What is GUSA’s Jr. Academy Philosophy?
Our philosophy is to provide an ENJOYABLE atmosphere, where each player can be CHALLENGED and DEVELOP their TECHNICAL skills but also grow a LOVE of the game of SOCCER.
How does my child get into the Youth Academy system?
Every May we hold open Jr Academy Evaluations at certain facilities to give our staff an opportunity to evaluate new and existing players. When committing to GUSA it is both for the fall and spring seasons. If you are interested in joining the program mid season, we do allow mid season evaluations depending on available spots.
When will we know which team our child is placed on?
Players will be notified within 48 hours after their final evaluation if they have been selected for the Jr. Academy. Players will not be put on a team until after their spot has been accepted.
Is there much movement of players in this system? If so how is this communicated to the players and the parents?
Once players are placed on a team, majority of that time, they will remain on that team throughout the year. Our program is set up to allow us to make adjustments throughout the season if a player is excelling at a level. If players are moved, this will be communicated to parents and players ahead of time through the Academy Directors.
How far will we have to travel? Who will we play?
Regular weekend games are kept local. Majority of the games are kept within the Piedmont area. Teams may travel to festivals/tournaments that could be beyond the normal area. These events will be communicated to all families before the season begins.
When will we know the schedule of games?
Game dates are posted before each season begins. Exact game times are based on a collaboration between clubs. Typically, home games will be posted 2/3 weeks before the game date. Away dates will be set by the host club and can range from 3 weeks to 10 days before the scheduled game date. Families should expect their child to have a game anywhere between 9am & 5pm on any given game date. Schedules are always subject to change.
What format do age groups play?
All age groups will play a combination of 5v5 or 7v7 throughout the year (August-May) depending on the host club and their preference. Each age group is different with the format being set-up to provide the maximum opportunity for development.
Why not keep leagues or standings?
The Jr Academy program feels that standings encourage a win at all cost mentality, which ultimately is not the environment we want our kids to be surrounded in. While we want our teams to compete and be competitive players, we also want to put players in situations where they will have fun and be successful. If winning is the primary focus, players will play with a fear based mentality rather than a creative mentality.
Where is practice held and what days and times?
GUSA Jr Academy teams will practice at Proehlific Park, however we will look to form teams at other location where possible. Other locations include Gibson Park (Adams Farm area), Summerfield Athletic Park or Mustang CrossFit, and Stokesdale Town Park. Practices are 75 minutes long and are typically in blocks from 5:30 – 6:45 pm or 6:45 – 8:00 pm.
What is the cost of the GUSA U8-U10 Academy Program?
Costs vary depending on player placement. See our price chart under Fee Structure.
What are team fees, and what do they cover?
Team fees are additional to the club fee, they cover tournament entry cost and coach expenses. The team fee is set amount that is split evenly among all members of the team, regardless of a player’s participation.
Do teams have the same coach all year?
Our aim is to have one coach/coaches with each team for the entire year, however coaching assignments are always subject to change depending on availability and circumstance.
Is the Pre-Season Team Camp mandatory?
No. However, participation in the Jr. Academy pre-season camp is highly recommended as it gives players a chance to interact with their new teammates and coaches, whilst also gaining valuable early lessons that will help their development moving into the soccer calendar year. Team Camp is part of club dues for Elite Academy players.
Is the Summer Training Program mandatory?
No, the Summer Training Program is designed for those who wish to work on techniques and skills that will help them during the regular team training months. It is an excellent way for players to get a head start before the fall season begins. Summer Training is part of team dues for Elite Academy players.
Can I be a “team parent” for my child’s team?
Yes, Junior Academy Teams rely on parents to fill volunteer jobs. Positions include:
Team Manager – responsible for maintaining team records, tournament registration and communicating information to the team.
Team Treasurer – responsible for budgeting and managing team funds by collecting fees and paying expenses.