ACADEMY PROGRAM - AGES 9 & UNDER
The Academy Program is an alternative to recreational soccer. It is the second step in player development for the Sporting Arkansas Soccer Club. Players continue with the training found in the NSCAA, USSF, US Youth Soccer, and and ASSA player development models. Technique and skills with the ball is a main focus for soccer development between the ages of 7 and 10 years old. 1v1 and 2v1 attacking and defensive situations make up the majority of tactical concepts. Moving from individual player techniques to partner training such as passing occurs in this age range.
Sporting Arkansas has made a commitment to raise the standard of soccer in NW Arkansas. In keeping with that goal, we feel that all players with the appropriate skill and dedication to play should have the opportunity to play, regardless of financial means. As a club, we do everything we can to assist and are thankful to the many donors who make that a possibility.
Financial assistance, in the form of player scholarships, are available to assist those players who are not able to afford the total costs associated with playing soccer and funds available to help families who need financial assistance.
Please go to the Financial Assistance page of our website for more information.
The Academy Program conducts annual evaluations of existing members and new players. All players are invited to come out to these evaluations to become members of the Sporting Arkansas Soccer Club.
If a player misses the traditional evaluation window in May, there is still a chance to participate based on membership numbers and other factors.
Academy Program membership is an annual commitment. Registration fees cover the cost of training, facility maintenance and repair, facility utilities, and administrative duties associated with program membership.
Registration Fees: You can view information about registration fees HERE.
Parents should note that additional fees will exist for uniform and training gear, tournament fees, and any required travel. Please contact the Sporting Arkansas office for additional information about becoming a part of the Academy Program.
Training sessions are Tuesday/Thursdays 5:30-6:45. Sessions will include individual body awareness activities and motor development as well as a main focus still on the individual player's skills. Partner activities are increased as well as the increased frequency and improvement of 1v1, 2v1, and 2v2 games. Sessions conclude with small-sided games.
Under 9 and 10 age group players will be introduced into small sided games with greater numbers sooner. Directional play will be more often and advanced attacking and defensive principles will be introduced to include defending numbers down, combination play, roles of the first and second attacker, and team shape.
The focus is on building and maintaining an increased love for the game. Emphasis is on soccer specific technical skills (dribbling with all surfaces of the foot, how to receive and control the ball) individual development, increased comfort on the ball, exposure to all positions and how to function in a team. Winning and team results are a low priority compared to individual development as a soccer player.
Academy players can expect one game per week and one tournament per season (hosted fall and spring tournaments).
Academy & Pre-Academy Director
Years coaching: 25+
Levels coached: college, club soccer, high school, ODP, recreation league coordinator, YMCA league coordinator
Schools coached: Lyon College, Batesville High School, Springdale High School
Playing experience: Lyon College, Arkansas A's, Mobile Revelers (USL), Tulsa Roughnecks (USL)
Credentials: USSF National C License, Certified Parks and Recreation Professional (CPRP), YMCA National Leadership Certification
Favorite team: USMNT
Coaching philosophy: Try stuff
ACADEMY COACHING STAFF
Chase Gipson (Academy Director, 2014G)
Christophe Bouteille (2013B PSG)
Dante Pardetti (2013B A.C. Milan, Southampton)
Leslie Platz (2013G Arsenal, Ajax)
Tayler Mahler (2013G Arsenal, Ajax)
Brandon Gardner (2013G Arsenal, Ajax)
Rob Mahler (2014B)
Nestor Ortega (2014B Juventus)
Jason Charlesworth (2014B Dortmund)
Kong Lee (2014B FC Toyko)
Dan England (2014B and Goal Keeper Training)
Quentin Berner (2014G Barcelona, Valencia)
Wesley Harris (2015B Leeds)
Miles Boyer (2015B Tottenham)
Mitchell Ross (2015B)
Casey Rivard (2015G A.S. Roma)
Richie Houlihan (2015G Sydney FC)