If your player is looking for a more challenging environment to play soccer, or for faster ball skills development with professional coaches — or if he/she simply loves the game– then junior academy is the right program.
Junior academy teams operate at a higher level of competition and with a higher level of training activity, which requires a higher commitment. Junior academy training focuses almost solely on individual player skills. Tactics for game play are not emphasized, and are not taught until the proper techniques and skills are in place to execute them. Our graduating junior academy players, practically without exception, successfully pass select tryouts and are offered a position in a U11 Select team when they decide to enter the select program.
practice and game locations
All of our Junior Academy teams are regional. We have three regions: North (centered on Hartland/ Waukesha North), South (centered on Delafield/ Waukesha West), and West (centered on Oconomowoc). Each team practices in its own region, within convenient commuting distance of most families in the region.
When teams play internal games, they play either at home or in closely located regions. When they play league games, their home games are typically located on their practice field, but their away games can be at some distance, in general within the Greater Metropolitan Milwaukee Area.
coaching and management
Junior academy teams are regional, and are supervised by their regional DOC (Director of Coaching). All junior academy programs come under the overall supervision of the Director of Academy.
The coaching staff assigned to the teams carries at least an E license for U8-U10 teams, more typically a D license or higher. Many of our junior academy coaches coach higher level teams as well.
- U8 teams play 4v4 without a goalkeeper – up to 8 players to a team roster
- U9 and U10 play 5v5 plus a goalkeeper – up to 12 players to a team roster, although we try to keep it to 11
We field boys and girls teams in the U7 through U10 age groups, although we will occasionally have coed rosters in these age groups. However, practice is often pooled per location, and boys and girls may practice together.
Once registration is complete, teams are formed through evaluations, typically in early June. Rosters may change from fall to spring in an effort to enhance the development of players and teams as they progress through the program. In general, we cannot accept requests for playing together in this program.
Teams play in external leagues composed of junior academy teams from other soccer clubs, as well as in internal leagues. They are expected to attend 2 or more tournament or events in the year, where they will compete with other area clubs in multiple games on a weekend.
If the club believes that the team needs more challenge than can be provided within its regular age group, the team may play up an age group. Girls will compete in boys leagues when the competitive element gives this approach merit.
Sockers WI coaches provides written player evaluations once a year, at the end of the fall season. Evaluations are in general delivered in person to parents and player together. Additional evaluations can be requested by parents by working directly with their coach.
In agreement with US Soccer Federation best practices, Sockers WI will use pool practices to enhance the development of its players. Teams within an age group and region, will train at the same field, at the same time, on the same days. This allows for the consistent development and progression of the player pool, but also provides a platform to create and enrich the training experience. The player to coach ratio remains appropriate for the age level (6:1 – 12:1), but increases the capacity to implement a world-class training environment for our players.
The players will play at minimum 50% of all available game time when averaged across the season, if they show regular and timely attendance to practices and games.
Junior academy teams play three and a half seasons, although winter and summer are optional.
Fall and spring offer the regular practice regimen of two practices per week (60 to 75 minutes for U7s and U8s, 75 to 90 minutes for U9s and U10s), and one game (on average) per week-end. Beyond league play, teams are expected to participate in one tournament or event per each fall/spring season. The coaching staff and team may choose to participate in more than one tournament each season.
In summer, the players keep their skills sharp by playing in the Summer 3v3 League on Sunday evenings and by taking some of the summer camps our club offers. Winter program, described below, is a critical part of skills development for all of our junior academy teams.
Our club takes winter training very seriously: winter is when skills are forged. For this reason, we have put in place possibly the most extensive winter program in Wisconsin, open to every junior academy and select team. Our academy teams follow the exact same winter program as our select teams – but with slightly shorter practices.
All winter practices are optional – but, in general, we find that 90% of the players participate in winter training. The winter program has two components: practice sessions, and futsal games. Practices generally run in two sessions, one in November and December, and the other from January – March. The sessions have 2 practices per week with the pools or teams having designated day and time slots.
Deciding to participate in winter program is very cost effective, as costs are shared across all players participating in a session and are evaluated annually to make sure they are kept in check.
We aim to offer the best training programs and the best coaching in Wisconsin. We work very hard at keeping our programs as affordable as they can be. Because of our focus on high quality and affordability, our programs typically compare very favorably to other soccer offerings when all expenses are taken into account. We do not want to exclude any player who really wants to play soccer because of financial issues, and we offer financial aid on a case-by-case basis.
Junior Academy fees
- Program fees currently include club, league and referee fees, coaching fees for fall and spring, and winter Futsal League.
- Coaching fees, a part of program fees, include 2 training sessions per week in fall and spring. An Academy player would have 40-50 training sessions available to them over the course of the fall and spring outdoor seasons in a normal weather year.
- Full Academy Uniform (2 jerseys, shorts, socks)
- Tournament fees: typically covers at least 1 event each in fall and spring
- Refundable volunteer fee
- U8 2013-2014 program fees: $500
- U9 2013-2014 program fees: $600
- U10 2013-2014 program fees: $600