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Charlotte Soccer Academy

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Program Honored

Charlotte Soccer Academy was named "Academy Association of the Year" for 2019-2020 by North Carolina Youth Soccer Association!

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CSA Youth Academy Philosphy and Structure

Thank you for your interest in the CSA Youth Academy for 8U, 9U and 10U boys and girls!

We invite parents and players to review the videos and information below to learn about the program. Prospective players should contact the director in the area of their choice. A list of directors can be found below.

Charlotte Soccer Academy has seen huge changes in the club over the last several years. We have grown from a small soccer association of less than 20 teams into a club that now has national recognition with the awarding of the Elite Club National League programs for our older boys and girls. We also have a full time staff that is second to none in the region. We are excited about the continuation of the North Carolina Youth Soccer Association (NCYSA) Youth Academy for the U8-U10 age groups. For those not familiar with the Youth Academy format, this information is provided to help you understand the Youth Academy philosophy.

Many years ago, NCYSA introduced the Academy philosophy for 10U and younger and CSA was an early adopter of the program so we could provide our youngest players the best possible start to their competitive soccer experience. The focus of the Youth Academy is to develop young soccer players through the “Golden Years of Learning”. Players at this age are like sponges and can learn to love the game and develop positive habits and attitudes which provide the foundations for soccer excellence down the road. The emphasis at this age is fun and enjoyment where everything is positive and creativity is encouraged. If kids enjoy the game at this introductory age then hopefully they will be playing and enjoying the game for years to come.

The Youth Academy program stresses player development versus results. It is much more important to develop players within the proper framework at this age as opposed to demanding that teams win at all costs.  If the goal is just to win there are shortcuts that coaches can take at the expense of developing the player and the team. By focusing on developing the player and putting them in the best training situation that fits the individual, this helps the entire team and success will follow.

The curriculum in place at CSA and the pool training sessions are designed specifically for this age. The coaches who will be working with these players are superb at training and understanding the younger players. Therefore, you can be completely comfortable in the knowledge that your child is receiving the best soccer instruction for their age and ability.  

Our goal is to help each child develop skills and techniques to play "The Beautiful Game of Soccer:" We want to open the door of creativity for every player with a soccer ball!

“The emphasis on winning is a detriment to young players because it prevents us from developing technically proficient players. And we are not giving them the ability to make decisions.”
–US U17 National Team Coach, John Hackworth. Soccer America, Oct. 2006
“Too often in this country, youth coaches sacrifice learning skills for winning games…"
- US Women’s National Team Member, Mia Hamm. Soccer America, Oct. 2006



Improving Technique
When players improve their technical ability they grow in confidence and give themselves a greater capacity to process information, which is vital in the development of young soccer players. Improving technique is paramount to CSA.

Improving Teamwork
Another way to increase enjoyment of the game is through interaction with teammates through small group activities which enhance skillful and imaginative play, for example 2v1, 2v2, 2v3, 3v3, and 4v4 to goals or targets. At a young age, children play in a number of positions to improve their all round understanding and knowledge of the game.

Playing With High Standards
Discipline is a key factor when learning the game of soccer. CSA expects all players to attend each training session. Arrive early. Shirts tucked in, socks pulled up displaying proper CSA training attire. Equipment, including a soccer ball, shin-guards and water bottle are mandatory items for each session. We also require that the players treat the coaching staff, opponents, and referees with the utmost respect. Many of these standards come from you, the parent, setting the example.

Training Format

Players are identified and grouped by birth year and ability. The staff will teach and develop these players to have the confidence and the technical ability to enjoy the game. All training is THEME/CURRICULUM BASED in order to achieve basic fundamentals necessary within the game.

The practice format will institute a station style of POOL TRAINING. Simply, the training will consist of either stations (2-3 stations) that vary within the theme or a session headed up by a Senior Coaching Staff member. The groups should be matched up by level(s) in order to keep the training environment challenging.

The programming will be as follows for ages U9-U11:

Day 1: Pool Station Training grouped by level, 2-3 stations per the curriculum or a session lead by a Senior Staff member.

Day 2: The Academy Director will set the exercise and then have the teams break off to complete it, the club staff coach will lead the sessions. Sessions will end with games.

