McPherson City FC Junior Academy
Register: Online registration page
The MCFC Junior Academy is our premier development program where players will learn the skills necessary to solve problems on the field in a healthy, positive, and competitive environment.
Community involvement is vital to the successful development of young players. MCFC strongly supports the various opportunities in our community for players to receive as much training as possible. Therefore, players enrolled in the MCFC Junior Academy will train weekly, and play their games through the McPherson YMCA during the fall months. In the spring, players are encouraged to participate in the McPherson College Academy, after which, their development will continue through the MCFC Junior Academy weekly training sessions at Grant Sports Complex. In addition, MCFC Junior Academy players will participate in the annual MCFC 3v3 Tournament.
Historically, there has been an unhealthy bias toward promoting athleticism rather than taking time to develop player skills at the younger ages, which has had a profoundly negative effect on soccer in the USA. MCFC believes in age appropriate coaching. This ensures that we are teaching not only the right things, but teaching the right way with an emphasis on long term development rather than short term ‘wins’.
The philosophy of the Junior Academy is to develop skillful players in a fun and competitive environment where we encourage individual creativity. We want players to problem solve, improvise, and make decisions on their own during practices and games. We encourage players to perform completely free with no fear of failure. In the end, the goal of our Junior Academy is to provide each player with the necessary tools to develop to their full soccer potential.
We recognize that the Junior level (under 7 years old) is the first and most important stage in structuring player development. The following major themes form the core curriculum of the Junior Academy:
- Ball Mastery – Using both feet and multiple surfaces, we encourage players to experiment with all turns, tricks, and skills to develop their technical confidence with the ball. All players are developed to be proficient dribblers first.
- Shapes & Support – Training with the concept of triangle and diamond shapes by supporting the player with the ball, gives players more options to maintain possession, rather than just kick it away.
- Small Sided Environments – Using 1v1, 2v2, and 3v3 free play each training session, players can experiment and maximize development through multiple touches on the ball in an environment that emphasizes the triangle and diamond shapes within the game.
- Independent Player Thinking – By encouraging players to think for themselves and solve soccer problems using their skills, our coaches guide players to the answers by asking questions rather than dictating solutions. This creates independent thinkers who learn faster, acquire higher skill levels in the long term, and will eventually play the game without requiring the coach to constantly tell them what to do in any given scenario.
For more information, contact Aaron Hoxie.