Westfield Soccer Association

U8 Academy - General Info

U8 Academy Program Outline – Fall 2018 (registration now open!!!)

The WSAs Fall U8 Academy program is open to U8 (born in 2011 ) players who are serious about mastering and developing their soccer skills in a more competitive environment. The program is designed to inspire young players to learn and develop a passion for the game of soccer. Players who register for this program should NOT register for the U8 Rec Program.

The main objective of the WSA U8 Academy is to promote and emphasize the technical abilities of young soccer players; at this age mainly dribbling skills. Why dribbling skills? Dribbling is the foundation for all the other fundamental skills of soccer, such as controlling, passing and shooting. It takes years to become a comfortable and confident dribbler. Players have to learn to combine body control, agility, coordination and balance with the mechanics of dribbling and the sooner they start the better.

The priorities at U8 for our academy players:

1.Develop creativity and confidence on the ball. As a program we aim to develop players who are both comfortable and confident on the ball. This takes years to develop and we therefore focus so much on the basic technical skills from U5-­U8, needed to be successful as a player in the years to come.

2.Players need to learn to make their own decisions on the ball (without receiving guidance from adults). Given the situation a player is in, he or she is able to make the right decision. Players need to be able to adjust to the demands placed on them during the game. Let them make the decisions on the ball!

3.Develop an understanding of 2 of the main moments in soccer. Offense and defense.

4.Continue to develop their basic motor skills needed to develop as soccer players and athletes in general.

What is the difference between the U8 Academy and the U8 Recreational programs? The U8 Rec program consists of a 1 hour training session on Saturday and a 1 hour game on Sunday. Rec training is conducted partially by a professional trainer and partially by a parent coach. Participants of the WSA U8 Academy will have training three times a week led solely by a professional trainer. You will also have the opportunity to play scrimmages and small­sided games (4v4 and 3x3) with other Academy players.

Some benefits of using small sided games include: more player participation, more touches of the ball, more passes attempted, more 1v1s attempted, and different games mean different problems to solve and skills to use.

During these games played in the weekend we do ask all parents to sit back, relax and to enjoy watching their son or daughter play. The game is and will always be the best teacher, so we aim to provide the players the opportunity to play and learn at their pace. Players will only become confident and comfortable on the ball when given the opportunity to make their own decisions.

The WSA U8 Academy program provides:

  1. Ball Mastery sessions that emphasizes the importance of individual technique.

  2. Team Training sessions led by a professional trainer

  3. Small sided games against other WSA U8 Academy teams every Sunday.

Program Details

The fall season includes two Ball Mastery sessions during the week, a 1­hour training session on Saturday, and a 1­hour game on Sunday. Ball Mastery and training sessions are conducted by professional trainers. Games on Sunday are organized by the academy director.

Ball Mastery sessions run twice a week for the first 7 weeks of the season (per the calendar attached). Sessions are 60 minutes in length. Location and times will be finalized in mid ­to­ late August 2018, after we have received final field assignments from the town. However, our tentative plan is to offer these sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays after school.

Saturday training runs for the first 8 weeks of the season; the last 2 weeks of the season parent­coaches will conduct Saturday training sessions and will organize and moderate the Sunday games.

Saturday training sessions may occur on Saturdays between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. and games may be played on Sundays between 11:00 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.

2018 Fall Schedule