ST. PETE RAIDERS

Bringing Soccer to Pinellas County Families Since 1970

St. Pete Raiders Academy

A Matter of Choice

ACADEMY SOCCER...A MATTER OF CHOICE?

In the Golden years of learning, when children are 7-8 years of age it is vital that Parents do their home work on where and what sort of Soccer training their child will receive?  To make a comparison, you would not dream of sending your child to a new school without first checking out the Schools philosophies, curriculum, success rate, student retention and the professional designation of the staff. So, choosing the right club Academy for your child is imperative in the first instance. Not all soccer Academies are born equal.
Some things you need to look at are as follows:
 
Who is the Academy Director?
A)    What is his coaching experience?
B)    What Licensure does he possess?
C)    What are his philosophies?
D)   How does he interact with the players?
E)     How does he interact with the Parents?
F)     Get him to list his success’s
G)   Ask for a Resume.
H)   Finally, how long has he coached?
 
Is winning the most important component?
A)     No, at these age brackets a player’s development is the most important part of the curriculum. Technical competence is a must by the time the player reaches 13-14. It’s impossible to both train to win and develop the qualities required for players at this age.
B)     It’s a fact; pressure in winning will thwart technical competence later.
C)    The players will naturally compete without undue encouragement from coaches and the sideline.
 
So, what is important at this age?
A)    A well structured training program that challenges the player in every aspect and every session, where they are able to try what they have learnt in training without fear of failure.
B)    The Love of the game
C)    FUN!! All sessions and games must be an enjoyable experience for players, in order for them to continue to participate as they mature. (Burn out is at 75% for players age 14+) Don’t let your child become a statistic.
 
What will this cost?
A)    Prices vary from club to club... However and generally you get what you pay for... If you make a mistake now, you cannot get those wasted years backL
B)    There is normally an Academy fee for registration, Uniform, Ins. Then a monthly fee for training. Before you commit to any Academy find out what you’re out of pocket expense will be and if you able to sustain such a commitment.
 
My child is a Recreational Player, I am curious as to how the Academy differs from what she is used too?
A)    Playing/training with better players. Players gravitate to what level of competition they play against.
B)    More training sessions. It’s impossible to acquire all the qualities needed to become the complete player with one session per week.
C)    Discipline, structure, mandated attendance at all training sessions.
 
D)   Quality of coach.
 What do I need to look for within the club setup?
1)    An established outfit that has been around for a long period of time.
2)    Good direction from the top.
3)    Supportive Board of Directors.
4)    Support mechanism from outside entities.
5)    Player development.
6)    A club that cares for your child for who they are and not just their soccer credential.
7)    A sound Risk management program in place. This is for the safety of your child.
8)    Facilities
9)    General philosophies
10) A program that offers everything for the aspiring soccer player.
11) General coaching slate. (Rest of club coaches)
 
On a final note
We do not believe in screaming coaches who berate their charges, but coaches that mentor, encourage, teach and encourage. The decision you make now where you place your child will have a major impact on them not only on the field but also in life in general for the rest of their lives.
 
Thank you for your time.
 
Tony Paris
Executive Director,
 

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