Wednesday, September 19, 2018

The Gulf Coast Academy Program is a player development program for boys and girls from U7 through U10. The Academy program is designed to introduce players to a more formal and faster paced level of technical training preparing them for higher levels of play at U11 and above. The academy program is led by GC Technical Director Robert Parr with support of our professional training staff and is administered by Jarrod Reed, GC Academy Program Director. 

Training: Twice per week, 1-1/4 hours each

Games: Weekly games, play dates internally and with other clubs.

For U7/U8 teams (Recreational and Academy), we have one additional modifications to the official US Youth Soccer Modified Laws:

*   On all goal kicks, the defending team should retreat behind the halfway line until the ball has been kicked. If this does not happen, then the goal kick will be retaken. Teams are not permitted to "press high" on goal kicks, as we want players to be able to get the ball back in play quickly and successfully.

For the U9/U10 Academy teams, the defending team must retreat behind the halfway line on all goal kicks, just as is done at the U7/U8 level.

Program Objectives

  • To prepare players to make a successful transition from recreational play to higher levels of play.
  • To emphasize individual player development, with extra focus on individual technical development.
  • To maximize the development of all players by implementing an ability-based training structure.
  • To establish a large pool of technically-competent players who can sustain competitive soccer teams within the club beyond the U13 age groups. 
  • To foster greater social ties among all players within the Academy age groups. 

What Parents Need to Know About the Academy Program

  • The Academy Program typically runs August-November (fall) and March-May (spring)
  • The seasonal registration fee covers training, club administration costs, insurance, facility maintenance, referees, insurance, dues to USYS, STYSA, SYSA, etc.
  • The Academy is intended to be a full-year program, but players may join in the spring season if they did not participate in the Academy during the previous fall season  

GC Academy Documentation and Information

Other Resources We Recommend:

What is Ability Based Training?

GC Technical DIrector Robert Parr presented this 30 minute webinar on Ability Based Training to NSCAA Club Standards Project members in March 2013. For a better understanding of the optimal training environment for youth players, all coaches and parents should review this video. If you have any questions about player development or ability based training, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  

NSCAA: Ability Based Training 

Presented by Robert Parr

If you have any questions about the Academy program, please send email to Jarrod Reed at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..