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Taking a Rec U9 Team Academy Pros and Cons Pixel
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Post by AKeepersMomma on 30/01/14, 02:50 pm

I am the team mom for a Rec U9 girls team and the Coach and I are talking about moving the team up to Academy. We really want to have all of our bases covered before we talk to to the parents. We are new to this process and don't know what to expect. We really want to keep all of the girls together. Is that possible in reality?
Thank you in advance for your help.
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Post by Jackie Moon on 30/01/14, 03:35 pm

I tried this at U8 and realized very early on I was in way over my head. I could not pass the team off fast enough to a academy coach and we still did poorly. From that team only 3 of the 12 girls are still playing U10 academy soccer. The 3 that are still playing are all on different teams. 2 of the 3 are playing on top 10 teams. The fact is maybe 4 or 5 of the girls will be good enough to play at this level and handle the physical play while the rest will fall by the wayside. Being the kings of rec soccer does not translate to success in academy. The better teams are fast, skilled and physical and your girls will not know what hit them. Maybe your team will be different, but my guess is the experience I had is the norm.
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Post by SD69 on 30/01/14, 03:49 pm

There still may be time to enter them in an academy tournament lower division before the season starts. This way you can use it as a trial and see how many parents would be on board. It would have been better to do this earlier in January or December as you now have little time to explore tournament options before league deadlines on new rosters.
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Post by FriscoSoccer2004 on 30/01/14, 04:14 pm

AKeepersMomma wrote:I am the team mom for a Rec U9 girls team and the Coach and I are talking about moving the team up to Academy.   We really want to have all of our bases covered before we talk to to the parents.  We are new to this process and don't know what to expect.   We really want to keep all of the girls together. Is that possible in reality?
Thank you in advance for your help.

For U9's the best thing to do is enter into he Silver B division of CFBAL, they have like 4 or 5 divisions so a good number of the Silver B teams are in the same boat as your team (new to academy) so that way you can ease them into it slowly

I would avoid tournaments, as not a lot of teams in your shoes do well in tournaments, better yet look at the list of teams on CFBAL and contact one of those Silver B teams (Call Nicole she will get you in contact with them) and setup a scrimmage so you can see how much work you need to do!

All that being said Friday is the deadline to register and she has closed several divisions already as they are full.

Good luck
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Post by MoveYourFeet on 30/01/14, 04:54 pm

Jackie Moon wrote:I tried this at U8 and realized very early on I was in way over my head.  I could not pass the team off fast enough to a academy coach and we still did poorly.  From that team only 3 of the 12 girls are still playing U10 academy soccer.  The 3 that are still playing are all on different teams.  2 of the 3 are playing on top 10 teams.  The fact is maybe 4 or 5 of the girls will be good enough to play at this level and handle the physical play while the rest will fall by the wayside.  Being the kings of rec soccer does not translate to success in academy.  The better teams are fast, skilled and physical and your girls will not know what hit them.  Maybe your team will be different, but my guess is the experience I had is the norm.

My Rec team had a few really good players. One of the other Rec coaches came to me talking about putting together an All-Star team of girls from our league and playing in SDL against the Academy teams. I had no idea what he was talking bout, but sounded great to me. So he got together a few of his, a few of mine, a few others here and there, and we had a team loaded with great talent. Our practices were so top-notch compared to my normal rec practices. Everyone was into it and the speed of play was tremendous.

I'll never forget, and this was many years ago, our first game at Blue Sky in The Colony against some group of girls called Sting. Maybe you heard of them. Final score was 16-0 and they took the foot off the gas pedal the second half. It was unbelievable. I'd never seen a team stop their movement towards the goal and pass back to players behind them. What were they doing? Possession? What's that? Our girls go to the goal, all the way.

Well, we passed the midfield line a handful of times, and that was only because we kicked the ball out of our end. It was a disaster. By the end of the season, our team had progressed significantly, but the game was way beyond us Rec coaches and what we had to offer.
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Post by db10 on 30/01/14, 06:01 pm

I'd go and watch some mid level teams practice and play. Ask yourselves if your team is ready for it and if not how much time and effort would it take them to get there. A lot of times it's down to the dedication of the players and family. Soccer goes from a "once in a while" to "yea! finally a weekend off" Most REC parents are not ready or willing for the time required.

