7 Elite Academy’s Pre-Academy program has been called “the start of a fantastic journey in soccer” as the organization gears up for a third year of working with players from the age of five to eight.
The program is set to hold a series of free clinics in Salt Lake City this summer ahead of the new soccer season, while also working with schools across the state when the new academic year starts in August.
As part of the sessions, players are provided with a no-obligation introduction to soccer, including basic skills, match play and fitness – all within a fun and stress-free environment.
Matt Brown, Head of Pre-Academy at 7 Elite Academy, is looking forward to introducing more young people to the game this year.
He said: “The great thing about Pre-Academy is that we get young, excited players joining us who we can help to plant the seeds of a love of soccer early in their careers.
“Our program is the start of a fantastic journey in soccer, so they love the ball at their feet, they’re confident in themselves and they can make those early mistakes in a supportive setting.
“The environment of Pre-Academy sessions is absolutely vital. We create a positive learning environment through the coaches’ personalities, the structure of the sessions and making playing soccer fun.
“The players might be working with a ball for example, but we are always looking at keeping things fresh, exciting and enjoyable.
“Ultimately, we want players to enjoy their time playing soccer with us and send them home wanting to come back! So we plant those seeds in our training sessions and everything builds from there.”
7 Elite Academy has built partnerships with a number of elementary schools across Utah, most notably in the Salt Lake City and St. George areas.
The St. George region in particular has seen huge numbers of youngsters attend Pre-Academy, following extensive work to open up sessions to all parts of the community.
Advanced plans are also in place to expand Pre-Academy sessions into the Weber/Davis region.
Brown added: “We have worked with some really fantastic young people over the last three years and the main emphasis has been understanding that the foundation is where everything is built from.
“We are striving to create a Pre-Academy where players love the game and we create good habits at an early stage.
“At this age they may not realise they are learning and growing when they actually are.
“When that moment happens, it is when the players will really come out of their shells and blossom as good young people. From there, the sky really is the limit.”
7 Elite Academy currently runs teams for boys and girls in the under-9 to under-18 age groups and is developing unique training programs across the world, including in Africa and the United Kingdom.
The organization offers all players the opportunity to travel and play in different countries and cultures, as part of an overall curriculum of learning for young people.
“The structure of 7 Elite Academy gives youngsters so many chances to develop and grow,” Brown said.
“We have training locations across the world, staffed with coaches from the sport’s best leagues, which give us a huge advantage in terms of how players can enjoy their time playing soccer.
“We want to form teams from the Pre-Academy level, so players get used to our unique systems, styles and working with professional coaches. The aim is to have them climb the ladder of competitive soccer with us.”
Anthony Godfrey, Global Technical Director at 7 Elite Academy, has watched the organization’s Pre-Academy program develop under Matt Brown’s guidance over the last three years.
He said: “Matt’s work to increase the numbers of young players coming to us has been nothing short of remarkable. He has grown into the role and really become a key member of our team.
“It is absolutely vital that we instil good habits, both on and off the pitch, at an early stage if players are to grow and fulfil their potential. They must enjoy the game if they are to love it.
“Our sessions at elementary schools have been welcomed by staff and well attended by students. They are all keen to experience our unique training methods with professional coaches.
"I am really looking forward to seeing young people move within the 7 Elite Academy system and continue to benefit from unique opportunities to travel and play soccer in many different cultures.”
Head of Pre-Academy / Coach
Phone: 385 351 3496 ext 1078