Dear PSPL Surf Academy Parents & Players
I would like to take the time to extend my appreciation and my thanks to everyone who participated in the PSPL Surf Academy during the 2016 season. The successful SX Cup and Blues Cup Labor Day weekend concludes the academy season for our younger players.
Our older players, however, still have the opportunity to attend Surf College Cup or November Nights Thanksgiving weekend as well as either the Final Four Showcase for boys and the Texas Shootout for girls in early December. All of these showcase tournaments will have large numbers of college coaches watching.
Even though Labor Day is our official end of the season for the youngers, we will be offering group training throughout the fall season for all academy players. The sessions will focus on position-specific training – from specialized keeper training to striker/finishing school, to sessions for midfielders and defenders. Other players who want to focus on fitness will have a plan to follow and will be required to check in at these sessions to monitor their progress.
It is true that this has been a transition year for the academy program. I have been tasked to set a new vision and plan for the future, beginning in 2017. Throughout this strategic planning process, it was our intent at the academy to be aggressive in creating a plan designed to reach and exceed a lofty set of goals. To successfully compete at the elite soccer level, we must set the bar high.
Without question there are risks associated with a plan, but I believe in stepping out on a limb to arrive at a higher place. Success starts with a vision, then guided by a well-conceived plan. It was clear to me that we needed to overhaul certain parts of our program to re-evaluate its goals and objectives. It was clear that serving you remained the top priority.
You as a customer deserved better from us. Nothing is more important than regaining your trust, and all of us here hope you will give us the opportunity to welcome you onboard again in 2017.
With that in mind, I have laid out a plan to solidify our place in the youth soccer landscape. The first concern was communication. We will have a single point of communication and a single point for academy information. We are close to completing a new academy website design to make it easy to find all academy information. We are quitting Team Cowboy accounts because it caused too much confusion. Instead, we will be rolling out better and more clear lines of communication tools to better communicate with you.
The 2017 PlanThe new curriculum aims to enhance the program even further to help the Washington state players achieve their dream of playing at the collegiate level. You must have a plan to get recognized, evaluated and identified by the right college coaches. The competitive events are imperative for the program to be successful. Important components to be successful:
PSPL SURF ACADEMY TEAM TRAINING CONCEPT
The PSPL Surf Academy Program is designed to promote player development within their own club structure by utilizing THE CLUBS players and most experienced coaching staff to attend additional tournaments across the United States East & West Coast. The program is designed to give the top Elite players additional training and competitive opportunities -- and more exposure to college coaches.
The first component is creating an elite state all-star academy and then offering high-level training sessions for players striving to reach the collegiate level. The training atmosphere must be professional and focused on achieving these outcomes.
We will continue to select players from a pool of top players in Washington State.
The PSPL Surf Academy teams play a 10-month season beginning in December with try outs, and ending in September. September & October we will concentrate on specific position training clinics. The Academy teams will travel and play against like opponents for tournaments and other special competitive events most regular clubs in Washington State are unable to attend.
PSPL Surf Academy players will be dual registered to local clubs in the PSPL League teams and participate in those matches as well. While there may be conflicts with scheduling we are attempting to schedule tournaments around club play.
The Academy teams will train two times per month during the 2017 soccer season. There will be some exceptions such as the month of April when clubs are preparing for Washington Cup and handling spring vacations. And other months there may be an additional training session to prepare for a tournament.
A typical weekend of training would include several different types of sessions including strength & conditioning evaluations, technical, tactical and functional sessions. Player, parent classroom, and College Edge educational nights will be offered to help with the recruitment process. The training format for all ages will mirror the style of work being used at the U-18 and U-16 levels in order to better prepare players for the transition into the older categories.
MEANINGFUL TRAININGAcademy teams will spend a greater amount of time focused on training to improve as individuals and as a team. The teams and players will receive direct feedback and evaluations from professional staff, along with a self-evaluation in their position.To round out the complete training environment, academy players are tested in their physical capabilities using testing methodology, and self-accountability. The academy players also receive the player development curriculum for soccer-specific athletic training. Each athlete then gains a greater understanding of how they compare physically against their peers and what they need to do to achieve their optimal performance levels.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR THE PLAYER
The PSPL Surf Academy program will provide the opportunity for players in the PSPL clubs to compete in additional high profile tournaments across the country on the East & West Coast. The PSPL Surf Academy concept will address the need for further development of youth soccer players within the clubs in Washington State. Instead of having talented players spread out among several clubs, the Academy program promotes bringing together the best possible players to one team to attend the appropriate level tournaments for their development. This allows players to compete against teams of similar talent at top-flight tournaments, giving players the opportunity to showcase their talents on regional and/or national stages.
For the academy program to be successful, the academy has to feature top players from the PSPL clubs from around the Washington State.
PSPL Surf Academy teams will get the opportunity to play in a number of top tournaments across the country. College scouts will be regularly invited to academy games and training sessions, so players are evaluated over the course of the season and in their natural positions, allowing for better player assessment. Virtually all college programs use the academy program as a scouting vehicle and the program has received increased attention from collegiate coaching staff.
A College coach receives thousands of inquiries and player recommendations. Strict NCAA rules and only so many hours in the day limit a coach’s ability to evaluate player talent. Coaches typically try to attend events where they will see the biggest number of elite players in competitive environments. Coaches will attend specific games to see players that trusted clubs have recommended to them. One key: get exposure in front of as many collegiate coaches as possible.
Another avenue: our Collegiate Preparatory ID Camp will help players get an edge in the college pursuit – but at a more personal scale devoted to helping you achieve your college dreams. The PSPL Surf Academy Teams will have the opportunity to compete and create further exposure for the individual players. This program will provide them with an elite training experience that will replicate what you can expect as a collegiate athlete
PLAYING TIME IS EARNED AT PRACTICE
The PSPL Surf Academy program will give an incentive for proper practice habits and completing the fitness requirements. The players will appreciate and acknowledge the work required to play at the competitive level. We want everyone to play, but they all have different strengths and weaknesses. Certainly at the younger age groups we want all kids enjoying the game through participation. The players have to understand as they become older, that they earn the right to be on the field. This promotes proper training habits at practice.
The program will replace this crucial problem of choosing the right soccer tournament for team’s level of play. The opportunity to challenge some of our teams by pitting them against higher level is lacking. Traveling further away from home to promote top-flight players is also lacking in local clubs. This is a void in the competitive atmosphere for our players and teams by just playing the local tournament schedule. We are providing the opportunity for the players to compete against the best... PSPL Surf Academy creates a true College academy approach.
No way will this program affect or disrupt the club team structure. The rosters will be no larger than 26-30 players. With that said, we have to initially roster each player to an assigned team. Once assigned to that team under US Club we can move players around so they can attend the appropriate tournaments. Players develop in multiple and different stages.
The goal of the PSPL Surf Academy is to produce successful future College athletes within the Washington PSPL Club structure. In order to aggressively promote this academy model, we have to show success.