Westside United Junior Soccer Academy
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4/8/13 - 6/1/13
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Welcome to the Spring 2013 Westside United Jr. Soccer Academy. Our goal is to allow your young player to learn the fundamentals of the game in a fun and encouraging environment.
The academy format will group players of similar ability levels together to create competitive and challenging training sessions and games. Your player will compete with and against different players weekly. Our goal is to see improvement in every player as the season progresses. If you have any questions or concerns about your player's progression please approach any member of the coaching staff.
You will receive an e-mail every Thursday or Friday to inform you which field your player will play on that Saturday and what color shirt they should wear. Other leagues for young players have set rosters that often do not create the competitive balance necessary for player development.
Your player will need to bring a ball, shin guards, and a drink to every training session. We encourage you to watch not only the games, but also the training sessions so you can work with your player at home if they express interest. Most of our training activities are one player/one ball and can be done at home.
We will train in groups of 16-26 players with 2-3 coaches. Your player may move to a different training group as the season progresses to ensure they continue to develop. Our training sessions will be every Monday and Thursday night from 5:45-7PM. Our season will run from 4/8/13 to 6/1/13
There is usually a little confusion the first week as you find your player's field and meet their coaches, but after that our format makes it very easy to schedule your week. Training and games are the same days of the week and the same time of day. Most players will remain on the same fields throughout the season also.
Mark Nirrengarten is entering his twelfth season as the Junior Academy Director. He holds a National Coaching License from the National Soccer Coaches Association of America. Mark coached the Avon High School boy's varsity team for nine years and has coached club soccer for twenty years.
Our coaching staff is comprised of experienced paid coaches. We have many current or former high school coaches on staff. The Spring coaching staff also includes several former college players and fifteen former high school players. We believe that the experience of playing the game at a high level will allow our staff to teach the skills necessary for your child to have fun learning the game.
The Junior Academy cost remains $85 per player this spring. However, the green and white Westside United T-shirts worn on game days cost an additional $7.50ea ($100 total for new players). If you have a returning player and their shirts still fit them there is no need to purchase new ones. There is a mandatory fundraiser this spring. Details on this fundraiser will be sent out soon.
WSU runs the Junior Academy at a deficit to keep cost low to the participants because they believe it is the best way to grow the club. Our program is still less expensive than most recreational programs that use volunteer coaches. Scholarships are available. If you have a financial need please contact Mark.
All games will be Saturday mornings at 10AM from 4/13 through 6/1. Younger players will play small sided games (3 v 3, or 4 v 4) on a 20 x 30 yard field. The older ages may play 6 v 6 on the bigger 35 x 45-yard fields. Players may be asked to change teams in the middle of a game to balance teams and create competition. You will learn the names of all the players on your child's game field eventually. Parents often cheer for players on both teams on game days, not just their players "team" on that given Saturday. We ask that you try to refrain from "coaching" your child during games. It is easy to see what they should do from the sidelines. However, your young player is just learning to control the ball, and although we will work on looking up, they will probably spend a lot of time looking at the ball initially. That is developmentally acceptable. Please let me know in advance if your player will not be there on a game day so that field assignments can be adjusted to ensure a proper number of players per field.
In the event of inclement weather I will send an e-mail at least one hour before the event if it is to be cancelled. It is not practical to call over a hundred players in a small amount of time. If the inclement weather hits within one hour of the event use your best judgment. I will be at the fields if no e-mail is sent and may cancel a session at any time. We do not plan on rescheduling cancelled sessions.
Whole-Part-Whole Training Method
We utilize the whole-part-whole method in our training. Most traditional training sessions begin with a warm-up, then progress to training exercises or "drills", and end with a scrimmage or game simulating activity. The whole-part-whole method begins with ten minutes of "free" play. The coaches will divide the players and allow them to play a game without interruption for at least ten minutes. We will then have two or three training exercises that will focus on a specific skill before ending in another scrimmage. In this final scrimmage the coaches will stop play when teachable moments occur that relate to the skill focused on during training. For example, if that nights focus was on dribbling only dribbling teaching points would be made, not defense, passing, or finishing.
The reason I implemented the whole-part-whole method is two fold. First, kids want to play! If they know that they get to play immediately upon arriving at "practice" I bet they are more excited to get to training. Secondly, I enjoy exciting, creative, offensive soccer and believe that often young players are discouraged from taking chances with the ball. They understand the game, but never experiment within the game. They are taught positions very early and are urged to, "pass the ball!" by parents and coaches. As a result they don't learn to feel the game and eventually stop taking chances. This results in players that play scared, boring soccer compared to players in other countries who play pick up games without adult supervision where they can experiment without judgment.
Every player that participates in the Junior Academy will have an opportunity to play travel soccer at Westside United when they become an Under 8. The Junior Academy is a recreational program and if kids do not want to transition into travel soccer that is fine. However, we hope that your player will develop a love of the game and want to take the skills they have learned to the next level. If you have any questions about travel soccer please let me know and I will get you the answers.
Westside United is one of the most successful clubs in the state of Indiana. Our teams have claimed 15 State Cups and have had 23 teams finish runner up in the last 10 years. The club has produced more than 150 players who went on to play college soccer over the past seven years.
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Welcome again to the Spring 2013 Junior Academy. Contact me with any questions you may have.
Mark Nirrengarten H 718-8766 Cell508-7928 firstname.lastname@example.org