A Philosophy of Long Term Development and Continious Growth
The WMYSA Academy was designed to enhance the development of U8/U7 age players within each club. It is intended for those young players who are interested in advanced training and getting a better introductory understanding of the travel soccer experience.
This style of training and play is strongly encouraged by the USSF and US Youth Soccer organization as being the best for player development. Academy programs allow young players to grow into the game in a fun way with the freedom to experience and develop at an age appropriate pace. This contrasts with the traditional team format where much importance is placed on game score. Academy programs allow clubs to create an innovative learning environment that also includes multi-club interaction.
At this age it’s not about wins and losses, it’s about player development. According to The US Soccer Coaching Education Department, at this age, the most fundamental skill is individual mastery of the ball and the creativity that comes with it.
The academy program works hand and hand with recreational soccer programs. It offers those players the extra training they may desire without interfering in the recreation program. This provides them with an atmosphere to continually advance in skill level by providing more touches on the ball in a low-pressure environment where they have the time needed to try new things and develop ball mastery skills.
For most players, this is the best environment for them to grow. Other clubs may offer league play rather than an academy program. However, you need to remember; the greater the level of competition, the less time the player has to develop that creativity. The greater the level of competition, the more pressure parents put on their children. The greater the level of competition, coach’s tend to shift their focus to winning rather than the development of players.
Think of it this way. Some players are more athletic at younger ages than others. When those players are moved up to early, they are forced to rely on their athletic ability to survive; not their soccer skills. That skill development is hindered due to the pace of the game. At age 13 they still posses that athletic ability, but struggle to compete with those who have caught up to them athletically, yet had time to develop their technical skills.
Some leagues offer a U8 division for competitive play rather than an academy environment. WMYSA doesn’t, because we have strong recreational programs (AYSO) which other areas may not have. We provide the development that U8 Travel soccer leagues simply don’t. Still not sure, ask the experts:
For more information on the academy program, please feel free to contact: