The Junior academy is our 9v9 teams (U11 &U12). This is a step towards the game becoming much more realistic. No more play out lines, more realistic formations, offsides, Red and Yellow cards and 3 Referees. The only difference from the real game is at U11 where you still cannot head the ball but at U12 you can.
The practice environment also changes as our coaching staff will start to implement more tactical knowledge to the players. This is done through small group training, 2v2,3v2,3v3, and the introduction of new positions and the concept to play through zones. The focus is more on team concept than individual. The focus is to pass the ball instead of dribble. Dribbling is encouraged at the correct opportunity.
The commitment to play and compete goes up as does the level of play. In the Junior academy players will be expected to train 3 nights a week and play in league games or tournaments 3 out of 4 weekends in a month.
The Junior Academy Program is for players in 9v9 game formats. The Junior Program in Arizona (organized by Arizona Soccer Association) is designed to achieve development goals: