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Tonka United Soccer Association

Player Development Framework


At Tonka United, we look for and develop key qualities of players. Our club also implements a player development philosophy, educational philosophy, style of play and methodology across all our teams!

Key Qualities of a Tonka United Player (What we look for and develop)

Soccer Qualities
- Good Possession Habits (Proper passing/dribbling technique, Receive far foot, open body position, good angles, soft 1st touch)
- Game Understanding & Good Decision Making (Read and understand the game in attacking/defending situations)
- Confidence & Composure on the Ball (Courage under pressure to use skill & keep possession)
- Strong Work Ethic and Grit (Determination, resourcefulness, creativity, and adaptability - to Win)
- Game Changing Abilities (Optimal technical abilities, speed, agility/explosiveness, ball winning, ball striking, finishing, defending)

Personal Qualities
- Focus & Engagement to learn and apply (Focus for the entirety of game play and training sessions)
- Resilience & Optimism (Ability to see set backs as a growth opportunity)
- Responsible (Take responsibility & accountability for one’s own development and performance)
- Passion for the Game! (Play, watch, study and love the game!)

Player Development Philosophy

Tonka United's Player Development Philosophy is to create an enjoyable and game-like soccer environment focused on ball possession, where children can learn to read and understand the game through multiple decision-making situations with the ultimate goal of creating confident players who love to play the game.

Read more about our core values and priorities

Educational Philosophy

To teach life skills through soccer.
…through the lens of Tonka United’s key player qualities: good habits, decision making, work ethic, passion, anticipation, resilience, confidence and responsibility.

Style of Play

At Tonka United, our focus is ball possession through good possession habits to create decision making opportunities to better understand the game. When we lose the ball, it is vital for our players to get it back immediately (5-second rule) with proactive and high pressure defending. When we win the ball back, we show the value in retaining possession by focusing on “connecting the first pass.” Our style of play demands our players learn to solve problems, learn from mistakes, and make autonomous decisions to further grow and develop as a soccer player.


- Possession (Rondos). Possession Habits is the technical foundation. This is done through Conceptual Rondo’s (U10+) and confidence on the ball activities (U6-U12).
- Pressing creates a mentality to get the ball back in transition to ultimately dictate possession. The 5-second rule utilized in our training environments will increase speeds of play, competitiveness, fitness output and game-like intensity.
- Positional/Functional Play allows for our players to learn and understand the game and make good decisions with teammates in a reality-based soccer environment.
- Play-Based methodology allows us to help players read and understand the game, through training sessions based on the 5 elements of a training activity.
- Player Engagement is key to learning, enjoyment, making soccer cool and keeping players in the game.


Tonka United Soccer Association

18328 Minnetonka Blvd 
Deephaven, Minnesota 55391

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 952-475-9178

Contact Us

Tonka United Soccer Association

18328 Minnetonka Blvd 
Deephaven, Minnesota 55391

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 952-475-9178

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