Tag Archives: Academy

And…We’re Off!

13 Aug

Our “Summer” was a blur.  Quick on the heels of Academy tryouts, we left for several summer trips.  When the last week of July hit, we had traveled 6000+ miles on three separate trips.

Aidan had team camp the week of July 30th.  He met his Academy teammates for the first time – and experienced three hours a day of soccer every morning for the week.

I think initially it was a shock to his system.  While some of our summer trips had significant outdoor periods, the majority of it was not in the heat that you typically have in Atlanta in late July and early August.  He also has never had a practice longer than 60 minutes in Rec – so the duration also was a challenge.

Last week added two 90 minute practices, followed by a 60 minute practice Friday night – which means in the span of two weeks he has nearly equaled his practice time from the 2011-2012 Recreation season.  He’s already shown improvements in his game play in terms of working with teammates.

Saturday was the opening tournament for the season – the SSA Summer Classic.  He had two matches Saturday and a third on Sunday morning.
Aidan started the first match in goal, despite his own feelings about the position.  His coach asked for volunteers and he stepped up.  He wasn’t happy about his own performance, but was glad to get to play rather than start the game on the bench.  He managed to score his first goal in the second half, en route to a 9-5 win for his team.  He also had a good cross (that failed to find a teammate) so it was a good match for him.

The second match found our squad playing Palmetto United – who had defeated their first opponent 19-3.  We quickly found out why – the team had a great set of players who maximized their use of ball skills to hold off defenders combined with some sharp passing and team play.  Our boys didn’t manage a goal and lost 8-0.

Game 3 found us again on top by a margin of 7-3.  Aidan had a couple of shots and several good looks on offense, and playing tougher defense (especially in our offensive half).  However, as we had lost to Palmetto already – we had no chance of advancing to the finals.

Aidan seems happy with his team.  He seems to enjoy his teammates so far and is getting along well with the kids.  This week it’s back to practice until the regular season opens on September 9th.

 

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A Trying Week

31 May

This week is Georgia Soccer’s designated week for Academy tryouts.  Thus, our early evening has been filled with Soccer again this week for one last time before the summer.

Aidan was enthusiastic about starting tryouts Tuesday evening.  After a couple of week layoff from organized soccer, and being out of school since last week, it was a structured activity to look forward to.

The downside is that it’s the end of May in Atlanta – and temperatures yesterday were close to ninety degrees when the kids took the field at 5 PM.

Our club has between fifty and sixty boys trying out for U9 Academy.  Based on 6v6 play, I would expect that they would have 4 teams of 12 players each.  There’s also talk of expanding the pool size for U9 to add two more teams, but nothing concrete has been announced.  From a numerical standpoint then, you would assume that the majority of the players will make the cut and play in Academy.

But that depends as much on the player’s readiness as the numbers.  If the coaches don’t feel players are ready to train at the pace and frequency that Academy entails, then they won’t be selected.

It’s a tough week for the kids – three straight nights of training in the heat for ninety minutes per night.  But it’s been mentally taxing for the parents as well.

We don’t have many Pass/Fail tests anymore for eight year-old children in the United States anymore.  It’s been systemically removed from schools for this age group.  Without causing Aidan added stress for this situation, it’s hard to convey a sense of urgency to him about how he should perform. As parents, we always encourage our kids to do their best or try their hardest – but in reality we know that maximum effort doesn’t always come out.

I’ve also tried to remain as detached as possible from this entire event – apart from driving Aidan to and from the tryout and waiting while he plays.  Some of the parents stand up and help their kids during each water break, as well as signing them in each night.  I want Aidan to be independent in this event – because he will be independent in many aspects of soccer if he makes the team.

One more night, and then a nervous couple of days until the results.