Tri-City United Soccer Club ~ Home of the Titans: Academy Program

Munchkin/Academy Programs

PROGRAMS AGES 3-6

Academy Orange Soccer for Ages 3-4  

Academy Orange Soccer (ages 3-4 year olds) incorporates motor skill activities, coordination with the soccer ball as well as simplistic soccer techniques.  It also helps develop confidence as well as social skill building with other children.

Sessions are one hour long in which 30-40 minutes includes fun soccer-oriented games where the kids will learn different foot skills and 20-30 minutes of actually playing in a game format.  The game portion of the format is designed to be a small-sided (4v4 or 5v5).  The instruction part of the session will consist of a number of soccer based games in order to demonstrate different skills.  This format will encourage that each player is fully participating.   Everyone will be playing the whole time; no one will be sitting on the bench waiting their turn.  The small-sided games will give the players a chance to work on the skills they learned.

Academy Blue Soccer for ages 5-6

Academy Blue Soccer teaches the fundamentals of soccer in a fun, active, cooperative environment.  Skill development focuses on increasing the involvement in the game, actual "touches" on the soccer ball and thereby develops their critical skill levels.  Emphasis is on teaching skills, team work, strategy and sportsmanship.

The sessions are one hour long and will consist of 15 minutes of fun soccer oriented games where the kids will focus on specific foot skills and 45 minutes of actually playing in a game format.  Like with the 3-4 year olds, the instruction part of the session will consist of a number of soccer-based games in order to demonstrate different foot skills.  This format encourages that each player is fully participating.  Everyone will be playing the whole time and no one will be sitting on the bench waiting their turn.

If we receive enough registrations with this age group (and have enough coaches) we try to divide kids into semi-permanent teams and assign a volunteer coach for each team with 6-8 players on each "team".

Registration

Information about registration is located on a link on the website at www.tcusoccerclub.com. You can register your child online or download the registration form in PDF format from the website, print it out, and mail. Hard copies are also available at the Berea Recreation Center and Brook Park Recreation Center. Mail registrations to Tri-City United Soccer Club, PO Box 971, Berea, OH 44017. Sessions are held in the fall and in the spring. You can register for a single session or both sessions. The cost is $35 for one session or $60 for both sessions.

Uniforms

T-shirts can be purchased on the first Saturday of the season.   A new shirt need not be purchased if the old one is still useable.

Soccer Gear

All participants in Munchkin/Academy Soccer must wear shin guards.  We also recommend investing in soccer cleats for your child.  There is a lot of rain (and sometimes snow) this time of year, leaving the fields wet and slippery.  Proper cleats prevent a child from slipping and sliding all over the place when the conditions are not the greatest.  A size 3 soccer ball is recommended for 3-4 year olds and a size 4 soccer ball is recommended for 5-6 year olds.  Please have your child dress for the weather conditions and bring a water bottle.

Weather

Soccer is a sport played in all weather conditions, hot, cold, rain, snow, etc.  Sessions are usually only cancelled if there are thunderstorms (Yes that means we do have sessions if it is just raining).  You will have to use you judgment whether or not you want to send your child to participate if there is inclement weather.

Summary

The Munchkin/Academy format is something that both the Berea Youth Soccer Club and Brook Park Soccer Association have been successfully implementing for many years and the modifications we have made are a result of the feedback we have received from parents and coaches.  We feel the format has distinct advantages for children this age, namely:

  • Kids love it!  The foundation for this format comes from the top European Clubs and it is being introduced by the top soccer organizations in the United States.  We believe we are ahead of the curve in implementing this program in the Berea School District and the testimony from Clubs who are already using the program is that the children have a great time playing in this format and leave the field exhausted.
  • More touches on the ball.  The most important thing for children at this age is to develop their foot skills.  This program will dramatically increase the amount of time they are moving and touching the ball.
  • All the children are learning the same thing, Coaches will be instructed beforehand what it is that should be accomplished with each drill and what the players should learn. 
  • It develops coaches.  This format will enable the league to identify and train coaches for future development of players.

There is always resistance to this type of program because many people were looking forward to having their child play on a team against other teams.  But we are asking you to keep an open mind and consider the following:

  • What is being given up?  Presently we do not keep score or have assigned teams for this age group nor do we have standings.  So this really has little impact.
  • What do we have to gain? When you consider what happens in the games, usually one or two players control it, and the rest will rarely touch the ball when they are on the field.  In the Munchkin/Academy format, everyone is playing and touching the ball the whole time, resulting in better skilled players.
  • Isn't this just a version of Tot Soccer? This is different.   For one thing, the parents will not be on the field with their children.  The second thing is that this will be much more game-oriented.  There will be very little standing/sitting/waiting with opportunity to play a variety of soccer-oriented games.

What we envision is a program in which children can have fun and learn the game at their own pace.  We have to consider what is in the best interest of the child, and based on what our Board and top soccer professionals have learned, we believe that this is the best way to proceed.  It will develop better players and improve individual foot skills, but more importantly, it will develop in them a love of the game that will extend into their adulthood.