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About program
Our philosophy always has been and will continue to be to focus on preparing our players for the next level of the game.  Our aim is to provide consistent and age-appropriate year-round training for players between the ages three and twelve.

The new NESA FC Academy program will be the leading player development program in New England. The core principals of our program are based on those of the finest European soccer club academies.  The program is carefully structured to facilitate advancement to the next level of play.  Furthermore, we view competition as integral to player development.  We do not concern ourselves with wins and losses nor with which league we play in, we focus on learning from the game. We encourage our players to experience different positions, so that each player over time develops an appreciation and understanding of every position on the field.  All age groups will routinely participate in outdoor and indoor games.  Moreover, we foster development of our soccer players with specialized fitness training on consistent basis.

Key Player Developmental Principals of NESA FC Academy
Principal One: All training curriculum is designed on General to Specific principal.  Example: Dribbling  ( general); Dribbling to split two defenders ( specific)
Principal Two: All training curriculum is designed on Simple to Complex principal.  Example: Playing 1 vs. 1( simple); Playing 11 vs 11(complex)
Principal Three: Everything must relate to a game.  Example: There is no running laps in the game, so we do not do it
Principle Four: All activities must be “Challenging Fun”.  In other words, every player at every practice must be challenged while they have fun.

Age Group – 5 & 6 years of age
Technical: With 5 & 6 year olds, the primary focus is not on any specific technique but on touches on the ball. All activities are designed for players to consistently touch the ball in different environments. At this age, attention span is very short, so NESA FC coaching staff changes activities every couple of minutes.
Tactical: There is no tactical training with this age group.  Most of the games focus on development of an individual skill in  a1 vs 1 environment. As players develop technically, 2 vs 1 and 2 vs 2 game set ups will be introduced.
Physical: At this age, we recommend that all players participate in gymnastics class at least once per week. Regardless what players will do later in life, gymnastics will develop strength, coordination, flexibility, and confidence.
Psychological: Our aim is for kids to fall in love with the beautiful game.  Therefore all activities must be “challenging fun.”  
Equipment: Size 4 soccer ball; shin pads; soccer cleats; back pack, 2 practice t-shirts (blue and white)  
General Comments: We highly recommend that all players to spend at least 20-30 min per day playing with the ball.  It is highly desirable for parent or sibling to play as well: play one on one with player; kick the ball against the wall; play keep-away from each other, or just pass the ball to each other.  In other words, we want players to see that members of their family and friends enjoy the game as well.
Furthermore, we recommend that all players participate in their town soccer program.

Age Group – 7 & 8 years of age
Technical: With 7 & 8 years old, we continue to focus on basic technical development.  At this stage, we start working on specific moves: juggling, changing directions, passing and receiving, and competing against other players.
Tactical: Players become more aware of others at this age.  We begin to introduce students to 2 vs. 2; 3 vs. 3 and 4 vs. 4 environments. Further, we start to focus on moving the ball by passing (an alternative to dribbling) to teammates in order to get through the opposition. To facilitate the process: we design games with number ups (3 vs 1, 4 vs 2, etc.)  
Physical: At this age, we recommend that all players to participate in gymnastics class at least once per week. In addition, players will be introduced to soccer-specific fitness conditioning during training sessions.
Psychological: Fun still rules the day at this stage. At the same time, training sessions will become much more structured.  Coaches will demand discipline and attention from all players at all time.
Equipment: Size 4 soccer ball; shin pads; soccer cleats; back pack, 2 practice t-shirts (blue and white)  
General: We want our players to start expressing a NEED to go and play.  We recommend as much play as possible: pick up games in the back yard or neighborhood are ideal. Further, each player should spend 20-30 min per day playing with the ball on his or her own.  Parents or siblings are encouraged to play an assistant role:  Example, player takes shots, mom is the goalie.

Age Group – 9 & 10 years of age
Technical: We continue to focus on technique. Now we introduce a more advance technical environment: we add speed and pressure.  Higher level technical elements of the game are introduced to the player: volleys, half volleys, heading, trapping the ball out of the air, passing the ball in the air, etc.
Tactical: In addition to using higher numbers, we now start focusing on the player’s decision-making.  We start asking players questions.  Examples: Why did you make the decision to pass/shoot/ dribble in this situation instead of …?  Was there another alternative?  Did you see that your teammate was open?  Did you see another defender beyond the one facing you?   In other words, we teach players to think  about the decisions they make on the field.  
Physical: More strenuous soccer-specific training is introduced.  Customized  soccer-specific fitness conditioning programs are designed for this age group. We highly recommend that all players take part on weekly basis.
Psychological: Here we want to see players become more competitive and more aggressive.  We want each player to develop confidence in his/her abilities.  We encourage players to  to believe in themselves and to develop strong work ethics.  Additionally, we stress sportsmanship and respect for others.
Equipment: Size 5 soccer ball; shin pads; soccer cleats; back pack, 2 practice t-shirts (blue and white)  
General Comments: Every day, players must juggle the ball, on their own,  500 times per day using all parts of their bodies.
We DO NOT recommend that NESA FC Academy players participate in town soccer programs.
NESA FC Academy will provide up to 25 game opportunities per year against town travel teams and soccer clubs.

Age Group – 11 & 12 years of age
Technical: At this stage, we start to focus on technique within a game-like environment. Further, we focus more on nuances of the technical aspect of the game in relation to decision-making.  Example:  After getting a pass, turn and beat an opponent with first touch or body in relationship to where the ball is coming from and/or where my teammates/opponents are on the field.
Tactical: Game is getting more complex.  As numbers increase, so do the number of possibilities, options, and solutions.  Here we start introducing specific tactical formations in an 11 vs. 11 game.  Communication becomes critical at this stage.  
Physical: Players are expected to start working on endurance, agility, and upper body strength.  Fitness training is part of every session and is required of every player outside of the  regularly scheduled training sessions.
Psychological: At this point, we must prepare players not only for competition against other teams but also for competition within a team.  Each player must be psychologically prepared to “battle” in practice against teammates/friends for a starting spot on the team, be able to leave it all on the field after the , session and enjoy pizza with the same person 30 minutes after practice.  We teach players to separate social interaction outside practice from the highly competitive environment during practices.
Equipment: Size 5 soccer ball; shin pads; soccer cleats; back pack, 2 practice t-shirts ( blue and white)  
General Comments: Training session move away from individual development toward team training. Therefore, players are encouraged to spend individual time on the ball developing their skills.  At this age, players serious about the game must become single sport athletes.  NESA FC Academy will provide up to 25 game opportunities per year against town travel teams and soccer clubs.
About program director
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