1. What’s the Academy’s mission/vision?
The Strikers Academy mission is to provide a learning environment where players are free to explore their passion for the game, learn how to play better as an individual and a team mate, and prepare themselves for the challenges that will face them when they compete for spots on Strikers competitive travel teams, their school teams, or college teams.
2. What is the Academy?
The academy provides a fun environment for boys and girls ages 8-11 to develop their skills, both to ignite a passion for soccer and to reach their potential in the sport. This is typically seen as the bridge between Micro Strikers, which is Strikers’ recreational introduction to soccer for 5-11 year-olds, and our Competitive program which begins around age 12.
3. For how many weeks does the program run?
The 2021 Spring Academy will run for 10-12 weeks: starting April and ending in June. There will be additional training sessions for those participating in the Intermountain Champions Cup here in Missoula which is on June 18-20 2021.
4. Can my player participate in Micro Strikers and Academy?
Yes! Players can participate in both Academy and Micro. Since Micro games occur every Sunday, it fits in well with the Academy’s training schedule of Mondays and Wednesdays. Please note that your child may not be able to make it to all of their Micro practices if the Micro coach sets their practice time for Monday or Wednesday afternoons. There is no fee this spring to register for Micro Strikers as an Academy player.
5. Can my player play for another club and still participate in the Academy?
Yes! This is not a problem as long as the schedule works out for your family with the other club’s practice and game schedules. You may have to make some decisions throughout the season but there is nothing stopping you from doing this.
6. Who should I contact if I want feedback on my player?
Parents interested in feedback on their players should contact the director for detailed evaluations.
7. How are players grouped together and how are coaches appointed to groups?
Players will be grouped mainly by age. There may be a few exceptions to this. We try not to do too much grouping by ability/skill at the youngest ages, but as they progress into the U11 age group we will start to form the Premier Development Teams. These teams are broken up into groups of kids who have shown a desire to get better and already possess a certain skill set to have success receiving more tactical instruction while still working on the same skills that the rest of the group will be working on. All of our Academy players are developing their skills no matter what their current skill level is. Our coaches are all qualified and will be placed according to where we need them and which age group and gender we think fits their personality best.
8. What equipment do we need/what additional costs are involved?
For academy sessions players should always bring a soccer ball, soccer cleats, shin guards, a water bottle and appropriate clothing for the weather. If you choose to sign up for any of the tournaments you will need to purchase a white and a red uniform available through Soccer.com, two pairs of soccer socks (one white pair and one black pair) and you will need to have a pair of black soccer shorts. For each tournament you attend, there will be an additional cost of $85. Any one day play dates will cost an additional $15 per player.
9. What happens if practice is cancelled or my son/daughter has a conflict and can’t attend?
If Academy training sessions are canceled we will send emails to parents as early as possible, in addition to updates on Strikers social media platforms (Facebook and Instagram). If your player is unable to attend Academy sessions due to a schedule conflict please contact the director with that information.
10. When can we sign up and what are the dates?
Spring Academy registration is OPEN!. The dates of the academy training sessions are every Monday and Wednesday. Academy season starts Monday April 1 and ends in June. There will also be optional tournaments (for additional costs) which are TBD.
11. Does my son/daughter have to travel as a part of Academy?
Only if you want to. The tournaments are completely optional. That is why they are not included in the cost of the Academy and will therefore incur an additional cost to attend.
12. Are there tryouts for Academy?
No. We want to include as many interested players as possible. Youth players develop at different rates. Academy coaches are constantly evaluating players and determining skill levels so we know what group is the best fit for each individual player. Tryouts at this age are unnecessary and would only limit the number of participants, and we feel that soccer is the best sport in the world so we will make space for every interested player.