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Next Level Soccer Academy

Next Level Soccer Academy Player Development Pyramid

Player Development Pyramid

At Next Level Soccer Academy, our goal is to provide a player development pathway that supports our club philosophy. It’s through this groundwork that we will provide all NLSA players the chance to succeed on and off the field.


NLSA Player Development Pyramid Goals

U5 - U10 Training Zone:

In the U5 - U10 Training Zone, the goal is to help introduce and progress the technical skills needed to become an NLSA Developmental team player. The Training Zone consists of year-round program offerings that support the technical development plan of Next Level Soccer Academy and help to lay the foundation for the Player Development Pyramid.

U11 - U12 Developmental Teams:

For U11 - U12 teams, or the “9v9 years”, we make a two year commitment to all the players invited to be on their respective birth-year U-11 team. We believe that true player development happens when players are given a two year cycle during this stage in their youth soccer career. While the goal during these two years is to accelerate technical development to add to their technical base, we also introduce tactical ideas that will help them transition to the full-sided, Competitive teams stage of NLSA.

U13 - U14 Competitive Teams:

During the U13 - U14 stage, or the intro to “11v11” years, the focus starts to tilt, and the technical and tactical values taught during these two years help all players transition to the 11v11 field. We help players transition into different 11v11 formations, their understanding of team shape, their understanding of correct spacing, and their understanding of how to use the whole field. Technically, players start to understand that their first touch, passing, field awareness, 1v1 defending, and ball striking are very important.

U15 - U16 Premier Teams:

During the U15 - U16 stage, or the “transition to high school years”, the focus is to teach our players how to play in two ways. Attacking wise, we want to instill a possession-based brand that teaches the importance of good spacing, good positioning, good movement off the ball, and understanding when to take advantage of numbers-up opportunities, and when to keep the ball to keep the defenders moving and creating the numbers-up opportunities. During this stage we want to defensively teach tight spacing so that we plug passing lanes through the middle of the field, and apply pressure as a group quickly to help win the ball back or force defensive mistakes.

U17 - U19 Showcase Teams:

During the U17 - U19 stage, or the “recruiting years”, the focus is to provide our players with as many college recruitment opportunities as possible through regional showcase tournaments, competitive league play, intense training curriculum, and college recruitment outreach through Coaches and Club Directors.

U20 - U23 EDP Summer College Program:

This program is for players looking to keep themselves fit in a high level league and training environment that is flexible to players busy summer work schedules. The goal of this program is to help players stay mentally, physically, tactically, and technically focused as they prepare for their respective collegiate preseasons.