NUSA COMPETITIVE ACADEMIES
Training is structured using the whole - part - whole method to teach NUSA's principles of play. The emphasis is on using small-sided games to teach players technique, decision making, soccer awareness, and soccer IQ. An objective will often be placed within these small sided games to highlight the principle of play being taught during the session. Our curriculum and principles of play are implemented throughout the club from U9-U19 which results in consistency in player development and NUSA's style of play.
We believe with this model we can improve not only a player's technical skill (ability with the ball) but also their autonomy, awareness, imagination, anticipation, and creativity.
"Our Academy training structure will ensure that every player in the club experiences training with our Academy lead coaches. We also limit the size of all our competitive academies. This keeps the emphasis on quality and consistency throughout the entire organization. Our training environment in the Lower Academies constantly challenges players of all technical abilities by using smaller “pools” of players, regardless of player size or age. We are always encouraging our technically proficient smaller or younger players to play with bigger, stronger players. This will push them to be more creative, increase their speed of play, decision making, and improve their awareness both on and off the ball. The same reasoning holds true for our Upper Academies. While there are 4 defined teams in each Upper Academy, there is still ability for player movement between teams. The players and teams will greatly benefit from training at the same location, with and against each other, and under the guidance of the Academy lead coaches," says NUSA DOC Robbie Stewart
Nashville United Soccer Academy coaches primarily use the "Guided Discovery" method of coaching for long term retention of information and to develop self-thinking players.
This method involves "guiding" players and letting them "discover" the learning objectives of a particular session. This style of coaching encourages the players to become more involved and take ownership and responsibility in understanding the reasons why they make decisions on the soccer pitch.
We want to develop "self-thinking players" capable of making their own decisions on the field with limited instruction from the coach.
"Soccer is simple, but it is difficult to play simple.”
"At the former Brentwood Soccer Club we ran one of the first True Academies in TN, that I'm aware of, in one particular age group from U09 up to U15. We were constantly assessing players and allowed for appropriate player movement throughout the year in both training and games. All the teams (there "were 4 total) trained at the same place and at the same time. Players understood that with hard work and by implementing what they were learning in training that they could move up to the next level. These players (and their parents) also understood that there was potential to move down to the team below. Parents and players bought into this model and often moving 'down' was a more positive experience for the player at that particular stage of their development as a young soccer player. There are countless examples of players who worked their way up from the fourth to first team over this time period and of players who may have moved up and down several times as they grew and developed. That age group produced the first boys team in TN to qualify and compete in the US Youth National League at U15, 5 of the players received scholarships to Development Academies, 16 of the players from this original Academy (U12 -U15) signed with D1 programs and many others are currently playing in D2, D3 or NAIA. Countless others developed a passion for the game that will stay with them for life. The Academy model works when it is truly focused on individual player development and when parents support the process.
Our new Academy structure is even better because our Academies will span more than one age group and because we are limiting the Academy sizes to maintain quality and consistency throughout...there is also significantly less unnecessary travel involved!"
NUSA DOC Robbie Stewart