Welcome to the future of soccer!
Based upon my travels, experiences, discussions, and research, I believe that we have been approaching soccer all wrong. We have taken the beauty and enjoyment out of it and turned it into a high dollar “win-at-all-costs” organization. It’s time to take soccer back to its roots where many of the world’s stars got their start - and when it was enjoyable.
While most clubs claim to have the best intentions of developing players, all too often that’s not what happens at the end of the day. As such I don’t believe that it’s a one-size-fits-all process and that many children are not necessarily going to get the highest competition and training playing “premier” soccer. Here at Discovery Soccer Academy we’ve put the fun back into playing while promoting individuality among our players.
Discovery Soccer Academy was founded on three beliefs:
The belief that high level soccer training should never be limited due to a family's personal finances.
The belief that it is possible to train at a high level while still enjoying soccer to its fullest
The belief that coaches should do more than instruct but to mentor children to be honest, confident individuals and encourage them to work hard and to the best of their abilities both on and off the field
What makes us unique?
We don’t stand around and do endless passing drills so you know your child will not only be getting a lot of quality on-the-ball time but will also be getting plenty of exercise. We don’t keep score either. Players are already naturally competitive but we don’t want them being concerned with “winning” or “losing” a game until they are fully prepared to play properly. No matter how great the intentions “premier” teams have, children know the score and if they are being beaten handily by a team that doesn’t have any desire to experience joga bonito (beautiful play), they will likely revert to it themselves out of frustration. Worse yet, they may quit the sport altogether. We believe that soccer can be beautiful and fun to play while still incorporating a high level of training and fostering natural competitiveness.
We encourage our players to enjoy what they do and come up with new ideas on the field. We believe that with a little guidance, the game is the best teacher. With Discovery Soccer you won’t find coaches shouting specific instructions for each and every situation throughout the game. Players aren't out there to be our video game characters. Instead, our coaches use the game as the teacher and with a little guidance set the players in the right direction. Many times you’ll find our coaches on the field DURING a game playing side by side with players to help provide guidance to a player.
Our coaches are familiar with youth psychology and education. They know that many times the best way for a child to learn something isn’t to TELL him or her what to do, but to ask the HOW or the WHY and let the child think about the reasons behind his or her actions. This critical thinking process will yield players who can read the field and react to potentially dangerous defending situations or put themselves into dangerous attacking positions. This ability to be what some call a “midfield maestro” or a “general” is very rare in the United States but it our goal to create not just the most technically gifted players but also the most intelligent players on the field.
We don’t believe that being on a specific team is always the best course of action. By having predetermined teams the possibility of high level teams and lower level teams competing within the same league is a constant concern. By combining and constantly mixing up players, we can ensure even playing time and balanced teams during games. If one team is doing significantly better than another, teams can be mixed up. This allows the more advanced players to be more likely to help out and improve the rest of the group with their instruction and advice in addition to providing higher order challenges for those wishing to receive such an experience.
Our first focus at practice is on perfecting the 1v1 skills needed to beat a defender. We don’t pigeonhole players into set positions. Our goal is for each child to come away with the confidence that he or she has the ability to dribble and score from any position on the field. In order to ensure the most possible touches on the ball, everyone has a ball at practice and games are normally limited to 3v3 or 4v4. Once these fundamental skills are mastered then we move onto game theory so that our players not only know positions but player roles and can think for themselves on the field. Great players are those who understand the game enough to be a few steps ahead of the opponent.
We don’t stop there though! Our mentors are all trained in and follow the same academy philosophy and curriculum so you know what to expect on the field. We teach a dozen or so moves like scissors or a Matthews, but we also encourage the players to create their own moves or mimic those they see on TV. We can’t guarantee that all 8 year olds can do a rainbow or juggle the ball 100 times, but once the basic movements are understood then the sky is the limit and we love to see a player show off his or her skills. We will never tell a child that he or she cannot try anything new. The only thing we discourage is giving up!
How can we keep costs so low?
Keeping our training and games in house not only ensures quality and continuity among our players’ experiences but also keeps our costs low because we don’t have a lot of extraneous expenses. Our focus on a more “pick up” or “street style” playing atmosphere allows us to get the most out of any field situation. We also rely on coaches who are not motivated by personal ego and/or monetary gain but are motivated by the success of the children. This means you aren’t paying hundreds of dollars for uniforms and yearly club dues plus upwards of $100/month for coaching fees.
In order to keep costs down, we also rely heavily on community sponsorship and donations for our support. Our belief on fees coincides with our philosophy on training: keep it simple, have fun, and work hard. With coaches who are having fun and getting their own exercise with the kids, they save money on their own league fees so it's a winning combination for everyone!
As long as we have a patch of grass, we will give you and your child the basics for understanding and appreciating the world’s game in the most effective, exciting, and beautiful way possible.
As we are not affiliated with Heartland Soccer Association, premier club players are welcome to join Discovery Athletic Club's soccer programs for extra practice without jeopardizing their eligibility with their regular club teams.
Discovery Athletic Club
BS Recreation: Corporate Recreation and Wellness
MS Kinesiology: Sport Management