Thursday, October 21, 2021

The Soccer Academy



Soccer not only took the world by storm, and its popularity has filtered right down to the littlest tyke on Marco Island. John Patterson has joined forces with the Greater Marco Family YMCA to form the Soccer Coaching Academy, a program which attempts to instill a lifetime appreciation for the game of soccer, beginning with the “Golden Years of Learning.” The “golden years” deemed to be between four to eleven years of age. So far, two levels of the Soccer Academy have been arranged: Level I ,for four to six year old youths and Level II, for seven to eleven year olds.

The Soccer Academy is based on the US Soccer Foundations “Soccer for Success” model which is an innovative youth development program using soccer as a tool to combat childhood obesity and promote healthy lifestyles for children. The program will cover all basic soccer skills – tactical, technical and methodology. Further opportunities will be added as players progress.

Each session is structured to begin with warm-ups on the field. Skills such as ball familiarity, are worked on individually, then in pairs and in groups of three. Then there is unopposed practice followed by opposed practice, gradually increasing in length of time and number of opponents. Game-related practice adds direction and goals. The final element to a practice session is to scrimmage, reinforcing the elements being coached.

Coach John Patterson notes, “it is really a progressive program. Athletes should advance in their knowledge and skill of the game.” John has over a decade of extensive soccer coaching experience on the island including coaching MICMS teams, summer Parks and Recs programs, beach soccer camps, Optimist Club teams and more. John is a state-registered coach and member of the Florida Youth Soccer Association (FYSA) and has recently attended a residential course for a National Coaching Diploma with the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).

“We hope the kids have fun and improve their skills. We hope to enhance their physical fitness, their sense of competence and let them experience the excitement of competition. Note that winning and beating others is not high on the priority list. With the youngest ones, it is a bit like wrangling cats,” John chides, “but good fun for all.” His player’s enthusiasm is obvious from the sidelines as they run the field after the ball. The level of parent participation and interest is abundant, cheering their kids when good play and scoring opportunities happen.

John will be offering a number of presentations on the YMCA Soccer Academy for Tommie Barfield parents and PTO. In addition to the outdoor soccer program, a new indoor soccer program is being introduced in March, offering soccer in the Y’s air-conditioned gym – great to avoid the high temperatures in the summer. Call the YMCA at 239-394-3144 for more information and details on new and continuing soccer sessions. A partnership with Super Soccer at the Hitching Post Plaza on US-41 allows for a 10% discount if you’re a Soccer Academy participant.

Golden Years Soccer Academy

Introduction Soccer Academy

  • Location: YMCA South Field
  • Feb. 28th to March 21st – 5:15 to 6PM; Little Tykes ages 4-6 years old.
  • Stage 1 Soccer Academy age 4-6 years; Mondays 4:30 to 6:30 PM. Weekly program over 3 months.
  • Stage 2 Soccer Academy age 7 – 11 years; Tuesdays 3:30 to 5.30 PM. Weekly program over 3 months.
  • All players must wear Soccer Cleats, Shin Guards and sports cloths.

Indoor Soccer
Location: YMCA Gymnasium.
Co – Ed Divisions: ages 4-11 (4-6, 7-9, 10-11)

  • March 10th to June
  • Saturdays: Ages 4-6; 12:30-4:30PM (Teams 4 x 4)
  • Sundays: Ages 7-9; 9:15 AM-12 PM (Teams 5 x 5)
  • Sundays: Ages 10-11; 1-3:45 PM (Teams 5 x 5)

YMCA Soccer Academy Golden Years
Informational Presentation to Parents
Location: YMCA Gymnasium

  • Saturday March 2nd
  • Time: 1:30-2:30 PM. Introduction and Presentation to the Golden Years Academy Coach Patterson
  • Time: 2:30-3:30 PM. Guest Coach Rocco Morelli (Rising Star Soccer Academy, NY) introduction into coaching for those interested in increasing their knowledge of the laws of the game and registration to complete a three-hour Coaching Course with approved certificate on completion.
  • Light refreshments will be provided. Admission fee is $10 per adult, childen are free.
  • Preregistration is required.

Challenger Sport Summer Camps
The YMCA Welcome backs the Challenger Sports Coaches, June 24th-28th, July 8th-12th, and July 5th-9th. First Kicks 3-4 years; Mini Soccer 4-5 years; Half Day; 6-9 years. Full details available by phoning the YMCA at 239-394-3144.

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