Thunder Academy Details

Academy Description: Thunder teams participate in three to four training sessions per week during the season (August to March), along with regular season games and various tournaments. During the off-season (May to July), Thunder players may attend the Summer Thunder Academy where training takes place two times a week with occasional pickup games, futsal, sand soccer, fitness, team building activities, indoor soccer, tournaments and soccer tours.

Through a well organized, age appropriate training approach, matched with quality professional coaching staff, players are equipped with the tools, resources, and confidence needed to continually develop from an individual and team perspective and positioned to pursue soccer opportunities in high school, college, and at a professional level.

Training Session times, days and frequency will be based on age divisions.

'03 - '05 will be 2 days a week.
'02 & Older will be 3 days a week.

Academy Goals

1. Excel technical proficiency, creativity, and decision making of each player.
2. Provide consistent club communication between coaches, players and parents to work collectively to further player and team development.
3. Strive to provide excellent customer service and timely problem resolution to promote a positive and healthy soccer community.
4. Partner with the Thunder families in a unified effort to implement the vision, mission and goals of AZSC so all may contribute to its success.

Academy Coaching Philosophy: Exceptional instruction, consistent communication, accountability and continuing education are the pillars of our Thunder coaches philosophy. The Thunder Competitive Academy advantage is the number of skilled and experienced licensed coaches and professional trainers on staff. Our coaches credentials and experience range from USSF A, B, C, D and E licenses; NSCAA Premier Diploma; USSF National Youth License; physical fitness specialists; college coaches; high school coaches; a former USSF National player; and many former international and major league professional players.

Player Development Philosophy: Our Thunder curriculum is a consistent, customized, age appropriate, Thunder training model that provides a framework of technical, tactical, physical and psychological development for all Thunder players. Through our model, players develop skills, learn tactics and become familiar with methodology and terminology that is consistent throughout the club. This enables players and families to more easily assist other Thunder teams, as well as better equip players to advance and compete better from season to season. In addition, coaches are better able to fill in for other coaches making training sessions and games seamless for the players.

Academy Roster Placement: Commitment, skill, competitive mind-set, and improvement serve as measures for an invitation to the 2009-2010 season for returning players, provided all 2008-2009 Thunder dues are paid in full by March 30, 2009. New/prospective players are invited to compete for any open roster spots on teams.ALL PLAYERS, new and returning must attend Thunder assessments to secure their spots on a specific roster. In cases where teams may be short rostered, players may be placed on a waiting list to form a new team, should enough qualified players join to form a full team.

Roster Formation: Initial evaluations are done during April assessments where each age group is evaluated by several of the Thunder Competitive Academy staff who determines the placement of players on specific teams. Players may be placed in three ways:

  • Thunder Competitive Academy (Gold Team) Players who are identified to perform and continue developing in the most competitive environment
  • Thunder Competitive Academy (Blue Team) Players who are identified to perform and continue developing in a slightly lesser competitive and less stressful environment
  • Thunder Competitive Academy (White Team) Players who are identified to advance their competitive level for future Thunder Competitive Academy competition

Thunder players are evaluated multiple times throughout the season and player movement may be utilized during the course of the season, in order to place players on a more appropriate developmental path and competitive environment. Regardless of placement, all players will receive the same quality of training from our Thunder Competitive Academy staff. We believe playing for Thunder is a privilege, therefore playtimes and starting position are not guaranteed and are based on merit, commitment, work ethic, attitude and age appropriate maturity.

Depending on the number of players who will be assessed, selected, and secured - one or two teams (Gold only or Gold and Blue) will be formed for each age group, providing there are enough players at each age group to form viable teams. Team assignments are based on the best environments for individual development. Our Thunder Competitive Academy coaching staff will select the teams for the 2011-2012 Thunder soccer season.

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