Elite student-athletes, who desire to train and compete at the highest national and international levels, need an educational environment that is designed to integrate and facilitate their athletic development training with their academic pursuits. In many cases, elite student-athletes and their athletic schedules do not fit the academic calendar; traditional schools do not offer the scheduling flexibility or even basic nutritional needs to support a growing elite athlete.
YSC Academy was developed to provide passionate student-athletes a chance to pursue excellence in soccer while simultaneously pursuing excellence in the classroom – all within a school day and calendar that is most conducive to their development across all domains.
YSC Academy partners with students to develop a customized approach to learning utilizing an array of learning methodologies. Students can choose among lectures, seminars, workshops, discussion groups, online learning, labs, and one-on-one meetings with teachers. Each student works in partnership with a mentor to design weekly learning goals and plans. Through this process, students learn to reflect on their learning styles and needs, manage their time, and advocate for themselves – skills they will need for college, as a student-athlete, and for life as a citizen.
YSC Academy students start each day on the training pitch or in the Athletic Development Training room, working on the technical-skill elements of their game and/or their agility, coordination, balance, and power. Each session is individually tailored and carefully monitored by Philadelphia Union Academy’s staff to make sure the athlete is given the best possible environment to expedite and enhance personal development. Beginning the school day with these morning training sessions also works to release dopamine, essentially waking up the brain and activating the learning centers, which in turn enhances productivity in the classroom.
YSC Academy’s soccer curriculum is designed and implemented by Philadelphia Union Academy staff to improve the speed and quality of technical skills and decision-making of all players. At the highest level, the game of soccer has rapidly evolved to a phase where speed of play and speed of technical-skill execution are paramount to success. A faster and more highly skilled game requires an even greater focus on technical foundation skills and the decision-making capabilities of the players. How to solve game problems, while performing skills at speed, is at the center of our development methodology.
YSC Academy’s morning training sessions dramatically increase the annual training units (hours) for each player. In the US, typical elite-youth-soccer players train between 2 to 3 units a week. In Europe, and other parts of the world, elite youth train between 8 to 10 units a week. Our morning sessions enable our players to match their global peer group in terms of total training units while providing them an opportunity to work on their technical skills by improving key fundamentals.