Serving Chicopee, MA
Under-15 through U-18: The focus at the U-15 through U-18 age group is a thorough understanding of large group tactics such as the goalkeeper, backs, and mid fielders playing defense as a unit, or the mid fielders and strikers playing offense as a unit.
Players can expect training sessions that include competitive, and fast paced exercises to help expose individual and team weaknesses with the intent of assisting the players or team with the techniques and knowledge to overcome these weaknesses.
At this level, a greater emphasis on winning games is encouraged while importance of having fun and of fair play and sportsmanship is stressed.
The objective of AJAC includes having fun, meeting new friends and learning new skills.
Under-5 through U-8: The primary objective of the U-5, U-6 and U-8 Instructional Program is to help our young players get to know and love the game of soccer and to teach them the skill of dribbling. We want players to be comfortable with the ball at their feet and want to help build their confidence.
By encouraging them to dribble we hope to encourage creativity. Only a very few players at the U-8 level will begin to develop passing skills. However, we will begin to introduce basic passing technique for the oldest and most mature players.
We do not list “kicking” as an objective and do not encourage players to aimlessly “kick” the ball as it is not helpful to their development. Players at this level need to “touch” the ball as often as possible and to develop skills.
We will encourage players to learn to dribble as opposed to just kicking the ball. Players at this level find dribbling much more fun!
Players will be placed on teams based on age group. Typically, U-5 teams will have 8 players, U-6 teams will have 10 players and U-8 teams will have 12-13 players. The object of the game at this level is not winning! It is to instill a love of the game. There will be no score keeping at this level.
The focus of instruction at the U-9 & U-10 age group is for the players to have fun and work on their technical skills.
The No. 1 technique will be the development of ball control or dribbling.
The U-10 level will also be introduced to the proper technique for the basic fundamental disciplines of passing, receiving, shooting. Advanced teams at the U-10 level will also begin to incorporate basic tactical concepts such as: 1 vs. 1 and 2 vs. 2 defending and attacking.
Although this is competitive soccer, it is still considered to be instructional. Scores will be kept and reported to the league, but there will be no published standings.
Following the logical progression of Player Development adopted by the AJAC Board of Directors, when a player graduates from the Under 8 Academy program, he or she will be placed on a team which will challenge that player to continue to develop.
A player graduating from the U-8 Academy Program will be evaluated based on his or her ability, skill, and experience level and placed on an appropriate level team for that child.
Teams will participate in the Pioneer Valley Junior Soccer League. Teams will be placed in a division that is age appropriate based on skill and experience level.
AJAC will strive to field as many teams as possible in order to provide a playing opportunity for every child that wishes to play.
The focus of instruction at the U-11 & U-12 age group remains on having fun and improving the players' ability to execute the basic technical or tactical disciplines of the game as introduced to them as U-10’s.
While dribbling will still be emphasized, players will also focus on other technical skills, in particular passing and receiving a ball.
Tactics of individual and team defending and attacking will be introduced to players at the U-11 through U-12 level with the goal of creating in a player the ability to “read the game”.
The U-11 age group begins the competitive segment in a players' development program. Scores are kept and are published on the League website and the F.I.F.A. Laws of the Game are followed to the letter!
While all the technical and tactical points from the Instructional stages will be continued to be reinforced, the focus at the U-13 and Under 14 age group is advanced technical skill, small group tactics and on tactical functional training by position.
Players will be challenged in practice through the use of competitive exercises that will help to increase their speed of thought, speed of play, understanding of the game, and a deeper passion for the game.