NEYSO operates a fall and spring season each year for youth ages U5-U18 (players age 4 to 17 as of Aug 1st each year).
The program is divided into age groups. At the lower age groups the emphasis is on learning technique, fundamentals of soccer tactics and sportsmanship.
Teams compete in age-specific intra-club leagues through U8, then have the option of playing in Alamo Area Youth Soccer Association Academy league or they may participate in the AAYSA inter-association recreational league. Game results and league tables are not kept.
The impetus behind offering two levels of play at U9/U10 is to allow players to play with and against players of similar ability and at a level where they will experience the most success and have the most fun playing the sport.
Players registered for Academy soccer will play in an Alamo Area Youth Soccer Association Academy League that is subject to a number of player developmental guidelines. Clubs must follow these guidelines to maintain their academy status. Guidelines include following a set training curriculum, mixing training groups, mixing teams after each playing season, small roster sizes, and mandatory coach education for academy coaches, parent education and most importantly a focus on the individual player, not on the team.
Players registering for recreational soccer will follow the same format that they currently play in and will experience more consistency from season to season concerning coaching and team formation than an academy player would. Academy clubs must still follow recreational play guidelines like 50% playing time in matches. However, the emphasis is placed on creating a playing environment that is more conducive to the individual as opposed to team development. To help parents decide which level of play is most appropriate for their child, listed below are the characteristics of typical players who would participate in an Academy Program. If your child displays a majority of the characteristics listed they are probably more suited to that level of play. However, it should be noted that during a player’s soccer development they may move back and forth between academy and recreational play.
- Demonstrates sound technical skills (control, dribbling and shooting)
- Physically stronger than most players within their age group
- Athletically quicker than most players within their age group
- High level of coordination and good agility
- During games is aggressive in their attitude and approach to getting involved
- During games tends to dominate the play
- Demonstrates high level of focus and concentration during practices and games
- Started to narrow down the number of extra-curricular activities
- Soccer is a high priority
- Practices with a ball in their own time outside regular schedule of games & practices
- U9/U10 player who will try-out for the U11 competitive age group in the following year