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PRE-ACADEMY OVERVIEW

The AFC Lightning U8 Pre-Academy Program is designed to provide high quality training and development opportunities for motivated and committed U8 (2011 & 2012 birth year) soccer players.

AFC Lightning Pre-Academy is the beginning stages of elite training for U7/U8 players. The objective of this program is to provide every player with a structured, comprehensive training experience. Our curriculum is both age and skill appropriate.  Pre-Academy is the stepping stone to the AFC Lightning Academy program (U9-U12). After graduating from pre-academy all players will have the necessary tools to play academy soccer if they desire.

The AFC Lightning Pre-Academy focuses predominantly on individual technical skill development. We de-emphasize short term wins and losses and focus on playing the AFC way and long-term player development. The program focuses on developing players who understand the technical and tactical topics that prepare them for club soccer in their later years.

Pre-Academy Philosophy

Our goal is to teach all our players the correct way to play with an emphasis on long term development rather than short-term wins/scoring goals.

Our philosophy is to develop technically skillful players who are comfortable with the ball at their feet. We promote a fun, challenging environment in which we encourage individual creativity.

We want players to be critical thinkers and make decisions on their own with little to no on field instructions from coaches and parents.

Pillars/Fundamentals of the game:

Technical Skills and Moves - players learn all turns, tricks and skills moves with both feet. Emphasis on repetition to improve proficiency and confidence. All players are trained to be dribblers first.

1v1 Attacking - lots of 1v1, 2v1, and 3v3 free play within each training session. We encourage players to use their skill moves in a game like scenario. Also to recognize the triangle shape and overloads in small sided games.

Triangle Support - developing the idea of supporting the player on the ball with multiple options creating triangle and diamond shapes. Encouraging players to play out of situations rather than just kicking it away or dribbling into pressure.

Critical Thinking/Problem Solving - we encourage players to think for themselves and solve soccer problems with their skills. Our coaches use guided discovery questions to guide players to the answers rather than just telling them the answer.

CONTACT



Brian Schwartz

Pre-Academy Director
[email protected]
(770) 365-1001






Jeff Timmers
Academy Director
[email protected]
(859) 992-6521



FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

When are tryouts?

Tryout dates are mandated by Georgia Soccer. Academy tryouts are usually held in late May and several dates throughout the summer.  Tryout information and online registration will be available on the AFC Lightning website prior to the published tryout dates.

Supplemental tryouts or evaluations can be scheduled throughout the year for any player who is not registered in another club’s Academy program, all registered recreational players, or any unregistered players.

Who is eligible?

The pre–academy program is open to all boys and girls born in 2011 & 2012 who are not currently registered with any recreational or academy program.

When and where are the training sessions?

Pre-Academy teams train 2-3 times a week on weekdays for 1.5 hrs per training session. Typical times are from 5:30pm to 7:00pm at the Peachtree City Athletic Complex in Peachtree City.

Training days, times, and locations may vary from time to time depending on the schedules of the coaches and field availability.

When and where are the games?

Our Pre- Academy Boys and Girls teams will play both 4v4 & 7v7 format. All teams will play a mixture of games against PTC Lazers recreational program teams, in-house scrimmages, and other pre-academy programs in the Metro Atlanta area.

Games are typically held on Saturdays and Sundays during the Fall season from early September through mid-November and the Spring season from early March to mid-May. Generally teams play one game per week, although occasionally players may be asked to play twice at the same location.

In addition to regular season games, Academy teams will participate in 2-3 local tournaments per year.

How do I register a player?

Players must register with both Lazers Soccer Club (www.Lazers.Soccer) in the proper recreational age group (U7/U8) and AFC Lightning Soccer in the Pre-Academy program age group.

AFC Staff coaches will provide additional registration information and instructions.

What are the costs?

Pre-Academy players are responsible for both the recreational soccer fee assessed by Lazers Soccer Club and a supplemental training fee of $300 for AFC Lightning Soccer Club. Fees are due twice per year at the beginning of the Fall and Spring soccer seasons.

Uniform and training packages are available from Lloyds Soccer and are typically less than $150.00 including the backpack.

What is the difference between Recreation and Academy Soccer?

Deciding whether or not your child should play recreational soccer or competitive (“academy/select”) soccer is often a daunting task for parents not familiar with the world of competitive sports. The primary deciding factor that parents should consider when making the academy verses recreation decision is whether or not one wishes to accelerate a child’s soccer development in a professionally guided training environment.

In recreational soccer, the focus is most often on social interaction, “having fun” with friends, which often comes at the expense of instruction. In academy soccer, the focus in on teaching in an enjoyable manner that is appropriate for the child’s age level. Individual skills and team tactics are taught by high-level, professional coaches in order to more fully develop the child’s level of play. When it comes to playing at an academy level, the end result is young athletes that know how to play soccer at a much higher level than their corresponding recreational players.

What are the differences between Academy and Recreational coaches?

Academy soccer differs from recreational soccer in several ways, but the primary difference is in the level of coaching provided. Coaching is like teaching – it requires extensive knowledge of the subject and the ability to communicate that knowledge to young athletes. In recreational soccer, the coach is typically a noble parent with little or no competitive or high level soccer experience. Unlike recreation soccer, Academy coaches are experts in their field, skilled communicators and teachers, and are paid a professional salary.

Academy coaches are expected to create a community of players that supports the alignment of individual and team improvement by implementing club standards of play that are developmentally appropriate by age.  This requires continuous evaluation as well as a clear structure that is communicated effectively to the players and parents. 

 

 

 

 

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