Day 3: 4v4 training. CSA will offer a third session during the week with the focus on 4v4. This extra session allows the players to understand the ideas of height, width and depth and get into more game related experiences. This optional session is highly encouraged. This will be a session where the U9, U10 and U11 players play. The CSA Staff members will be running this session for their respective genders.

Coaching Games and Practice

Each Academy Director is responsible for the staffing and scheduling of all games. Each team will be assigned a club staff coach for their games. For ages U9-U10, the Academy Director will assign staffing for games among the allotted club staff. CSA requires that each coach achieve a coaching certification through US Soccer, National Soccer Coaches Association of America or an equivalent foreign coaching certificate. This helps promote and educate the CSA culture and philosophy across its staff.

All coaching should be left to the coaching staff, and parents should not offer advice to players during games or practice. Parents should refrain from giving any tactical feedback to players regarding performance as they may give contradictory information or over repeat what the coach has already said which can lead to confusion or frustration for the player. The decisions made for the groups such as playing time and any movement between sections are the sole responsibility of the head coaches and the Academy Directors.

One of the great things we have heard back from players and parents is that each game day event has such a great atmosphere. All of the teams get to play at the same site (boys and girls may be split) and teams get there early to support one another and stay after and it makes for a fantastic environment for soccer as the players feel that they are a part of a club and not just on a team.

Team Formation

All players are evaluated at two open evaluation nights in May and then again at our assessment camp in late July/early August.

Players will potentially be grouped into different sections for their second pool training session of the week. A coach will oversee a specific section. There is a flexibility to adjust teams and section depending on the event or festival in question.

Teams may be shuffled and mixed for various alternative competitions over the course of the year with flexibility provided by the Academy style format but mostly they will stay with the group in which they are assigned.

Be Positive!

Positive Parental Support
Positive support is vital during times of disappointment which is a natural part of a young soccer player’s developmental success.  Please refer to your CSA Code of Conduct which outlines and provides examples of positive parental support. Positive parental support does not include coaching your child from the sidelines as this only confuses players.

Positive Encouragement
Positive encouragement from parents is vital in helping young soccer players succeed and enjoy the game. The job of each parent is to be their child’s biggest fan. Positive feedback and encouragement should outweigh constructive criticism by at least 10 to 1. This allows players to grow in confidence which is the key to success in soccer as well as any sport.

Positive Coaching
Positive coaching from our staff is very important to our players’ development. We must ensure that our players are instilled with confidence to play and have an understanding of the coach's instructions as well as the ability to handle constructive feedback from the coach. Encouragement at this level is a massive motivational tool to making our players successful, creative and well rounded soccer players.

In Summary
As a club we feel that the Youth Academy style system will benefit your child and increase their development in the game of soccer. We believe that by implementing these ideas, we will see players improve at greater rates in a fun and a positive environment. The CSA staff is confident that your child will thrive in a setting that encourages creativity and skill rather than in one which is focused on results and standings.

If you have any questions that have not been answered, please feel free to e-mail your respective Academy Director:

CSA Youth Academy Director
CSA Charlotte Boys and Girls
Richard Butler


CSA - Charlotte Boys
Rich Schwartz


CSA - Charlotte Girls
Danielle Russell


CSA - Matthews Boys & Girls
Steve Burckhalter

CSA-Uptown Boys & Girls
Prince Ojok


CSA - Palisades Boys & Girls
CSA - York Boys & Girls
Jason Marlovits


CSA - North Boys & Girls
Chris Ryan


CSA-Huntersville Boys & Girls
CSA-Indian Trail Boys & Girls
Andrew Steedman


Turkey Bowl Toy Collection

A huge thank you goes out to the The CSA-Charlotte Youth Academy families that donated toys for the Annual CSA Turkey Bowl Toy Drive!

The 9U Charlotte Youth Academy welcomed the 18U CSA Girls US Soccer Development Academy team to join in on their training session!

CSA-North/Cabarrus Youth Academy players attended the Pfeiffer College vs. Limestone College game on Wednesday, October 26 and participated in the walk-out!

Contact Us

Charlotte Soccer Academy
13333 Dorman Road 
Pineville, North Carolina 28134
Email Us: [email protected]
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