Frequently Asked Questions
1. How is the Junior Academy different than recreation soccer?
There are several differences; the main one being the experience level of the coach. All of our Junior Academy coaches are paid staff members and are licensed through US Soccer. We find the best people we can to work with our players. Read more about our staff HERE. The Junior Academy follows a developmentally appropriate curriculum through the fall and spring seasons focusing on individual technique and ball control. All Junior Academy training sessions are held at BB&T Soccer Park, and the ratio of training sessions to games is about 3:1. Each Junior Academy team trains twice per week.
2. How do I know if my child is "good enough" to be in the JA?
We hold evaluations for the Junior Academy during the month of May each year for the following fall and spring seasons. We look for players who enjoy playing, try to execute appropriate technique, have great attitudes, and are able to take coaching instruction and follow directions. The hardest working players are undoubtedly the ones who improve the most and thrive in the Junior Academy environment.
3. Where does the JA train?
The Junior Academy holds all training sessions at BB&T Sports Park in Bermuda Run, NC. Just outside of Winston-Salem, the park is convenient for residents of Davie, Forsyth, and Davidson Counties. Typically all Junior Academy sessions are on fields 6 and 7. When bad weather won’t allow us to train at the park, a few times each season the Junior Academy will train at the Winston-Salem Sportsplex near Wake Forest University.
4. How much travel do they do each season?
There are only a few travel dates each season, and we try to stay as close to the Triad Area as possible. Every fall and spring there will be one away event to Greensboro, one to a Charlotte area club, and one weekend at the Junior Academy Festival. The Festival is usually in High Point, Greensboro, or our own park. Occasionally there are extra events that we will take teams to, but those events are not required and are offered on an invitation only basis.
5. How long is the commitment? One season? Two seasons?
At evaluations in May players commit for the fall and the following spring season. Occasionally there are positions open for the spring after the fall season ends; to find out if a space might be available please be in touch with the Junior Academy Directors.
6. What are the start dates for the fall? For the spring?
Typically we begin training the week before public school starts in August, and in the spring we start during the last week of January.
7. What is JA Camp, and when is it?
Junior Academy Camp is offered over two weeks at the end of the summer before training begins. Players are encouraged to attend one week of camp, and are welcome to attend both! It’s a great chance for the Junior Academy Staff to get to know the players before the season begins. Camp goes from 8 AM-11 AM Monday-Thursday. We play a big group warm up, go through a training session, take a break inside with some trivia or games, and then finish the day playing barefoot soccer. There is an extra cost to attend.
8. Why is the cost so different from Recreation?
The higher cost reflects the quality of coaching, a 12-week season with 24 training sessions and 8-10 games, facility use, and all games and events included in the Junior Academy schedule. In contrast, the recreation program has volunteer coaches and an 8 week season with 8 training sessions and 8 games. See more about fees for our programming HERE.
9. When you schedule games, why are there only days, and not times until 2 weeks before the date?
We work closely with other clubs when scheduling, and typically have anywhere between 20-50 games to schedule for a game day event. Other clubs give us their team levels, team age groups, and coaches so we can make the best possible matchups. When we host, schedules with game times will be out no later than 2 weeks before the event; if we don’t host we do our best to get game times set at least 2 weeks out. Game times for all events (with the exception of the festival) usually fall between 9:00 AM and 2:00 PM.
10. What is the difference between the Junior Academy and the Elite Academy?
The Elite Academy teams train 1 extra day per week (3 days a week), and are coached by either a director or another highly qualified coach. There is 1 U10 Boys team, 1 U10 Girls team, 1 U9 Boys team, and 1 U9 Girls team. They will play in one extra festival/tournament event each fall and spring, and will also occasionally play some more games as well. The U10 teams will play up at U11 Classic during the spring season. Elite Academy teams are selected within Junior Academy Evaluations in May.
11. Does the Junior Academy provide opportunities for the players to have a little fun now and then? It sounds so serious!
From our Junior Academy camp at the end of the summer where kids finish each day playing barefoot soccer, to having Wake Forest Soccer teams come train with us, to our epic Halloween bash, there’s always something exciting around the corner! Training activities are mostly game-based, so players get to attack at goal often, score, and compete, which they love! We think structure is important, but we balance that with energetic coaching, fun events, and a positive environment for players to be in, no matter what team they’re on!
12. Why is the Junior Academy right for player development?
The goal of the Junior Academy is to create an environment where each player has the opportunity to excel. The staff, training sessions, and events are all chosen carefully to aid in the development process. The curriculum is specific for the 8U-10U age groups, and the emphasis on competing in training and in games helps foster creative attacking play and a great base of soccer skill for players to continue on to the next level.