The East Bay Eclipse Soccer Club is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, incorporated by the State of California on July 7, 2010, with the purpose of serving as an educational program for youth soccer players to increase their skill, knowledge and enjoyment of the game. We are an independent, competitive club, whose primary objective is to enable its members to reach their highest potential as players and as people in a positive and enjoyable environment. Eclipse ensures that the focus is always on the children and their healthy physical and emotional development. Practices are held locally in the Lamorinda area with games and tournaments held locally and throughout Northern California.
Our Approach: Eclipse’s innovative approach to soccer development leverages current research and best practices used by top soccer clubs, leadership academies, and athletic programs throughout the world. While Eclipse is a competitive soccer club with the goal of developing its members into high-level players, our innovative approach places the child at the center of all aspects of club policy and decision making, and fosters an environment that enables our players to develop a passion for the game, grow strong, stay healthy, build skills, and become leaders on and off the field—all while building friendships and having a ton of fun!
Our Program: Eclipse offers team-based training and a competitive game schedule where players are asked to commit to individual improvement as well as to the development and success of the team. Additional, optional, competitive play, training, and leadership activities are made available during the season and throughout the year, allowing players who want more soccer and more training to readily have access to it. Our program and approach enables us to: keep a pulse on the physical and mental health of our players to avoid burnout and/or overuse injuries; nourish a love of soccer while promoting and encouraging participation in other sports and activities; develop the full potential of our players, and enable them to succeed in all aspects of their lives.
Our Season: The primary Eclipse season runs from mid-June to mid-November. Eclipse requires a solid commitment from our players to attend practices and games during the Eclipse season for consistency in the development of our individual players and our teams. Teams have two practices per week throughout the season. Eclipse also offers optional third practices each week, typically on Fridays, which include specialized skill clinics, scrimmages and futsal that are open to the entire club. Future Eclipse players (U8 and younger) participate in 6-8 4v4 playdates in addition to practices. U9 and older Eclipse teams should expect to have soccer 3-4 weekends per month during the season between tournaments, outdoor games, indoor games, and beach soccer. The goal is to have a schedule that allows players to consistently play soccer without overloading them at any point. With our independent scheduling, we do our best to respect family time and schedule around holiday weekends. Additionally, our independent scheduling enables us to match each of our individual teams with opponents who offer the appropriate competitive balance and make necessary adjustments during the season on an as-needed basis. In 2013, Eclipse will be introducing optional spring play opportunities for all of its players who are available and ready to get an early start on the season.
Our Playing Formats: We believe that both full-sided and small-sided play enhance skill development and foster a love of the game. All Eclipse teams play traditional full-sided games (8v8, 11v11 depending on the age) regularly throughout the season. This allows our players to develop their tactical skills for high-school and collegiate-level play. To accelerate development and enhance the overall soccer experience, we also mix in small-sided play (which includes indoor, futsal, and beach—which the kids love). This enables our players to get many more touches on the ball, further developing their technical, tactical, and mental capability. And, it gives players more opportunities to play both offensive and defensive roles.
Our Training System: We work to deliver a top-level training development system that takes into account each player’s individual skill level and aspirations, allowing coaches to work with players and teams to set and accomplish goals that are both challenging and attainable. Our system begins with our Future Eclipse program and extends through to our U-18 players. An overwhelming emphasis is placed on developing the technical skills of our young players to create a solid foundation for each player to be successful as they begin to learn more advanced technical and tactical concepts. The earlier our players are able to develop a solid foundation, the higher their potential for learning and developing as their playing level increases. Beginning with Future Eclipse, coaches throughout the club maintain and execute a consistent, progressive training plan that focuses not only on the technical and tactical aspects of soccer but also on the physical, mental, and social development of our players. Players are encouraged to take risks and be creative without the fear of making mistakes. Since 2011, more than 50 Eclipse players have made high school rosters.
Our Leadership & Coaches: We actively recruit, train, and retain high-quality coaches who embrace the Eclipse philosophy—an approach that emphasizes positive feedback, hard work, sportsmanship, healthy competition, and fun. Shane Carney, the Club’s founding Director, oversees all operations and coach training and development. Shane has national-level coaching training, served as a youth coach for 15 years, and has extensive experience managing and training coaches. In addition to our Director, we have recently hired a Boys Director, Luis Pinto, and a Girls Director, Heather Dittmer. These Assistant Directors were selected because of their proven track record of success in coaching, their proven trust and belief in the Eclipse philosophy, their fresh ideas based on diverse soccer experiences, and their commitment to the total development of our kids as players and as people. Each brings a total of nearly 20 years of soccer experience to our club, ensuring that the club continues to develop from the top down to create the best possible environment and program for our players, coaches, and families. We hire coaches who are not only technically qualified, but those who also understand youth development best practices and can foster a strong coach-player/team bond. In addition to providing our coaches with on-going training & development, Eclipse coaches receive annual mandatory reporting and concussion awareness training, and they are CPR and First Aid certified. We believe that children should enjoy attending practices and games of the sport they love, in a safe and supportive environment.
Our Leadership Program: We offer our players leadership opportunities both on and off the field, enabling them to discover and develop their own unique leadership style and apply these skills within their teams, the club, and the community. Eclipse achieves this goal through its own structured leadership program, LEAP (Leadership for Eclipse Athletes Program), inspired by the Julie Foudy Sports Leadership Academy’s nationally-acclaimed curriculum. LEAP focuses on deepening each child’s understanding of what leadership looks like and how they can apply it. As part of the club’s overall development program, all players are encouraged by the coaches and directors to be leaders on and off of the field.
Questions: Email Director Shane Carney at email@example.com.