WHAT WE BELIEVE IN
WE BELIEVE that there needs to be a Soccer Club which caters to players whose first choice of sport and passion is Soccer. This club needs to be designed to benefit these players first and foremost, it needs to provide the opportunity for these players to get the practice and instruction they need to reach their full potential as a Soccer player.
WE BELIEVE that players who are passionate about soccer deserve to be coached by coaches who are passionate about soccer, who live and breathe soccer and who are knowledgeable about how to teach and develop young players. They should not have to be coached by a volunteer parent who is only coaching the team because their child is on the team or no one else wanted to coach the team.
WE BELIEVE that the current model of introducing young players to the game of soccer, developing them and training them using volunteers and unpaid, unqualified coaches is fundamentally flawed and does not cater to the the player but to the parents and the organizations. We will continue to challenge the current model and practices in order to create a more player focused club and environment.
WE BELIEVE every player regardless of their skill level should have the opportunity to work hard, practice and achieve their goals in the correct environment for them. Players who are not ready to be part of a team based on their skill level need somewhere they can belong and at the same time develop those skills to reach the goal of being on a team. Players who have reached the level required to be on a team should not be held back by players who have not reached their level yet.
WE BELIEVE that players need to learn that they have to earn a space on one of the top level teams we have, that they have to earn a spot in the starting line for every game. Players need to learn that there is reward for attendance, hard-work, effort and reaching the desired skill level required. We do not believe everything should just be handed on a plate to them.
CLUB & ACADEMY SPONSORS
THE SOUTHWEST UNITED DIFFERENCE
WHO ARE WE?
Southwest United is a privately owned and run Football Club with an Academy that operates in Chatham and Lakeshore/Tecumseh.
Our club is run by one full-time Technical Director/Administrator who is accountable for all players and coaches within the club and academy programs.
We have a staff of between 5 and 7 coaches all of whom coach every week throughout the entire year with us.
Our club is recognized by Ontario Soccer and we are also affiliated with the Michigan Burn Soccer Club in Michigan.
We are one of the smaller clubs and academies that you will find in the region. This is due to the fact that we only take on the number of players that we can adequately provide our program for and this is dictated by number of qualified coaches and facilities available.
All players receive the same quality and amount of practices and coaching and in order to do this we have a capacity.
We do not keep enrolling players and creating additional teams and programs and then assigning volunteers or parents to coach them.
So whilst we do not cut players based on ability we do have a capacity based on what we are able to accommodate. We work with a limited number of players for the entire season.
All coaches regardless of which age group they are working with has some certification and has been through training provided by the club
All of our coaches are paid for coaching. There are no volunteer parents on our coaching staff.
Our coaches work with a wide variety of the players and age groups they are not simply assigned one team to work with for the entire season. They will coach multiple teams and groups of players.This ensures all players get a variety of coaches and get to learn from each coach
We try to avoid having any parent coaches but we do have couple on our clubs staff. These coaches do not only work with their players teams though and we actually try and assign them to a group that does not involve their child whenever possible.
WHO IS OUR CLUB FOR?
Our Club & Academy is for boys and girls aged 4 to 14 currently. As a club and coaching staff we are not really concerned with ability level of players and do not accept players based on their skill level.
What we look for in players is a passion and commitment to Soccer and we want players that want to learn,improve and become better players.
We are not looking for players that just want to be on a team and get their uniform and team jacket.
We do not put together teams for players to play on, we develop players to be able to play on a team.
We are looking for players whose first choice is soccer, sure they may be involved in other activities but Soccer comes first.
We are looking for players and parents who believe what we believe and are patient with their players development but also realistic. Players and parents must be willing to accept that there are standards that need to met in order to be selected to our “First Teams” our coaching staff will do everything we can to help the player achieve their goal but it is also up to the player and parents to do their part.
Our season is different from most clubs who play the majority of their soccer in the summer. We follow the same Soccer season that is played in nearly every other soccer nation around the world.
Our season starts in September with fall practice and skills.
We have an extended Christmas break. Pre-season training starts in January.
Our competitive season when we play our leagues, exhibitions and tournaments goes from April to end of June and then we take the SUMMER OFF.
Soccer is not a Summer sport anywhere else in the world, the weather in this region is too hot and we also find that most families have too much going on in the Summer to be able to commit fully to the program.
Our season ensures players are playing in weather conditions that are right for soccer. They are able to start the season with some competitive play, train and practice in the middle and finish the season with competitive play.
Players also have the adequate time off to rest, recuperate and enjoy other activities. Our season also helps us with implementing a periodized training model.
WHAT IS INCLUDED
Our Season and program runs from September to mid to late June, with some scheduled breaks. The program ends up being approx 34 weeks long.
All players are part of our Academy system and receive a minimum of 2 practice sessions per week throughout the entire season. Players train with other players in the Academy system where they are grouped based on a combination of skill level and age.
Practices are focused on two main elements. 1. Individual Skills Instruction 2. Team and Game Application
Our competitive season when we play our games is from April to end of June. All players are named to an Academy team in early December these teams play a series of competitive matches in our Academy League and will be entered into some external Tournaments in Ontario or Michigan.
At U10 and up we will also field Select Teams to play in the Michigan Youth Soccer League. We will only field teams that have reached what we feel is the required level of play to be able to compete. We only fiel
Many people are talking about pathways and leagues,however we are more concerned with the pathway that exists within our Academy and Club.
All of our players start out in our Academy and receive the same access to practice and training with the same coaches.
All players are named to their own Academy Team usually based on their main training location. These teams are picked by our coaches and we try and make them as evenly matched as possible. These teams compete against each other in our Academy League each Spring.
The next step for players is to be selected to play for one of our Michigan League Teams. These teams compete in the Michigan Youth Soccer League in Spring and Fall. We only field a maximum of one team per age group at this level and only players that we feel are ready to compete in this environment are selected.
All players are continually assessed and have the opportunity to be selected to play on a Michigan League Team twice per season. Players who are named to play on the team in the Fall league are not guaranteed to be selected to play on the Spring league team.
One of the reasons we have limited the growth and size of our Academy and Club is to ensure that our curriculum and standards are met and implemented across the board for all players.
All coaches are responsible for teaching and implementing both the clubs Technical Skills Program and the Game/Tactical Program for all players.
As we operate in two different locations we have to ensure that all players are getting taught the same curriculum, this way they are able to play together on select teams that are made up from players from the different locations.
Practice sessions and Skills sessions are created by the Clubs Technical Director and then given to the coaches to execute.
Operating this way we ensure that there is consistency in what is taught to the players, the language and methods that are used to coach all players regardless of team or location.
HOW DO I JOIN?
We typically do not hold tryouts in the traditional sense. We do hold several Trials and Open House sessions throughout the year which are free for players to attend.
These sessions are designed for the player to come and see what our training sessions are about and meet our current players and coaching staff.
At anytime throughout the season we accept players into the Academy Team Program as long as we have space in their age group. Spaces on our Michigan League teams may not be available depending on the time of year you are inquiring.
FIND OUT HOW TO JOIN THE SOUTHWEST ACADEMY PROGRAM IN JAN 2018
Southwest News & Views
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