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Summit Soccer Club Overview

The Summit Soccer Club (SSC) is an independent, nonprofit organization of volunteers dedicated to the development of youth soccer in the city of Summit. The Club introduces children to the exciting sport of soccer and provides professional skills training and high level competition designed to meet the needs of committed players during the spring and fall seasons.

The Mission of the Summit Soccer Club is to create an environment where Summit’s youth have the opportunity to develop to their full potential in a high quality, competitive program that allows individual and team goals to be achieved. SSC is committed to the development of the whole child as it relates to physical exercise and sportsmanship. SSC will provide the best training and support available for players, coaches, and parents. 

Summit Soccer Club’s goals include:

  • To enable our children to have fun playing competitive soccer;
  • To teach our children good sportsmanship towards teammates, opposing players, coaches, and officials;
  • To teach our children the importance of teamwork, and the responsibilities and rewards that come with commitment to a team;
  • To provide high quality, professional soccer training so players can develop to the best of their ability;
  • To enable our children to develop soccer skills, experience, and a passion for the game that will permit them to reach their highest potential.


Directors of Coaching

Summit Soccer Club (“SSC”) is pleased to announce that we have appointed
David Stapleton and Darren Shimwell as Co-Directors of Coaching, starting
this Spring Season. Dave will focus primarily on the girls program and Darren
Shimwell on the b oys program.
This role is the first of its kind at Summit Soccer Club and we see this as a big
step in moving the club forward to foster a level of excellence within the club
so that all players can reach their maximum potential.
David and Darren will be responsible for all of the training within the club as
well as the clubs overall development philosophy. Summit Soccer Club is
committed to providing the highest level of excellence for our players. As the
game is evolving we want to evolve with the game. Our goal is to improve the
technical development of all players at SSC and the coaching effectiveness
and consistency of professional trainers and parent volunteers.

David Stapleton and Darren Shimwell are Summit Soccer Club's Directors of Coaching. David and Darren first held this role in the Spring 2017 Season.  Dave focuses primarily on the girls program and Darren Shimwell on the boys program.   David and Darren foster a level of excellence within the club so that all players can reach their maximum potential.  David and Darren are responsible for all of the training within the club as well as the clubs overall development philosophy. 


Travel Teams

Travel teams begin at U9 and continue through high school depending on interest. SSC teams currently compete in EDP and Morris County Youth Soccer Association. The leagues offer different levels of competition within each age group referred to as “flights.” Teams will typically play between 8 and 12 games each Fall and Spring season. Games are held on various days including Saturdays and Sundays.  Teams will typically play approximately half of their games home in Summit.Travel to away games can be more than an hour away or as close as Chatham. 


Travel Team Expectations and Commitment

The Summit Soccer Club is committed to providing a strong platform that allows each player to develop to his or her highest potential. In order for each player to reach their highest potential, attendance at practices and games is essential. Missing skill training at practice hampers a player’s development and can hurt the team’s play as well.  Player development and team success depends on each player making a concerted effort to attend all practices and games. Players with significant attendance issues are susceptible to reduced playing time and jeopardizing their team placement next Fall.

Children who enjoy the game of soccer but want a lighter level of commitment may prefer the recreational program offered by Summit’s Department of Community Programs.


Training and Coaching

Summit Soccer is a two-season club. Our teams practice and compete during the fall and spring. Each team practices at least twice a week. Each practice is ninety minutes long. Training begins at the end of August / early September and continues through mid-November. Training resumes for the Spring season in either early March or early April (depending on league) and runs through early/mid June. Each season is approximately ten weeks long. The Club encourages each team to enter tournaments during the course of the seasonal year. Each team may enter as many tournaments as they wish. SSC will reimburse the approximate entry fee for one tournament entered per seasonal year per team.

The SSC Directors of Coaching retain professional coaches to conduct practice sessions twice a week. The SSC training curriculum nurtures and develops player technique in all areas of play. Skills and principles learned in earlier years are extended into development of technique, tactics, and strategies as players mature within the Club. Coaches also emphasize developing our players’ leadership skills and self-confidence.

Games are coached by the teams professional coached. Parent managers may assist from time to time depending upon the coach's availability. Coaches are expected to attend at approximately 80% of their teams’ games each season. The conduct of both a team’s coach and parent managers is expected to meet the high standards required of role models. Language and conduct must be above reproach.  

A parent team manager is required for each team. The manager is responsible for team administration such as scheduling games, and communicating with the team, opponents, and the league.



A primary goal of the Summit Soccer Club is to provide a fun, high quality environment in which our children can develop soccer skills to the maximum of their potential. Winning is less important than skill development. We believe that winning will come as players grow physically stronger and more coordinated, and as their tactical understanding of the game increases along with their ball skills.

As a result, in the younger age groups emphasis is placed on developing ball skills and on learning many positions on the soccer field including goalie. Practices focus on learning how to control and manipulate the ball with all surfaces of the feet as well as learning when to dribble, pass, and shoot. During games, players will learn how to play different positions on the field. This is important in the development of technical skills and helps the player gain a better understanding of the sport. It is important as a parent that you support the trainer in this approach. Soccer is a team sport and acceptance of assignment to various positions is part of teamwork and the understanding of a player's responsibility to the team.  A team with eight strikers is not going to be successful. A player with the ability to play comfortably in multiple positions has more options as they develop and a greater tactical understanding of the game. This goes for young goalkeepers, too!

Once players reach the U11 age they often become more proficient in one or two positions given their physical development and skill level. The coach may place them in positions that he/she perceives they are most comfortable and suited given their abilities and the needs of the team.

Each player will receive an independent evaluation by the team’s professional trainer each season that addresses ball skill, tactical understanding, attendance, attitude, and athletic ability. The evaluation will provide the trainer’s perspective on a player’s performance and provide input on areas for improvement.


Game Participation

Game participation is broadly based on attendance, attitude, effort, focus, conditioning, athleticism, tactical understanding of the game, and soccer technique.

The following guidelines are for use by trainers and coaches in managing the game:

  • Small Sided (Academy and U9-U11 teams) players should receive relatively equal amounts of game time with all players playing at least half of each game. Playing time above the minimum is at the discretion of the team’s coaching staff.
  • Full Sided (U12-U14 teams) players should receive reasonable amounts of playing time each game to ensure a player is continuing to develop his or her skills. Each player should play at least twenty-five percent of the game.



SSC supports the S.A.G.E. (Set AGood Example) Sportsmanship Program coordinated by the MCYSA league and we strive to provide a safe, healthy and fun environment for our youth by employing professional trainers and relying on parent volunteers to promote teamwork and fun as our Club members pursue their individual soccer goals.