Sudbury Academy Squad FAQ's

All soccer players play for fun, but some have true passion and want additional challenges. The Academy Squad is a program designed for passionate and talented soccer players who want to further develop their skills. The program offers the opportunity to be instructed by a professional coach both on the training field and on game days.

This is an expansion of our Skills Academy, giving every player motivation to practice hard and build a passion for the game from a young age.

Players will go through an advanced program focused on technical development and learning game-like situations in functional and situational sessions.  Players will also be taught through video analysis as well as educational homework assignments.

This is a great opportunity for players that are ready to take soccer to the next level and are passionate about developing.

Q:  What is the Academy Squad?

A:  The Academy Squad is a progression of the Skills Academy sessions that run both fall and spring for players of all abilities from U8-U14.  The technical training our Skills Academy players have received has been excellent and at U11/12 they are ready to be coached tactically in game situations.  Players who are new to the Skills Academy can also be placed on the Squad.  The Academy Squad is for players that are dedicated to learning the game of soccer, not necessarily the “best” soccer players. 

Q:  Who is the coach of the Academy Squads? 

A:  Each team will be coached by a professional coach that will follow a SYSA club curriculum designed by our Technical Director. 

Q:  What will my child get out of this program?

A:  This Academy Squad is player development driven not team development driven.  That means we will specifically develop your child to benefit their needs at their rate.  Your academy coach will fully explain to each individual family how they intend to develop your child through player profiles and reports.  The feedback received will focus on your child’s development specifically and not based on the success of the team.  The training received will be of the highest standards.

Q:  Will there be teams for each grade will they be mixed?

A:  We may mix both U11 and U12, and U13 and U14 together.  This gives us a larger amount of equal players and will benefit all players as a result.  

Q:  What is the commitment?

A:  Player must fully commit to the Academy Squad.  There will be two team sessions per week plus a game on Saturdays. We intend that this commitment not be over bearing on schedules so that players may participate in other sports, activities or religious events.  Players must commit to both fall and spring.   The reason for this is to ensure the players that wish to participate in this program have a commitment to the game.   Also, Spring is our competitive season where teams that qualify in BAYS play in MTOC, the Massachusetts Tournament Of Champions. This level of commitment is age appropriate, in accordance with US Soccer best practices.

Q:  How do you place players?

A:  Players will be placed based on a tryouts' night.  The evaluators will be professional coaches and will have no volunteer assistance of any kind.  The Technical Director, will finalize the rosters based on the results.  If a player is injured and wishes to participate, we will consult with their current coach as well as rely on past information for previous encounters to attempt to appropriately place the player.  It is important to note that due to numbers there may be limited space on the squads due to roster size; however players will still be able to participate in BAYS and receive professional coaching in the Skills Academy program.

Q:  Will this team play in BAYS and at what level?

A:  Yes the Academy Squad teams will play in BAYS.  The team will be placed appropriate to it’s ability.

Q:  Can my child try out for both programs? 

A:  Players must make a choice between the Academy Squad and BAYS. If a player decides not to accept a position on an Academy Squad team, they must let the Technical Director know and attend the BAYS Evaluation nights if they wish to participate on a BAYS team.

Q:  Is the Academy Squad the same as a “club” team?

A:  No, the Academy Squad is different than the club experience.  The Academy Squad is player oriented and it is purely designed to improve a players’ technical and tactical ability.  We do not base success on the team winning or losing.  The Academy Squad is only open to Sudbury residents and their families. We do not recruit a player based on their position (e.g.. a right defender) to fill a Squad need. We are focused on player development only.  We believe that the Academy Squad’s focus makes it more beneficial than many local club programs for developing most players.  We encourage players who make any top club team that plays in the top league in MAPLE to continue on with developing within such club system. 

Q:  Can my child play “club” soccer as well as the Academy Squad?

A:  We ask that any player that chooses club soccer not participate in the Academy.—US Soccer best practice guide strongly recommends that players play a maximum of 30 soccer games per calendar year and state that players should practice 2 times for every 1 game played.  Players should also rest 2 nights a week.  These statements help us understand what burns players out.  We do encourage any SYSA players to play in an unstructured environment as much as they choose, alone with the ball or with others.  However, too many organized sessions are detrimental to development and may exclude participation in other sports and activities.  

Q:  What if my child wants to be part of the original Skills Academy program but not the new Academy Squad?

A:  Nothing changes for those that wish to continue to play BAYS and participate in the Skills Academy each week.  We encourage players to do so. The Skills Academy program is still available for any player who wishes to receive professional coaching on technical skills!

Q:  What are the roster sizes?

A:  The roster sizes will be between 12 and 18 depending on the number of registrants, with a desire to keep the roster sizes on the low end.

Q:  Are there any additional tournaments the Academy Squad can play in through out the season? 

A:  There are always tournaments to play in.  We will seek oportunities to play in one per season assuming there is player interest.

Q:  What is the cost of the Academy Squad?

A:  The cost of the Academy Squad is $800 for the year.  This includes all registration and insurance fees as well as professional coaching for 2 practices and 1 game throughout the fall and spring seasons.  Players are also required to pirchase an Academy Squad training warm-up, 2 training tee shirts and a backpack.  Estimated costs for 2012-13 is $155.  All items can also be bought by any player in the SYSA program at Brines Sporting Goods in Sudbury.

Q:  How do I register for the Academy Squad and the other programs offered? 

A:  To register for the Academy Squad, sign on to your AdminSports registration account and click on the “Academy Squad” button next to your child’s name. You will not be charged until your child is selected for an Academy Squad team. Your registration receipt will read that they have been waitlisted. You do not need to sign up for the “regular” BAYS program or the “regular” Academy, as it is all included. 

Q:  Can I get professional coaching without a two season commitment?

A:  Yes.  You can participate in the Skills Academy, which provides the same training as the Academy Squad once per week and is run exclusively by professional coaches.  For competitive games, you can also play in the BAYS program, which (i) is the same league the Squad will play in and (ii) includes several sessions run by professional coaches in addition to practices which follow a professionally developed curriculum.

Q:  Does the two season Academy Squad commitment preclude me from playing other sports?

A:  We do not intend for the Squad commitment to force any player to choose between sports.  In each season, the Squad will require two sessions per week and one game on the weekend.  We believe that any more sessions per week for organized soccer is too much.  This is why we discourage players from making a club soccer commitment as well as a Squad commitment.  The Squad is an option for those who choose to attend the Academy session and want to devote the extra time to participate in an additional practice session.  The Academy Squad is in addition to the Academy program, which remains open to all players, regardless of participation in the BAYS or IM programs.  The Academy is designed to allow any player to continue to develop under professional coaching while allowing participation even at the highest and most demanding levels of other sports. 

SYSA provides a range of options for development at all levels which include professional coaching, each with differing levels of time commitment.  We strive to make these options as flexible as possible, so that individual players can pursue soccer and other sports (and other activities) in accordance with their interest, skill level and time.