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Taking a Rec U9 Team Academy Pros and Cons Empty Re: Taking a Rec U9 Team Academy Pros and Cons

Post by Guest on 30/01/14, 07:10 pm

AKeepersMomma wrote:We are new to this process and don't know what to expect. We really want to keep all of the girls together. Is that possible in reality?

What to expect is a quantum leap in overall speed, skill, and physicality over the rec leagues.  Not to mention a similar quantum leap in the competitiveness of the girls on the field AND the adults on both the team and parent sidelines.  For the uninitiated, it will be an absolute eye-opener.

From my experience with 3 DD's, the gap between rec and "select" ("academy" is just synonym for "select"), in NTX is HUGE in all sports (soccer, softball, b-ball, v-ball...).

The key to both your competitiveness, and your ability to "keep all of the girls together" is going to be what is the makeup of your rec team?

Is it a rec "all star" team, where over time, you've either recruited, or had most of the best players in your rec league migrate to your team because you are the most competitive and/or have the best parent coach? Are your weakest players generally as good or better than the best players on your opponents?  If so, you have a chance to be competitive in academy, and to keep the players together.  

Or does your team have a few standout players/athletes who help you win, and a few weaker players that are really no better than most of the other rec players out there?  If that is the case, you will likely get your doors blown off in academy, and your weaker players and their parents will run for the exits quickly.

"Keep all the girls together" is great in concept, but extremely difficult to do in reality.  Reality is that you almost certainly have a mix of girls/families on your team that have different levels of ability/athleticism, competitiveness, and passion for the game (or sports in general for that matter).  Over time, you will naturally have some that desire "more" and some that don't. They will likely go their separate ways.  Some will understand this and part on good terms, some will not understand this and there will be hard feelings/grudges.  It's the nature of the game (pun fully intended).

If you do decide to take the leap with the whole team, do like many of the other posters have suggested... encourage your parents to go watch a couple of academy games first, and/or try to schedule a scrimmage or two against lower level academy teams (although if you do this, be fully prepared to have the opposing coach and opposing team parents recruit your best players on the spot).  If the parents and players have some direct perspective on what to expect, you'll have a much better chance of surviving the jump, than if most of your parents are going in blind.

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Post by soccersounder on 30/01/14, 07:45 pm

AKeepersMomma wrote:I am the team mom for a Rec U9 girls team and the Coach and I are talking about moving the team up to Academy.   We really want to have all of our bases covered before we talk to to the parents.  We are new to this process and don't know what to expect.   We really want to keep all of the girls together. Is that possible in reality?
Thank you in advance for your help.

A good indicator is if you are completely destroying your REC League. It can work. This how the Lady Aztecs Club started. They 99 started as a REC team in Garland and won the U10 TOC in REC while also playing in the old Academy PAL League...
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Post by deepblack on 30/01/14, 07:57 pm

soccersounder wrote:
AKeepersMomma wrote:I am the team mom for a Rec U9 girls team and the Coach and I are talking about moving the team up to Academy.   We really want to have all of our bases covered before we talk to to the parents.  We are new to this process and don't know what to expect.   We really want to keep all of the girls together. Is that possible in reality?
Thank you in advance for your help.

A good indicator is if you are completely destroying your REC League. It can work. This how the Lady Aztecs Club started. They 99 started as a REC team in Garland and  won the U10 TOC in REC while also playing in the old Academy PAL League...

I'll second that. My dd played on a academy team and a fwysa rec team at the same time with 6 of her teammates that did the same. The rec team was winning all of their games by big margins and their academy team was average.

I also second bwgophers comment about your players being recruited on the spot, during games, etc. "come play for an established academy team" "our coach played pro and coached college" etc
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Taking a Rec U9 Team Academy Pros and Cons Empty Re: Taking a Rec U9 Team Academy Pros and Cons

Post by Guest on 30/01/14, 08:03 pm

AKeepersMomma wrote:I am the team mom for a Rec U9 girls team and the Coach and I are talking about moving the team up to Academy.   We really want to have all of our bases covered before we talk to to the parents.  We are new to this process and don't know what to expect.   We really want to keep all of the girls together. Is that possible in reality?
Thank you in advance for your help.

We talked about this with my daughters '03 team, but never went through with it.  Looking back now I see why it would not have worked for us:
1.  Of our 12 girl rec roster, 2-3 stopped playing at U10 to do other things.
2.  Even if everyone had stayed only 5-6 of the girls were ready for academy.  The bottom half of the team was OK for rec, but would have been lost in academy.
3.  The social aspect of playing time, recruiting new players and all of the other competition aspects that put pressure on the girls and parents would have fractured our group.

