All Academy practices and home games will be held at the SJWAA Soccer Complex in Largo, Florida. Teams travel locally and long-distance (about a 2 hour max distance) for away games and tournaments throughout the season.
All Pre-Academy practices and home games will be held at the SJWAA Soccer Complex in Largo, Florida. Teams travel locally and long-distance (about a 2 hour max distance) for away games and tournaments throughout the season.
Official practices begin Mid-August and will be held twice per week from 6:00pm to 7:30pm. However, some Academy teams may also choose to participate in pre- and post-season tournaments and/or practices.The Academy Director, Director of Coaching and Coaching Committee will determine an appropriate tournament schedule, if any, for the Academy. All players are expected to participate in all of their team tournaments.
Frequently Asked Questions About the Academy Program
- No Fear of Failure – Players are allowed to experiment and be creative. Players should not be discouraged from taking on defenders or trying new “moves”. If creativity is stifled now, they will most likely have a fear of ever trying anything new. If a player tries to take on a defender and causes a counter attack conceding
a goal – they should be encouraged and applauded for trying, not reprimanded for the end result. With time, players will gain confidence along with their new skills and will learn decision making through success and failure.
- Technical over Tactical – Small sided games at younger age groups are implemented in order to simplify the tactics of the game. Combined with no net gain for winning every game, coaches should have freedom to stress fundamental skills, even if shape or formation suffers.
- Positions and Team Play – Players should have opportunities to attempt to learn a variety of positions. Today’s forward may be tomorrow’s defender or Goal Keeper. Players should not be labeled by position – at U9 there should be no forwards or midfielders – only soccer players.
- Goals-Based Soccer – Developmental goals, not results, should be prioritized. The individual improvement of each player should be the guide for success – not the final team record.
- Player Retention – Without the reward/punishment of win-loss records, clubs have more incentive to include a wider range of players in their programs. Players who
are not currently as physically advanced can receive opportunities to train and improve. Enjoyment of the game should be stressed over final results. The club’s philosophy towards this program should be explained to parents and players, and coaches should ask for support in achieving their goals.
not the ONLY focus. Teams should take pride in their own successes, not in the failure of their opponents. Academy Coaches are encouraged to communicate with their opponents prior to matches to discuss their goals for the game, and how they can cooperate to help each other accomplish each team’s goals while maintaining a competitive environment. Coaches and clubs should at no time attempt to “stack” teams to win every game. Game rosters should be composed as best as possible to allow maximum playing time for all players, and to allow player movement in positions and amongst teams. Coaches should set clearly defined goals for each player, each game and for the season – and should place as much emphasis on the achievement of those goals as on the net result of the games.