Academy is a state-wide initiative to strengthen the technical development of young soccer players and to allow for an introduction to the full-level of competitive soccer in Montana. Within HYSA, Academy is a greater time and financial commitment than Recreational soccer, but not as expensive and less time and travel than Arsenal. The focus of Academy is almost entirely individual player development and coaches focus on developing technical abilities: ball control, dribbling, passing, trapping, shooting, heading, etc. Unless players have sound fundamentals, it will be difficult to develop the tactical and strategic areas of soccer later on.
Players are grouped by age and gender and practice as an entire group, only separating into teams for competitions. The different types of competitions that Academy players will see are local play, jamboree, and tournament:
- In tournaments, teams are set for the entire weekend and are competing against other Academy teams in Montana. Teams can play anywhere from 3-5 games in a weekend and may end up playing for a Championship.
- Jamborees are single-day events hosted by individual clubs around the state. Team travel to a town and play two "friendlies" (organized scrimmages with uniforms, fields, referees, official time, etc.) against other Academy teams from around Montana.
- Local play is on Saturday mornings and will see an age group split into multiple teams playing against each other in scrimmages with stipulations that would not exist in jamboree or tournament play. Coaches may stop play to change the purpose of the game or change the rules to try and achieve different goals. For example, to encourage players to dribble less, a coach may place a two-touch at a time maximum on all players.
In competitions, players are not set in one position, but rather learn how to play every position on the field. This will make a player smarter and more dynamic. Growing older and developing with a greater understanding of the game will make an athlete a better soccer player regardless of their physical attributes.
Practices will be twice a week and be split between technical training sessions and small-sided playing sessions.
Timeline for the Spring 2014 season - TBA
Spring 2014 Schedule:
PLEASE NOTE: The season will NOT stretch from April 5-June 21, but the exact start and end dates have not yet been determined.
- Saturday, April 5: TBA
- Saturday, April 12: TBA
- Saturday, April 19: TBA
- Saturday, April 26: TBA
- Sat/Sun, May 3-4: Stockman Bank Classic (Billings)*
- Saturday, May 10: TBA
- Sat/Sun, May 17-18: 11th Annual Queen City Classic (Helena)
- Saturday, May 24: TBA
- Sat/Sun, May 31-June 1: Three Blind Refs (Kalispell)*
- Saturday, June 7: TBA
- Saturday, June 14: TBA
- Saturday, June 21: TBA
*HYSA will pay for every team to attend one of these tournaments.
For more information, please contact:
Program Director/Interim Director of Coaching