I think it can be done, but what you gain in control and in cost savings will be spent in time and energy/hard work.  Its like painting a house - you could do it yourself, but maybe its worth paying someone with the experience and equipment to do a professional job.

With that said - start in DIAL, PSA or UAL if you go for it.  At least those were the least competitive leagues when we were in academy.  Or check out the FBR and try to scrimmage some of the lower ranked teams and then progress up the rankings until you find the right comp level.

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Post by Son_ofa_Pitch on 30/01/14, 09:04 pm

My dd played on a Rec team for about two seasons and the whole team transition into Academy with the same Coach.  We first started indoor at Blue Sky for Winter Season and finished the season 4-4 at Blue Sky.  We defeated the bottom half of the League which were primarily other Rec teams.  The top finishing teams in League were Academy teams. Though we competed, the skills, speed and agression of the Academy teams were an eye opener.

We then transitioned outdoor, Spring season SDL 3 (Super Development League/ Division 3).  We had a decent recorded outdoor, but like others have said, the recruitment of your better players will happen and replacing the better players that left, was even harder.  

Being just "a team" and not associated with a club (to replace players) can be detrimental if your best player(s) leave for greener pastures.  Majority of parents looking to join a team are looking for players with similar skill sets as their dd or a Coach with some credentials.. Not saying your team Coach is not credible.

The skills level of all the girls will vary and getting them up to speed will require dedication, patients and lots of praying "I pray it doesn't happen to us".  Two years later, the team is no longer together and 60% of the girls play for other teams and the other 40%, well.... No longer play.
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Post by Guest on 30/01/14, 09:52 pm

I say go for it. Set expectations and remind parents its a marathon and not a sprint. Totally worth it! Good luck.

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Post by AKeepersMomma on 31/01/14, 12:12 pm

Thank you to everyone. I appreciate the good and the bad. Scrimmage is a good idea we might start there. and starting at the Silver B Division suggestion.

Is it easier to go Select in the Spring or Fall does it matter? I am thinking maybe we could do a soccer camp this summer and then see where we are.

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Post by Guest on 31/01/14, 12:21 pm

You could also play in other City rec tournaments. Those tournaments are later and you can still register for those. Find out if you really are the king of rec soccer.

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Post by Son_ofa_Pitch on 31/01/14, 12:24 pm

AKeepersMomma wrote:Thank you to everyone.  I appreciate the good and the bad.  Scrimmage is a good idea we might start there.  and starting at the Silver B Division suggestion.

Is it easier to go Select in the Spring or Fall does it matter? I am thinking maybe we could do a soccer camp this summer and then see where we are.

Select?? I believe you have until July 1st of 2015 with your U9 girls team to be in select.  Plenty of time to see have and have nots.
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Post by AKeepersMomma on 31/01/14, 04:41 pm

We are looking at UAL. It seems to be the best fit for us right now. THANKS!!!

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Post by Guest on 31/01/14, 05:10 pm

AKeepersMomma wrote:We are looking at UAL. It seems to be the best fit for us right now.   THANKS!!!

That a pretty good choice to start with. Best of luck! Would be interesting if you came back on here after the season and let us know your experience.

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Post by littlelions on 31/01/14, 09:20 pm

I coach a U8 rec team and we play in the PSA Academy league. Our team is made up of friends -- girls who all go the same school. While the primary reason we formed the team was to get the girls together and have fun, we also wanted them to learn all the good stuff you get out of being in a competitive environment.

I suggest playing at PSA Academy because most of the club teams in there are the beginner or lower level teams of those clubs. While they are not the top teams, they are still teams with players who play in a more structured way and are much better than teams in the rec league. There may be 1-2 teams that are ready to "graduate" and move on to SDL, CFBAL, etc. and they'll clobber you, but overall, I think the level of play will be just right. PSA also has the least requirements to field a team which is why we are okay with it.

We also tried a Primetime tournament and entered the silver (second) division. Six teams, two brackets. We lost the first two games so could only play for 5th place. Won on penalty kicks and the girls were ecstatic. It was neat for them to experience that type of an ending. They didn't care at all that we were playing for 5th… they treated it like a championship game.

Good luck! It's all fun in the end.

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