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Athens United Soccer Association

Academy Program


A unique program in which 7, 8, 9, 10, 11 and U12 year olds  boys and girls receive top quality soccer training in a fun and flexible environment. The first experience in competitive play should provide the best opportunity for successful transition from the developmental program to the 7 aside, 9 aside and 11 aside game of select soccer. The Academy program will implement age appropriate training system developed under the guidelines of GSSA, and the United States Soccer Federation (USSF) .Various European club training models and techniques will be integrated into the curriculum for a truly international  system of player development.

Focus on Technical Development
There are 4 basics, technical skills that must be developed at the U8-U12 age groups .Crucial technical skills include dribbling, receiving, passing, and shooting. Crucial technical skills such as the ability to organize offenses or defenses and recognize when to make certain types of runs are useless if a player can not receive the ball cleanly, dribble creatively away from pressure, pass accurately, and shoot the ball on goal. The Academy program will place training priorities on the most important technical topics: dribbling with creativity, mastering moves and fakes, receiving the ball away from pressure, accurate passing, shooting with power and accuracy, volleying and heading.



Fee includes Georgia Soccer registration and insurance, referee fees, professional training/coaching, one AUSA tournament, field use, equipment, and league administration.   

Player Assignments:
Players will be accepted into the Academy via tryout system Accepted players will be divided by age and gender and placed in pools/on teams. Academy pool/teams of players will practice together under the supervision of licensed coaches and professional trainers. Players movement from team to team may be necessary for those who progress at a quicker than normal rate or for those who may need a different level of competition. The flexibility is unique to the academy program.

Practices: 1.5-hour practices sessions twice per week. Optional 3rd session for scrimmage games or special training topics. Goalkeeper sessions offered once per week.

Academy players will participate for 2 full seasons. (All players/parents have to sign a player/parent commitment contract to participate in the academy) The fall season will take place August - November and the spring season will take place February - May. Academy teams will play at least 10 games per season, half at home and half away against other academy teams. U9/U10 teams will play 7v7 games U11/U12 teams will play 9v9 games. Games will consist of 2 halves, 30 minutes each. All players will play ½ of every game.

Academy Game Card

Player Movement: The Club and the Academy staff have the ability to move players on a game by game basis as they wish to enhance a player’s development, this can happen with promotion or relegation this will encourage players to always give 100% effort, when practicing and playing in games. Players mature and learn at different stages of their soccer careers, so if players are selected for one particular team, this is not a guarantee that this decision is a permanent one. Some players thrive on competition immediately and others take time to adjust, so each player will be evaluated individually. Success of teams stems from continuity so it is important to keep that in mind when picking our teams and developing our young soccer players.

Coaching Games and Practice:  All coaching should be left to the coaching staff and parents should not offer advice to players during games or practice. Parents should refrain from giving any tactical feedback to players regarding performance unless they have consulted with the coach as they may give contradictory information or over repeat what the coach has already said which can lead to confusion or frustration for the player.

Positive Parental Support: 
Positive support is vital during times of disappointment which is a natural part of a young soccer player’s developmental success.

Positive Encouragement: 
Positive encouragement from parents is vital to help young soccer players understand the significance of winning and losing, the experience of frustration in learning and the need to develop self confidence.

Positive Coaching: 
Positive coaching from our staff is vitally important to our player’s development. We must ensure that our players are installed with confidence to play and have an understanding of the coach’s instructions also that our players except constructive and negative information to improve them as soccer players and team members. Encouragement at this level is a massive motivational tool to making our players successful, creative and well rounded soccer players.

Tournaments: Teams will participate in 2-4 local tournaments a seasonal year. (Including the Athens Invitational Held in August) The coaches will determine end of season tournaments and team rosters. As with practice and games, players may be moved during tournaments as parity dictates.  

Travel: All games will be played with local leagues to eliminate extensive travel for players at such a young age. Travel will be limited to 1-1.5 hours if at all possible.