WHY the Academy Model Promotes Player development over team development.
We thank our Division Coordinators that spent so much time registering players, making teams, coordinating practices, getting uniforms, making schedules and we thank our parent coaches for years of services in coordinating practice sessions and running game day as ‘the blue’ coach or ‘the green’ coach. NOW all players in the same age bracket will have the color t-shirt and we will hand out pinnies to divide the players into groups of 4v4 or 7v7 or 9v9. We still need our volunteer Parent Coaches to help run the games and assist with the training sessions.
This NEW FORMAT will provide the following advantages:
- Balancing play time: The Game is the best coach. This has been a constant in coaching education from the beginning and has never changed. Our new format will balance play time and provide players with more playtime. Instead of balancing a game day when one team has double the number of players than the team they are playing against, now we can make teams using the following guidance:
- 4v4 & 7v7 teams will be formed with zero or one sub per team
- 9v9 teams will be formed with 1 or 2 subs per team and can play 8v8 if needed.
- With our old model we had to make teams with 5 or 6 subs to make sure they had enough players on game day, but when everyone is there, playtime is reduced.
- No more waiting lists. Many times, for the 7v7 league where we like to roster 11 or 12 players per team, we will register the first 4 teams of 48 players and start a waiting list hoping we can register another 24 so we can have 6 teams. The new format will no longer be limited to register a certain number of players to make 4 or 6 or 8 teams work.
- Convenience of shirt ordering one color for each flight instead of guessing the how many colors for each division will be needed and the corresponding sizes.
- Convenience for carpooling is maintained by keeping training and game days together for the same age group.
- Balance of talent and equity of the games: It is impossible for us to balance the talent across 4 or 6 or 8 teams and it is quite common for one or two teams to have a significant advantage over one or two teams in their age group. This leads to scores of 10-0 or worse each season and does neither team any value in a contest like that. By making teams each week with pinnies, a game that is unbalanced can immediate be corrected by simply switching pinnies on players at a quarter or halftime break.
- By keeping all games with equal balance of talent, all players will have wins, losses and ties and experience the learnings that come from each of these types of games.
- The other advantage is players get to play with more players over the course of the season instead of the same group each time.
For those that say this New Format will eliminate the team mentality of learning to work together with the same players over the course of season, you are right. Instead, the players will learn to play as team with a new group each week and focus shifts from ‘the team’ to ‘the player’ and their individual ability to grow and develop. This is a critical change. Discussion of how we are doing as a team, how we are improving as a team, are replaced with how the player is doing and how the player is improving. Our goal is to have our players grow and develop and learn to love the game of soccer. At these early ages more players quit the game than at any other age. So, for every In-house team goes 8-0 and loves that experience, there are 1, 2 or 3 teams in the same division that ‘lost’ most or all games and do not want to return. We all know that being on a winning team at 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 and 12, is no indication what that player’s abilities will be at 14, 15, 16 and above. We also know that all players that quit at 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 or 11 or 12 will have no ability at 14, 15, 16 and above because they do not return. If you feel your child needs to be more competitive at U9 and above, that is what our Travel programs provide. We are excited to have your child reach their potential as players and have fun playing the game we love.
If you have questions or comments, please email us.