The priorities at U8 for our academy players:
1. 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!
2. 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. This so players can execute their decisions accordingly.
3. Develop an understanding of 2 of the main moments in soccer. Offense and defense (and what happens in when you win or lose the ball as well).
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. These sessions are led by professional coaches.
Participants of the WSA U8 Academy will have training two times a week led by a professional trainer. The academy participants will take part in 3v3 and/or 4v4 games against their peers on Sunday.
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.