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FAQs

Q: Do you have to tryout for the Academy Program?
A: Yes, admission into the U9, U10, U11, & U12 Academies are through tryouts. However, very few, if any, kids are excluded, except when numbers do not allow. Recreational and former Academy participants are evaluated during the tryout period held at the end of May.

Q: Are tryouts hard?
A: We recognize that tryouts can be stressful, so the players are evaluated within the context of small- sided games. Players are not singled out by making them perform a drill by themselves. Our tryout format is intended to allow coaches to watch and evaluate players in action.

Q: What happens if my son/daughter tries out and makes it?
A:
He or She will be invited to join the Cobb YMCA Academy Program, either via a phone call, email, or a face-to-face conversation at the fields. If you decide to join, then you will need to attend a parent’s meeting to register and handle uniform fitting and ordering.

Q: What happens if my son/daughter tries out and doesn't make it?
A:
If your son/daughter had the initiative to tryout, we encourage your child to stick with soccer and keep practicing. He/she can register for the recreational program to keep improving, and try again next year.    

Q: What do the coaches looking for in a player?
A:
Three main characteristics: attitude (for example, hardworking and eager to learn), awareness on the field/intelligence, and athletic ability. Current technical skills are a bonus, but if a player has the other three qualities, they will be able to develop technical skill through training sessions and by playing with strong players in practices and games.

Q: What position will my child play?
A:
All players in the U9 and U10 Academy are expected to learn how to play multiple positions on the field. Is natural for players to become comfortable in positions that fit their abilities, we also want them to have the opportunity to play in a variety of roles on the field. While your son/daughter will not play every position in each game, over the course of the season, he/she will be able gain experience in a variety of positions. Players in the U9 and U10 program are too young to be placed in permanent positions. Part of the learning process is becoming a well-rounded player.    

Q: Is the Academy Program all about winning?
A:
No. At young ages, player development is much more important than winning a game. The goal is to create an environment where players are allowed to begin acquiring confidence and skill within a competitive arena where winning is not a determinant of success. The YMCA’s philosophy is that providing Academy players with opportunities to develop their skills and learn are much more important than the short-term success of winning a game.    

Q:What is the player commitment period?
A:
It's a 1-year commitment that covers fall and spring seasons.

Q: What is the duration of the Academy soccer season?
A:
After tryouts are complete (in early June), there is a break until teams start getting ready for the fall season that begins with the Academy camp, usually during the first week of August. The fall season ends before the Thanksgiving holiday. The teams begin preparing for the spring season in mid-January to early February and the spring season wraps up in mid to late May, depending on tournaments schedules.    

Q: Will players stay on the same team for the entire year (both Fall & Spring)?
A:
One of the benefits of the Academy program is its flexibility in player movement. Rules allow for players to play with different teams when necessary and appropriate. For the most part team cores remain the same. Typically there may be small number of adjustments to team rosters between seasons. Also, during the seasons and when appropriate, players may be asked to play with another team to maximize their development. This can mean playing for a higher-level team because coaches feel they’re up to the challenge. It can also mean playing for a lower level team to put them in a more relaxed situation helping elevate their confidence.    

Q: When are practices?
A: T
eams practice two times a week and play most of games on Saturdays and Sundays.

Q: What playing format is used in the Academy Program?
A:
The U9 and U10 play 7 vs. 7 small sided soccer and the U11 and U12 play 9 vs. 9 small sided soccer. Also, some U12 teams may play 11 vs. 11.

Q: Do Academy Teams travel?
A:
Yes, but with limited travel. Teams play about half of the games at home, the other half at fields around the metro area.

Q: How many tournaments do Academy Teams play?
A: The Academy teams will typically play 3-4 tournaments during the fall and spring season.  These tournaments will be determined by Academy Coordinators and coaches.