Development Academy and Tournament Teams
Development Academy Overview
West Side Soccer League has the overarching goal of providing the best possible soccer programming for a wide range of soccer interests and abilities. That means offering varying levels of soccer, all rooted in a strong child-centered practice that includes not only skills development and game intelligence, but also teamwork, good sportsmanship and the freedom to try new things. Accordingly, Development Academy exists to help players develop skills and soccer intelligence, have fun and be creative and positive.
The Development Academy Program
The training curriculum for the Development Academy, presented by WSSL in partnership with the New York Red Bulls, is centered on a futbolinho style play that uses small-sided play to emphasize control on a first touch, quick decision making, using space to advance team play, and building the skills that foster those abilities. WSSL's Development Academy is offered for players, boys and girls, in U6 to U14. The structure of the DA is as follows:
WEEKLY SKILLS TRAINING
- Players receive one (1) training session each week with NY Red Bulls trainers for a minimum of 7 sessions (5-6 sessions in Winter).
- Each session is 60 minutes long and will be conducted in an indoor UWS facility.
- Each session is limited to 12-15 players with multiple sessions per age group based upon demand.
- Players commit to the DA program in addition to weekly Core teams, training and games; DA is only available to players registered and playing in WSSL Core.
- Space permitting, weekend sessions per division will be offered and will be focused on scrimmaging and team play with the aim of getting DA players prepared for tournament play. These sessions will not meet weekly and will be offered to divisions on a rotating basis each week. The weekend sessions are optional.
If there is sufficient interest indicated by registering player families, DA will develop the following:
- DA players U8 and above will be able to form teams to participate in outdoor tournaments. Tournaments are typically Columbus Day (Fall) weekends and Memorial Day and Father's Day (Spring). Teams will be parent-coached. WSSL will support team and player registration, provide uniforms and pay tournament fees, but teams and individual families will be responsible for arranging transportation (carpools, trains, etc.) to and from the tournaments, which can be up to an hour outside of the city.
- Signing up for a tournament team also means committing to three (3) mandatory weekend practices to prepare for the tournaments. For Spring 2017, these weekends will be [tbd]. Tournament team practices will be scheduled on the opposite day of when core plays for that age group so as to avoid any conflicts with core games. Tournament teams may also play additional weeekend scrimmages with other local recretational teams, as can be decided on a team by team basis and scheduled with the league.
- Tournaments require entire-day or two-day commitments and vary in terms of team sizes and format of play (and parents should keep these weekend free in their entirety before signing up as we often do not find out the schedule until one or two days before the date of the tournament). The following is general guidance for tournaments:
U8: team size 10-12; field play 6v6
U9,U10: team size 14-16; field play 7v7 or 8v8
U11, U12: team size 14-16; field play 8v8 or 9v9
U13, U14: team size 16-18; field play 11v11
Winter 2017 Schedule and Registration
Registration for the Winter 2017 Development Academy sessions is now open. To register, please click on Winter Development Academy Schedule at the left for the Winter 2017 schedule. Find the session you desire in the scheduleand click on the link. This will take you to the Red Bulls training website where you can complete the registration. These sessions are only for WSSL core players (no travel players and no non-WSSL players).
Spring 2017 Development Academy and Tournament Team Schedules and Registration
Registration for the Spring 2017 Development Academy and Spring Tournament Teams will open at the same time as core spring registration - Thursday, December 1, 2016 at 6:30pm. Each session is capped at 12-15 players and sessions are expected to reach capacity quickly. The schedule for the Spring 2017 Development Academy sessions is still in formation. When ready, it will be posted here, where you will also find instructions on how to register.