The Academy term began in June and as well as all the players having a great time every Saturday, the progress of the players has been excellent.
However, we are constantly looking at ways to improve the Academy and have brought in some new initiatives which are helping the development of the players.
Nutrition and Hydration are important aspects of all athletics and sports, so as well as ensuring all players bring drinks we have begun to introduce a Healthy Eating habit by supplying Apples, Bananas and Fruit drinks after each session.
You will have noticed that we have a session with small hurdles, exercise ladders, etc. which is termed ‘Plyometric’ … which improves a player’s agility, balance and speed.
The age profile of the players in the Academy has changed over the past few years from 6 to 10 year olds to 4 to 7 year olds, due to changes in League Teams, as we now have teams at Under 8 and Under 9. Our oldest group is now Under 7’s and we have noticed that coming towards the end of a full two hour session, their concentration and energy levels are slipping.
Taking this into consideration, together with the large number of players in the 4 to 5 year old group, we are going to split the Academy time into two slots. Beginning on Saturday 19th October, from 9.30 to 11.00 for 4 and 5’s … players born in 2009, 2010 … and 10.30 to 12.00 for 6, 7 and 8’s …. players born in 2006, 2007 and 2008. There will be a change over between 10.30 and 11.00.
We see a lot of advantages in this as we will be able to have more coaches available to both groups so the quality of coaching will improve, we can better identify areas where we can provide one to one coaching if required and have more 2 V 2 and 3 V 3 games where players passing, control and also their confidence will improve.
We don’t have problems with discipline but from time to time we do have a bit of ‘messing’. We will have a little ‘sin bin’ where players will be put for times of 1, 2 up to 5 minutes, where we feel it’s appropriate.
This will not be to humiliate or embarrass anyone but just a ‘time out’ to stop the ‘messing’ and highlight that it’s disrupting the session. While on the subject of disruption, we are asking that players, parents etc. , to walk around the pitch when coming and going and not straight across while sessions are on.
Without sounding too much like the school principal, timekeeping has been slipping and good timekeeping is essential to enable us to carry out our planned sessions.
As part of the clubs overall Child Welfare policy we will have the clubs Child Welfare Officer down to talk to parents/guardians etc. on all aspects of child welfare. Due to the very young ages of the players in the Academy, we require that parents/guardians remain for the duration of the session.
This means that you are available if the child wants to go to the toilets, gets injured etc. However, it’s not a problem if you have to leave and all we require is that you notify one of the coaches so we can look after the player.
Belvedere has a web site www.belvederefc.com and a Facebook page ‘Belvedere Football Club’. We are in the process of updating our website and it now includes a section for the Academy.
We will use this section for updates to what’s happening, including profiles of current Academy players and players who have graduated from the Academy and are now playing for the various club teams. Actually, we have over 50 players now playing league football for Belvedere FC who came through the Academy.
Anyone who hasn’t filled out and returned a registration form, can you do that as soon as possible. We send out a text message to everyone on a Friday reminding them about the Academy on Saturday. If you are not receiving a text , let us know as we mightn’t have your number, your phone numbers might have changed or we have the wrong one.
A few final items, we hope to arrange games against other clubs Academy team’s throughout the season and will notify you of these in advance, we will do an individual player assessment on strengths/weaknesses and we will look at doing some goalkeeping coaching.
If there is anything you need to know, anything you want to say, feel free to speak to anyone in the Academy as we all want what’s best for the players.
Finally, without parents, grandparents, guardians, neighbours and friends the kids would not be down with us on a Saturday morning so on behalf of all the players as well as the coaches we would like to say a big Thank You for all you efforts and support.
The Academy Team