We have a really exciting program enhancement that is going to bring BIG benefits to the development of our players and teams in our Academy and Academy Select programs. We recently shared our Director of Coaching Announcement, and our Enhanced 9U/10U Academy is the next move in our mission.
9U & 10U Academy Program Summary:
Our Director of Coaching, will create and implement the 9U/10U curriculum. This curriculum adheres to the program objectives of individual player focus. While each team will be assigned a head and assistant coaches, the DOC will serve as an age group trainer by conducting weekly practices.
This means that our youngest Academy players will receive weekly training directly from our DOC in concert with the teams’ awesome coaching staff. This is a unique opportunity for our players and just a part of our growth and development plans for our Academy and Academy Select players!
The SKY Academy 9U and 10U age groups focus on individual player development, technical skills and ball mastery as the foundation. A "Love of the game" culture is promoted in a fun yet challenging environment which measures success through progress versus the outcome of matches. Individual skill development, having fun and practicing at home are the cornerstones of these years in the developmental pathway.
Matches are an important part of player development and enjoyment but not the aim. A competitive practice and game environment is essential to the developmental pathway but not a result oriented environment. The games are a series of tests for enjoyment and for the coaches to evaluate each player's individual progress and understanding of recent practice topics. We encourage the focus to be on the process and performance rather than the outcome. A skillful approach to playing is encouraged even though at this age that can lead to costly mistakes in the game thus affecting the result. Coaches can also manipulate the level and variety of competition to ensure the opportunity for players and teams to win and lose games. Valuable lessons can be learned from both. Part of player development is experiencing both success and failures.
Teams in these age groups are formed in a different manner than the 11U-19U age groups which have set ability based teams for the entire year. 9U and 10U teams are trained as an age group together during practices while weekends teams are formed to meet the needs of those specific events. Parity teams can be formed for friendlies but ability based teams can be created for tournaments.
The 9U and 10U specific curriculum will be created and implemented by the director of coaching. This curriculum adheres to the program objectives of individual player focus. While each team will be assigned a head and assistant coaches, the DOC will serve as an age group trainer by conducting weekly practices.