properly.

Question: When are Travel tryouts held and teams announced?

Answer: Registration typically begins in May for the following Fall season. Tryouts are held in early spring, with teams announced shortly therafter.

Question: How much playing time can my child expect playing Travel?

Answer: Our objective is to ensure that all full-time travel players receive at least 50% playing time over the course of the season at U9 and U10. Although we strive to ensure that full-time players receive 50% playing each game, it is not always possible to achieve.

Playing time is determined by a combination of factors – attitude, respect, and attendance.

Question: What is the club’s philosophy around cuts in Travel soccer?

Answer: Our goal is to find a place to play for all interested ‘Travel ready’ kids. Although, it was once the norm to only place the most skilled players on Travel teams, we have found that kids develop at different rates and committed players often ‘catch up’ over time if given the opportunity.

Having said that, we do feel it is important to build skill-based teams wherever possible and we do require a minimum skill level to be placed on a Travel team. In addition, roster sizes are set by the WYSL, providing only a limited number of spots.

Question: What days will we practice?

Answer: Practice days and times are announced following notification from the City of New Rochelle on our assigned field space. This can be a week or 2 before the season kicks off. 

Question: What time will our practice be?

Answer: This varies each season. Time slots for each age group are determined after receiving field availability from the City of New Rochelle.

Question: Where are practices held?

Answer: The fields located at City Park, 450 5th Avenue, New Rochelle, NY 10801 have been our main fields for practice. Field time has also historically been available at New Rochelle High School and in the spring season, at other NR school fields.

Question: What day will our games be?

Answer: Sunday has been game day. In the event of a makeup game, Saturday has been most common. Premier league games are primarily played on Saturday.

Question: What do we need to bring to practice?

Answer: Players should wear their practice jersey, shorts, long socks, shin guards, and cleats. Players should also bring the appropriate size ball (Size 4 for U9-U12).

Question: Is there a drill library?

Answer: There are many social media platforms that share coaching content. In order to provide the best experience for your players it is recommended you pursue a coaching pathway that will help you better understand the age and stage of your players, and what games are appropriate.

Coaching Education Pathway –

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