The Academy is the foundation of our program and that is why it is vital to create the best possible environment for them. We realize the importance of our Academy, which is why they will be receiving coaching from our Director of Coaching/Lead Trainer at least one session per week. Other sessions will be run by one of our licensed Elite coaches. We aim to make all of our Academy sessions fun, while focusing on developing creative and technically gifted players who can make decisions for themselves.
The SESA U9 and U10 players will participate in the Iowa Soccer Association (ISA) Eastern Iowa Academy Program. The U9-U10 Academy is designed to promote the development of the youth soccer player. The focus of the program will be on player development, not team development. The ISA encourages playing in the right style of play and promotes a development-first philosophy that matches up with SESA's philosophy.
The U9 and U10 age groups will participate in 12 Academy league games each season (fall and spring) against other ISA Academy teams. These games will be played in the surrounding communities (Muscatine, Iowa City, Cedar Rapids, Quad Cities, etc.), previously held on Saturdays for boys and Sundays for the girls (ISA could change this). Play dates will have double headers and will be held on 4 playing dates per season. The Academy teams will also participate in Academy Festivals including our annual Monster Match Tournament in the fall.
The U9/U10 Academy Program policies are as follows:
- Academy teams will not be formed on the basis of talent. Teams will be randomly assigned and manipulated accordingly, to ensure equity in competition.
- Academy teams will be mixed each season by at least 50%. This will improve the developmental environment and continue to place the focus on the individual, not the team.
- We strive to provide 50% playing time per game.
- The maximum and recommended roster size is 10 players.
- Academy teams will train at least once per week in a group setting instead of training as a single team. This creates a more diverse training environment and places the focus on the individual instead of the team.
- Academy players will train at least twice per week during the season.
Other policies the SESA must follow as part of the Academy program:
- Academy clubs must follow an 80/20 registration policy for their U9 Academy program.
- U8 players can only register for the U9 Academy program after receiving a written invite to “play up” from the member club Academy Director.
- Academy clubs must follow an 80/20 registration policy for their select U11 programs.
- Each coach working with or on the sidelines with an Academy team must have at least a USSF E-License coaching qualification.
- Academy teams must have strict parent behavior guidelines to ensure the correct developmental environment is created.
- Clubs must work hard to educate their parents to ensure that parents sign up their child for the correct level of play.