“Successful youth soccer club create a vision, articulate the vision, passionately own the vision, and relentlessly drive it to fruition”
The future of our country’s soccer talent is dependent on today’s Youth soccer Clubs. The need for players to truly develop not only their technical skills but also their IQs, professionalism and attitudes, are ever-growing. There is a huge opportunity for clubs to ‘get it right’, by implementing a clear and concise vision and applying the necessary methods for getting players to succeed.
Unfortunately, clubs in general are failing at this. Many factors are contributing to this and the big, sluggish programs are barely making any progress. Well, Next Generation Soccer Academy is debuting in Sarasota, FL and has the recipe and ingredients to fix this problem.
The ultimate vision for Next Generation Soccer Academy is to take athletes from any ability level and empower them to become a collegiate or professional player.
Let us take you through the vision and journey of developing Next Generation soccer players.
Building from the ground up is crucial to achieving our goal; be the best soccer academy in the country. The ultimate mission for Next Generation Soccer Academy is to take athletes from any ability level and empower them to become a collegiate or professional player.
- U5 – U7
- U8 – U9
- U10 – U12
- U13 – U15
- U16 – U18
Click here to checkout Our Blueprint document, which details our Curriculum.
Heavy focus on technical training
Players at all ages are not spending enough time on the ball. Instead they may have a small technical warmup that quickly turns into a large sided game. This is a problem in our world. We refer to this “shortcut to coaching”. We call it this because in order to train technical elements of the game like passing, trapping, dribbling and shooting, the coach must understand the principles, mechanics and language to pass on the knowledge.
Our technical training isn’t just yelling words like “pass it better” or use the inside of your feet. We break down the technique and allow failure to occur repeatedly. We interject while giving positive feedback, allowing the athlete to learn by instruction. Each coach will be properly trained and assessed to make sure they can deliver the right information at the right time.
An example of not enough time can be broken down here, based on a 1 hour training session.
|U8 Player at Other Club
||U8 Player at Next Gen Soccer Academy
|Phase 1: 1:1 ratio to the ball (15 mins per individual)
||Phase 1: 1:1 ratio to the ball (15 mins per individual)
|Phase 2: 4:1 ratio to the ball (3.75 mins per individual)
||Phase 2: 2:1 ratio to the ball (7.5 mins per individual)
|Phase 3: 6:1 ratio to the ball (2.5 mins per individual)
||Phase 3: 3:1 ratio to the ball (5 mins per individual)
|Phase 4: 10:1 ratio to the ball (1.50 mins per individual)
||Phase 4: 5:1 ratio to the ball (3 mins per individual)
|Total = 22.875 out of 60 mins
||Total = 30.5 out of 60 mins
25% MORE TIME ON THE BALL
In this example, a U9 Next Gen athlete over an 8 month season (2 sessions per week) will add 526 more minutes on the ball! That’s equivalent 21 straight days of additional technical training.
Dynamic training designed to develop high Soccer IQs
Being a soccer athlete has many constantly changing challenges. Making the right decision needs to happen in a split second, and the difference between success and failure is finite. In order for players to develop the mental muscle for handling these constant changes, our training techniques will ask the players to use their feet and bodies to manage the ball and space, while using their brain to process other elements going on around them.
One concept of this is ingrained in the soccer athlete’s ability to scan the space around them. Whether they are playing up the spine of the field or out wide, each player will have to deal with changing factors behind the space they currently occupy. By requiring players to constantly scan while performing a dribble, receiving a pass, or defending, they are now thinking outside of the physical requirements and increasing their individual and team success rate.
We will utilize many other dynamic training techniques, all designed to raise a player’s awareness and soccer IQ.
A Club Truly Focused on Coaches
The current environment can lack incentive, love for growth and ultimately produce an uninterested Coach. The reason for this is due to many factors. First, the coaches are often left to their own devices, with limited Director interaction or insight into session feedback. Additionally, coaching education typically falls on the Club’s support for getting more licenses, which can turnout to be an echo chamber for US Soccer.
