Who is the program for?
U8 boys and girls interested in joining our Travel Program for next season. If you want to be considered for a travel team you need to take part in the U8 Academy Program.
The main objective of the WSA U8 Academy is to help players become more capable and confident on the ball, while also helping them become better decision makers. We want to help them become better at reading their environment to make better decisions, based on what happens around them, and execute these decisions with confidence (technique).
All participants are given the chance to take part in 2 weekly practice sessions led by professional coaches assigned by the Westfield SA. These coaches will implement an effective curriculum to help the players work on the above mentioned, under the guidance of the academy director.
Players will be divided over teams for an internal 5v5 / 7v7 league on Saturdays. These games will be supervised by the professional coaching staff, but we are also going to need the help of volunteer coaches. If you are interested in helping out on Saturday, please do also make sure to note this when you complete the registration for your son/daughter.
The U8 pre travel program will conclude with a 7v7 festival on Saturday June 4th and Sunday June 5th.
When and where is the program held?
Mon & Wed - 3:45- 5:00pm or 5:15-6:30pm - Elm Street
Sat 5v5 / 7v7 League - 10:00am-11:15am - Wardlaw
Tue & Thu - 3:45pm-5:00pm or 5:15pm-6:30pm - Elm Street
Sat 5v5 / 7v7 League - 8:30am-9:45am - Wardlaw
What equipment do players need?
Shinguards, appropriate footwear (preferably soccer cleats), soccer ball, water bottle.
How much does it cost and how do I register?
All participants must pre-register online. Walk-ons will not be accepted.
The priorities at U8 Pre-Travel for our academy players:
1. Players need to learn to make their own decisions on the ball (without receiving guidance from adults). The environment around them changes constantly and 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. You need to be able to make decisions on your own and be able to execute these 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. The participants in U8 rec also take part in 4v4 games on Sundays supervised by parent coaches.
Participants in the U8 Academy will commit to the following:
2 weekly practice sessions - ran by professional coaches
Saturday - players will be assigned to teams, for the duration of the program, to play 5v5 games (4v4 with a goalkeeper)
Sunday - Additional round robin game play opportunities supervised by the U8 Academy staff (4v4 format - no goalkeepers).
All 5v5 teams will also take part in two festivals run by the WSA with other clubs on Sunday 9/26 and Sunday 10/24 (more information will follow).
All sessions will be led by professional coaches!
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.
Please visit our FAQ's for questions on waitlist, equipment and more.
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All participants must complete an online health check before every session. Parents are also required to complete and hand in a hard copy waiver once before the first session begins. Find COVID forms here.