What is Academy? Our Academy Program(formerly known as Blast Academy) is made available to the keen and eager young soccer player that may express an early interest in the game. We encourage any player that seeks higher level of training and competition to join our academy. It is the job of our highly qualified and licensed coaches to develop these young players into avid and enthusiastic soccer players. Success at these ages is not based on wins/ loses nor is it about competing at the highest level. The development of the individual player is the main priority.
The Academy Program serves as a bridge between the Recreational and Competitive programs of the Club. The Academy is designed to support and assist the dedicated soccer player in increasing their technical soccer skills and abilities. Our philosophy is to provide age and developmentally appropriate training and instruction in an environment that encourages individual player growth and promotes the enjoyment, enthusiasm, camaraderie, and sportsmanship of the game. In the Academy age groups, the goal is to develop players and teach them the skills they will need to compete at higher soccer levels. The focus is not on team wins and losses, but upon the complete development of the individual player.
• Our Academy ages are from U8-U12 for both Boys and Girls
• Player Evaluations are held for placement of player’s ability and best interest.
• Coaches are hired by the Director of Coaching and fully licensed.
• Teams train twice a week and some have an optional third practice. Practice time range from 1hr-1.5hr.
• Academy teams currently play in a play-date system. These games are played once or twice a month on a Saturday.
• Teams are encouraged to join three tournaments per season.
• Commitment level is introduced at the Academy ages. In order to develop better soccer players at these ages we need both parents and players to encourage commitment, practice, and repetition for player improvement.
The Academy Curriculum guides the player through the transitional stage from parent volunteer coaches and leisure participation toward advanced player development and competitive participation. Instruction focuses on:
Developing Ball Mastery - An important objective is to increase individual technical skills to encourage creativity and initiative from players. Players are taught a series of 1 v 1 moves that are developed through repetition, 1 player/1 ball without pressure. Focus and instruction are also given to developing the player’s 1st touch, the ability to receive balls on different levels (heights) and quickly get the passes under control. Proper technique for striking the ball to develop consistent shooters and good passers is also emphasized. This allows for players to become proficient with their ball handling ability in game like situations
Individual Tactics of Attacking and Defending - After learning the motor mechanics of the 1 v 1 moves, defenders are introduced to develop the decision making element of soccer. In 1 v 1 situations the attacking player must make decisions about which move to use to best create time and space away from an opponent. The concepts and techniques of pressure, delay, channeling and tackling for the individual defender are developed and refined. A strong emphasis is placed on the individual’s decision making. Improved ability in this area helps them succeed on the field.
Group Tactics and Play – The principles of support, movement, width and penetration in attack; and pressure, cover and balance in defense are developed in small groups using 2v1 to 5v5 game situations. Players in possession of the ball now face a decision as to whether to take the ball him/herself or pass to a teammate. Uneven numbers are used in small group play to ensure players can achieve a high degree of success and consistency in making the correct decisions at the appropriate times. Players off the ball learn how they can assist in creating space for the player on the ball and how to support to receive a pass if required. Defenders learn how to work together to reduce time and space for the opponent.
Additional Curriculum goals center on developing: an enjoyment of and appreciation for the game of soccer, the importance of teamwork and communication, the development of physical fitness and understanding of the effects of exercise on the body, the fostering of good sportsmanship and healthy competitive spirits. Players play in an environment where creativity and freedom of expression on the field is encouraged to develop the “total soccer player”.
If you have any questions, please direct to Nick Cooper, Director of Coaching