U8 Academy

Heat United U8 Program

Designed for players 6-8 years old, the goal of the Academy is to help teach young players basic soccer skills in an environment that is conducive to learning. We refer to this age group as the "opportunity age group", where a positive and fun environment will capture a player's love for soccer. Players in the Academy receive professional training in age-appropriate groups with an emphasis on technical skill development, physical development and cognitive learning.

Academy players participate in 2 training sessions per week during the fall, winter, and spring seasons. They will be given the opportunity to play against other area academy teams to gain valuable experience in game-type situations. This fosters greater skill development, without the pressure that comes with a focus on winning.

The Academy also focuses on introducing parents to the benefits of a travel soccer program, without the added expense that comes with league play.


U8 Curriculum

At this age our focus is on encouraging the love of the game and developing the players in four main areas: Technical, Tactical, Physical and Psychological.

Technical

Objective:
General Technical skill development and comfort on the ball. All players must be introduced to the basic Coerver moves.

Dribbling
Change of direction moves
  • Inside cut
  • Outside cut
  • Hook turn
  • U-turn Pull back
Stops and starts moves
  • Pull push
  • Stop and go
  • Fake and go
Feints
  • Scissors
  • Side step
  • Step over
Running with the ball
  • Speed dribbling
Passing
  • Short passing
  • Striking the ball with the laces
Receiving
  • Inside of foot control
  • 1st touch
USE OF OPPOSITE FOOT

Tactical

Objective:
Confidence to use skills in a game

Individual offensive tactics
  • Running/Dribbling with ball
  • 1v1 attacking moves
  • 2v1 attacking options Individual
Defensive tactics
  • 1v1 defending
  • Basic principle of goal side
  • Work rate
Small Sided Games
  • 2v2, 3v3, 4v4
  • Emphasis on dribbling, running with the ball, basic passing and support. (depending on the game set up and theme)
Formations
  • Learn how to play within a 4v4 format (Fall)
  • Develop an understanding of positions within a “diamond shape”
  • Learn how to play within a 5v5 format (Spring)

Physical

Objective:
Improve player’s general level of fitness

Endurance
  • 1v1 activities
  • 2v2 activities
  • 3v3 activities
  • 4v4 games
Coordination
  • Running activities
  • Balance and agility
  • ”it” games

Psychological

Objective:
Ensure players are trained in a positive environment

Fun
Concentration
Cooperation
Sportsmanship
Basic Rules

It is important that players have fun in training and in games.

This is the time for the kids to fall in love with the game.

Results should not be the focus

Successful ball control and moves will make players enjoy the game

Practice Tips

It is the responsibility of every player to improve their own individual techniques. The importance of practicing individually should never be underestimated, as the repetitve practicing will undoubtedly reap vast rewards.

Practice individual techniques
  • Change of direction moves
  • Stop and start moves
  • Feint moves
  • Juggling
Players with good 1v1 skills can make a difference in a game.

Create players who will dominate the 1v1 situation (this is the Man United philosophy on player development)

REPEAT MOVES OVER AND OVER AGAIN

Do not forget; We are entering the “golden years of Technique”