At Next Gen, we will be heavily focused on Coaching development by creating a strong interpersonal support system and incentives. Each coach will have a co-coach to help bounce ideas off of and help coverage when life presents a roadblock. Also, each coach will be taking evaluation tests, designed to give feedback on techniques, language, session designs and player management. This will raise the bar for Coaches getting better. We will also support coaching education with both monetary and motivational support. Finally, coaches will be part of an incentive or bonus program, with such criteria as improving a team’s ability to perform, speed checks (Director:Coach), preparedness, and attendance. By promoting strength and support for each other in our club, our coaches will excel!
Succeed, Learn, Fail. Failure is key to progress
It’s more and more common nowadays to protect athletes from failing. Failing can easily be described as needing to repeat an exercise because it wasn’t done correctly.
So how do we measure success? This is important. Our club will heavily lean on success being defined as finally getting it right. Afterall, it took Michelangelo four years to paint the frescoed ceiling in the Sistine Chapel. For Ben Franklin, many historical articles claim that he tried anywhere from 3,000-6,000 types of materials in the light bulb before he found the right one. What is important in these examples is that the principle of success were born out of patience of repeated failure. Our coaching staff will be patient, giving positive reinforcement while focusing on technique, attitude and decision making., all of which are considered ‘controllables’.
Customized Nutritional programming to optimize the Athlete’s performance
As the old saying goes, “The More You Know”. Nutrition is constantly changing and the requirements our athletes will get demand paying attention to what they eat. Several factors make this crucial to our club’s existence.
- Learning about nutrition will help the whole family and likely go on to live with the athletes as they mature outside of the sport.
- Nutrition can help optimize a player’s performance, attitude and overall well-being. Yes, diet can affect attitude (i.e. mood swings!)
- As children age, their biology changes. That means different nutrients become more readily available in 14 year old vs a 9 year old. Same with boys vs. girls!
- Different nutrition rules vary based on age. For example, as your metabolism increases, you need more calories.
Because of these factors and the overall importance, our club will have a dedicated Nutritionist. Their job will be to communicate with families on best practices, assist coaches with developing a nutritional plan as part of their season plan, and host in-person educational sessions throughout the year for parents and players.
On-Going Expert Mental Strength Training
Mental Strength is a key part to any successful competitor. The ability to manage highs and lows, build strong, unbreakable relationships and prepare for competition are key components to our mental training program. Our Mental Strength coach comes out to training and covers a topic with each team. After the session, a follow-up quiz is sent to the athletes. The quiz is designed to help with concept retention.
Mental Strength Training – Recap
Season Plans for each team
The beginning of each season can be hectic. Besides the challenge club’s have with wondering what players will return, they also should be planning for the entire upcoming season. 99% of the time the planning includes a list of tournaments and knowing what the training schedule is. The flaw with this basic approach is that it can show athlete’s and their families a certain level of disorganization and lack-luster concern for the bigger picture.
This is why Next Gen will be using a well-designed, detailed and easy to understand season plan. The plan will be completed prior to tryouts, to give those returning athletes a vision for the future. It will include but is not limited to the calendar of events, nutritional plan, fitness test exercises, cross-training plan, and community requirements. The document will roll out in an email as a PDF and has been proven to keep retention very high.
Integrated techniques to develop mentally strong players (growth mindset)
There are many challenges on the field for soccer athletes. The game changes in a split second and the player’s ability to keep their mind calm and body in check is very important. When a play is frazzled, they can make costly errors that otherwise do not happen in say a training environment. At Next Generation Soccer Academy, some of our training techniques help to develop the parasympathetic nervous system, or the fight or flight. Regulating these emotions during high stressed situations can be the difference between winning or losing.
