Frequently asked questions
Registration and Fees
How are registration fees utilized?
We work hard to keep our fees as low as possible but we do have bills.
Fees can be used for field rental, equipment, insurance, family events, and fundraiser overhead.
We also do what we can to reward our coaches for their time working with the kids and off-field soccer education.
How are age groups divided?
We use a school-aged guideline as opposed to the US Youth Soccer age matrix so that kids can be with their classmates. This option is also available to us because we use larger age groups due to our desire to create even competition.
Why are divisions coed?
Why not? Kids should be able to play with each other regardless of gender, age, race, religion, or ethnicity. This belief helps kids learn about others who aren't like them and everyone can be friends and teammates.
How do I register online?
Click on the "Register Here" button on the top of the website. That will take you to our registration portal (Play Pass).
Select your membership level (full year of season only). Enter your child's information and choose your location. Be sure to read the injury and photo waivers! When you are finished, enter your coupon code if you have one, and then select your payment method. If you'd prefer to pay check or cash let us know and bring it with you to practice.
When you're finished, you should receive a confirmation email.
I think I registered but didn't get confirmation. I'm not getting any emails from Discovery.
Sometimes mail might get sent to spam so please adjust the settings accordingly. Confirmation emails will be sent via Play Pass. Communication emails will come from discoveryathleticclub.org via Benchmark.
Can I join DAC if my child is already playing for another team or playing another sport?
We don't card players and limit them to only one club. Some of our kids play excusively with us but others play in other leagues around the city. As we don't play at Heartland Soccer Association you are free to join us with zero restrictions.
Multiple sports? YES! We encourage kids to try many activities and especially sports. We are fully aware of the studies showing it's very healthy for the body and reduces injury to get in multiple types of motions. We are also working on adding in more youth (and adult) sports utilizing our philosophy so hopefully we can be your one-stop-shop for being healthy!
Hopefully our schedule fits in with yours but if you're limited to one day a week let us know and we can work out a discounted rate.
What team is my child on?
Everyone is on the same "team" around here. We mix and match players on a regular basis and everyone follows the same schedule. As we prefer small sided matches (5v5 max) there isn't much reason for scrimmage vests or other colors. This method also forces players to have their heads up to spot teammates and opponents.
What forms of payment are accepted?
You can pay by credit or debit card via the registration portal. We accept Visa, MasterCard, and Discovery. Sorry, we don't accept AMEX as it would raise our rates.
If you need to, you can also pay by check. Just be sure to mail it in or bring it to the first practice. We know sometimes things happen with bank accounts so you can pay with cash. Please contact us before doing so.
Our registration system does not currently allow for payment plans so contact us to work something out if you need to spread out your fees.
Does Discovery Athletic Club offer soccer all year long?
No, we do not.
We advocate the need for children to experience other activities as well. This is good not only to prevent burnout but also to help prevent overuse injuries. Winter is a good time to pick up another sport like basketball or volleyball. Summers around here are typically too hot to consistently have practices. Who wants to have 90% of them cancelled due to heat?
We do offer other programs in winter so be on the lookout for them.
Can my business help support Discovery Athletic Club?
Most definitely. Every little bit helps and maybe someday we can be 100% fee free and even offer more programs! Please contact Lance to see what we can do for each other.
Schedules and Equipment
What is the practice and game schedule?
Free Play practices are held Mondays at 6:00
Academy Play practices are held Tuesdays at 6:00
All games are held Thursdays at 6:00
What equipment does my child need in order to play soccer?
Shin guards are the only requirement to play but we highly recommend soccer cleats or turf shoes (no toe or metal studs). The Facebook Marketplace is a good location for finding slightly used cleats. With growing feet, most are only used a season or two and a fraction of the store cost.
For safety reasons, socks must be on the OUTSIDE of the shin guards and completely cover them. This is very important. A stud can get caught in the shin guard if worn incorrectly.
While we have extra balls handy please bring an appropriate sized one.
Plenty of water.
What size soccer ball does my child need?
Ages 6-8 need a Size 3.
Ages 9-12 need a Size 4.
Ages 13+ need a Size 5.
While a Size 3 is ideal for players 8 and under, a Size 4 is also acceptable depending upon your child's size.
What is the practice/game cancellation policy?
Known cancellation decisions will be made at least 30 minutes before a scheduled start time. As we cannot predict every condition, please follow our Facebook page for the latest updates.
Our coaches keep a close eye on the weather to ensure the safety of all players and families. If there is the possibility of of inclement weather such as heavy rain or lightning our coaches have have the authority to abandon the current session. If a coach calls to abandon the field, please head to your vehicles immediately.
All coaches are required to have audible alerts on their phones to warn of any danger.
Temperature-based cancellations never easy so in order to be as safe as possible, we utilize a WetBulb Global Thermometer. It factors in more than a Heat Index's basic measurements. For a general guideline, all sessions are loosely based upon the following guidelines:
HEAT INDEX of 100 degrees and above - All practices/scrimmages CANCELLED
HEAT INDEX of 99-95 degrees - Practice intensity heavily reduced
HEAT INDEX of 90-94 degrees - Practice intensity lightly reduced
TEMPERATURES of 41-89 degrees - All practices proceed as scheduled
WIND CHILLS of 40 degrees and below - All practices/scrimmages CANCELLED
Again, the WetBulb Global Thermometer has the final say.