Active community initiatives designed to build character
Extremely important to the NextGen way of thinking is developing character and grace. Grace being the idea that you do nice things for other people without expecting anything in return. For our Academy players, this means being involved throughout the year helping those in need. This is a team activity and part of each team’s season plan. Putting others before yourself helps to build that character that will create outstanding members of the community. Checkout this example of our community engagement:
NextGen Partners with Safe Children’s Coalition and All Faiths Food Bank
In order to become an elite athlete, the programs have to be dynamic, involving other exercises and disciplines. At top clubs throughout the world, cross-training can be just as important as field time. At Next Generation Soccer Academy, we believe in the same principle. That is why we have partnered with Save Our Y and every NextGen athlete will get a year round membership included in their pricing.
With this membership, each team’s coach will build in weekly or bi-weekly cross training sessions. So the teams will meet at one of the two Save Our Y locations and perform cross-training activities, with the guidance and help of their coach and a professional trainer. Such activities include:
- indoor futsal
- resistance weight training
- pool workout
- track running
Constantly train core principles of balance, footwork and agility
So many aspects of the game require these 3 factors. Most people can make a simple association between footwork and doing ladder drills. You would be surprised how little this is integrated into training at many local clubs. And that also goes for balance and agility training.
So how is this factored into a match related situation? Think of what happens when a player receives the ball. There are several micro-movements going on that setup the player to properly receive. While excellent players can find ways to slightly cheat the mechanics, a developing player needs the right techniques to become efficient and successful. Furthermore, in order to set up the player’s next action (pass, dribble or shoot), they will need to have the proper balance, footwork and agility to do so This all can and will be taught!
Give Athlete’s access to a college soccer program that works!
The founder of Next Generation Soccer Academy, Adam DeClerico, has extensive knowledge in helping soccer athletes pursue their dreams. To date he has assisted over 30 players from large D1 schools to NAIA. At NextGen, the plan to get kids into college will be ingrained in the program from 9th grade on. In addition, we have partnered with SportsRecruits.com to assist in the college journey. Also, you can read more about our College Program here.
NextGen Partners with TraceUp for extensive video analysis
Next Generation Soccer Academy is excited to announce a partnership with Trace. Trace will help the club provide data-driven value to players, parents, and coaches. With year-round access to Trace, teams will be utilizing the platform to film unlimited matches, stay on top of recruiting with Trace iD, and receive custom Trace Workshops for both athletes and coaches.
“Next Generation Soccer Academy is dedicated to athlete excellence on and off the pitch, as well as enhancing soccer IQ. Like NextGen, Trace has a championship mindset and their technology will greatly enhance the experience for our athletes and coaches,” says the Owner and Sporting Director of NextGen, Adam DeClerico. “We are beyond excited to partner with Trace and are looking forward to our mission of being the best soccer Academy in the country.”
Through partnering with Trace, NextGen Soccer Academy will be able to provide it’s players and coaches with tools for consistent player development throughout it’s academy. With personalized Moment playlists for each player, their coaches can provide 1-on-1 feedback and players are able to save their best Moments to Trace iD to send to college coaches across the country.
Read more about it here:
NextGen Excited to Work with Trace to Deliver Athlete Development Platform
You have probably noticed the word athlete being used in place of ‘player’. That is not by accident. Words matter. The choice of words can make the person hearing them feel a certain type of way. Since we will be focused on development, the coaches’ efforts will be firm. This will not come as a sacrifice as we will want to create a positive and fun playing environment. There will be words we do not use like “try” and “good effort”. These are not only overused but they do not invite the end goal.
In addition, we will work with our coaches to use the same terminology when giving players instructions. This will help as players continue to move up in age group and are given a new coach. When that new coach is using the same language, it dramatically reduces the confusion players will have when it comes to instructions. One example is “push wide” vs. “touch the line” or “touch tight” vs. “get really close”. Our book of lingo will be important as we focus on complete player development and longevity within the club.