Click for more info on the WBGT.
LIGHTNING - Sessions will resume after 40 minutes from the last lightning strike. If a session is in progress it will be IMMEDIATELY ABANDONED for the day. If a session has not yet started while in a delay, it is up to the families to decide if they wish to wait for the storm to pass and participate in a shortened or delayed session. As lightning can be unpredictable there is the risk that any practice or scrimmage session may not occur.
Field conditions will be monitored by coaches and posted to Facebook as needed.
Do I need a uniform?
Yes and no. We don't have game uniforms but we do have practice shirts available to purchase if you like. We've found an awesome but affordable shirt for you and unlike many other places, we have zero markup on its cost.
We also have a selection of spirit wear that can be used on or off the field.
Purchase items here.
How are your games organized?
Our Saturday games are set up much the same way as our practice scrimmages. No individual uniforms and no set teams; just play and have fun. This is the time to really show off what we worked on in practice.
Coaching and Competition
What if my child is excelling at his/her current age group?
As we keep our age groups rather large this normally isn't a concern. If it is, we may talk to your child about moving to a more advanced group for more of a challenge.
What is the time commitment expected of my child and myself?
We know you have a life outside of soccer so the short answer is: whatever you want to put into it.
Some kids are more motivated than others so while we encourage practicing outside of scheduled times it's not mandatory. We also know sometimes you have to miss a night and that's ok too. We will work with your child to catch up. We also won't punish your child for missing a night. That's just wrong and no fun for anyone.
We schedule 2 practices each week for 8 weeks per location plus two full optional each season. We value your weekends so we WILL NOT fill them up with games being anywhere from Friday night to Sunday night.
What are the coaches' expectations of my child?
Simply put, work hard, have fun, and respect the game. As long as your child is doing this everything should be ok.
For more information please see our
Player Code of Conduct page.
What are the coaches' philosophies regarding working with young athletes?
We know kids are smarter than many coaches give them credit for so while we do expect them to be professional about their attitudes we also know they learn better while having fun. Learning should never be a chore and our coaches know this. We push the kids to work hard and improve but we never FORCE them into doing something.
Players are more than welcome to refer to coaches by their names instead of "coach" if they wish. We prefer a friendly relationship because players should always play hard because they want to make a coach/themselves happy/proud and not because they are afraid of punishment.
Can my business help sponsor Discovery Athletic Club?
Most definitely. Every little bit helps and maybe someday we can be 100% fee free! Please contact Lance to see what we can do for each other.
How can my child experience higher levels of competition if you don't keep score?
The short answer?
The long answer?
Everyone likes to win but at these early ages we value individual successes more than team successes. People are naturally competitive and we want to instill that within our program by encouraging the players to keep individual scores based upon any moves they make or any goals they scored. As we do our best to move players around in order keep “teams” even we can ensure that every player is evenly matched up within the respective age group.
At younger ages it is more important for players to learn about themselves and master technical ability than it is to pass the ball and watch another player do all of the work.
We encourage our young players to take risks. By not worrying about losing, players are more willing to try to take on defenders 1v1. If he/she loses the ball and gets scored on, the game continues on with no pressure and thus, he/she can try again without feeling any guilt. The only pressure a player receives is internal which has been shown to foster the creativity and endurance required to be confident and successful.
What will my child get from Discovery Athletic Club that he/she won't get with another club or organization?
With us your child will receive consistent coaching because we train all of our coaches in our method and philosophy. While there are personal differences between coaches, we continually wortk with them to make sure they are following the correct curriculum.
Our low ratio of players to coaches provides more individual attention for players. It's also normal for us to have 2-3 coaches on the field even if it's only with 6 kids. Think of how little your child gets to talk to the coach if there are a dozen (or more) other players on the field? Over an hour that's 5 minutes maximum and that's assuming it's just one conversation after another with no team coaching. We can easily double that. That's how we can make sure your child is getting the needed attention to pefect his/her technical and tactical abilities - the coach won't be focused solely on one player needing a little extra assistance while leaving everyone else to mill around.
As winning-at-all-costs isn't in our wheelhouse, your child will get plenty of time on the ball no matter his or her ability. Our coaches also don't understand the reasoning for berating a child for making a mistake when psychology proves that positivity is so much more effective. Together these ideas simply mean more FUN.
What's the difference between Free Play and Academy Play?
Glad you asked. Free Play is more of a pickup or backyard style of play. There are no commitments so come when you can. We will teach the basics of soccer but we won't take ourselves too seriously. We've been known to have the ocassional dance off during practice.
Academy Play is for the more serious players. Don't confuse it with a high level of play, just those who wish to work harder and pay more attention. Practices will move along much faster and as such players are expected to hustle more and will develop more skills.
Both are great options and they are up to you and your child. It's not a tryout type of thing.
Who is my child's coach?
Coaches are based upon availability and it's rare there will ever be just one around. We like players to be able to work with multiple teachers. It helps that we are all using the same curriculum and vebage in our practices.
You can see our coach bio here.