2018 (U6) / 2017 (U7)
experience the juniors
the fastest growing developmental soccer program of north nashville
Join us in Spring 2024 to experience why so many are choosing TUSC Juniors for their player and family.
Register now for the TUSC JUNIORS Program Spring 2024
Early Bird Registration Discount – $10 off when you register before January 1st
Returning 2023 Fall Juniors Discount – $10 off (email firstname.lastname@example.org for the discount code)
Within the registration window, you can select your child’s age group by their birth year from the drop-down menu.
The Juniors Approach to Coaching
Fun-Focused, Low PRessure, Player-Centric
The foundation of a player’s development must start with fun. Fun becomes liking. Liking becomes love. This is the goal. Chaotic games, obstacle courses, crazy coaches, gushing encouragement, holiday and special events. We want every player to experience soccer in such a way that a spark is lit that will grow into a lifelong love for the game.
How do you develop a love for the game? Don’t pressure. Pressure applied too early will kill any positive, healthy foundation of enjoyment. Where does pressure most often come from? Parents. Part of the Juniors Program is to educate parents on healthy productive communication and habits to help their child grow into a self motivated, confident, fearless player. Eventually soccer will become tough emotionally and physically for players and if they don’t have that foundation and support, they will lose interest, stop developing, and quit.
These age groups involve players from a wide range of experience, physical development, interest, maturity, and attention span, which we feel is the reason so many parents tell us their player struggled in other programs. TUSC’s goal is to meet every player where they are. And in the Juniors that is goal is pursued to the max. Players are not stuck on the same team every game, for the whole season. Our structure provides flexibility and opportunities to place players in the right level of competition they need THAT week. If a player is dominating, they can be moved with other players to get more of a challenge. If a player is withdrawing and not getting involved, they can be placed with a slower pace to grow confidence and understanding. Week to week players’ needs change and the Juniors can adjust to meet those needs.
The TUSC Juniors Director oversees the entire program. Session plans, scheduling, coach and group coordination, parent communication, game rosters, and more are all managed by the Director. The Director will hold a Tennessee State Soccer Association E License or higher.
Lead Coaches are paid positions that oversee each group of the Juniors. During practices they run the session plans set by the Director, set players groups, and organize Parent Coaches. Lead Coaches monitor player development during practice and provide feedback to the Director to make sure every player is in the appropriate level of competition. Lead Coaches are typically Parent Coaches who have or plan to acquire some level of coaching licensure. Most have soccer or some type of youth education experience.
Parent Coaches are recruited each season and are incredibly valuable as they help the Lead Coach keep the group organized and focused. Parent Coaches do not have to have any type of licensure or experience for that matter – a willingness to be present, help, and encourage is what makes a difference. Keeping the kid to adult ratio as low as possible yields the greatest level of satisfaction for everyone. Parent Coaches are reimbursed their player’s registration fee at the end of the season based on level of involvement. If you are interested in being a Parent Coach for your child and would like more details, let the Juniors Director know!
Fall – Mid-August through October
Winter – U7 and U8 may be offered a once a week indoor training session if space allows
Spring – March through Mid-May
Tryouts are not required for the Hot Shots, Jr Academy, and Pre Academy. Registration for each season is released a couple months before the season and does not close.
Unlike most recreational leagues, Juniors players at TUSC will not be split into set teams at the beginning of the season. In fact, several ‘teams’ worth of players will all practice together. There are numerous reasons why this is advantageous to both players and coaches. Mainly, practicing together allows coaches to match players of similar skill levels together so every child has the opportunity to achieve success. Also, by practicing as ‘one team’ we eliminate the ‘us vs. them’ mentality that often causes players, coaches, and parents to focus on winning instead of player development.
Uniforms are purchased separately in for the Juniors, but you only need to purchase an item once! The Gray Training Jersey and Navy Game Jersey are used throughout the player’s time in the Juniors which is through U8.
Hot Shots (U5) – We ask Hot Shot players to purchase a Gray Training Jersey (~$25) through the club uniform store. There are club navy shorts and socks also available for purchase, but are optional. We just ask players to wear navy/black shorts and soccer socks.
Jr Academy and Pre Academy – We ask JA and PA players to purchase a Gray Training Jersey and Navy Game Jersey (~$50 in total) from the club uniform store. There are club navy shorts and socks also available for purchase, but are optional. We just ask players to wear navy/black shorts and soccer socks.
Hot Shots (U5) – Hot Shots players will practice one time per week for 5-5:45pm at Drakes Creek Park in Hendersonville. Families will choose their practice night at the beginning of the season. The options are Tuesday or Thursday. All U5 players practice together.
Jr Academy (U6/U7) – Jr Academy players practice two times per week from 6-7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Boys and girls practice separately with the exception of ball skills work or special end of season sessions. All U6s train at Drakes Creek Park in Hendersonville. U7s may choose to practice at Moss Wright Park in Goodlettsville.
Pre Academy (U8) – Pre Academy players practice two times per week from 5:30-7pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Boys and girls practice separately for the most part, but depending on the size of the group, the coach may mix to get appropriate competition make up. U8s may choose between Drakes Creek Park in Hendersonville or Moss Wright Park in Goodlettsville as their practice location.
Game format will be 4v4 or 5v5 with no goalkeeper. U8 will begin to transition to 6v6 or 7v7 with a keeper later in the spring season.
There are 8-10 game days scheduled each season. All will be on Saturday mornings with the exception of a potential night game during the week and will be held at Drakes Creek Park in Hendersonville. Rainouts can happen. If the number of game days drops below 8, make up game days may be arranged if field space, coaching availability, and the schedule allow.
Rosters are set each week based on player availability and competition level. The goal is to match like-skilled, physicality, aggressiveness, knowledge players to create a game that suits the need for those players. Players may play with older or younger players depending on their need.
Unless otherwise specified, games will adhere to the U.S. Youth Soccer Junior Playing Recommendations.
developmental goals by age group
Below are the goals we would like every player to be approaching after that year in the Juniors. Parents must keep in mind that all players develop at a different pace. Also players new to the sport should not be discouraged when they come in and feel “behind”! New players pick up skills quite well with a little bit of time and motivation.
End of U5 Hot Shots
- Emotional stability in a large group setting
- Understand sharing concepts specifically with “their” ball
- Ability to listen to and follow directions
- Basic understanding of the game – control the ball to score in the other goal and keep other players from scoring in their goal
- Moderate dribbling control the length of a 4v4 soccer field
- Footskills such as toe taps, tick tocks
End of U6 Jr Academy
- Understand our team vs their team
- Beginning to grasp concept of space/teammate awareness
- Beginning to understand decision making – should I dribble, should I pass
- Dribbling has become tighter and more purposeful, using multiple parts of the foot to maintain control
- Awareness of their different speeds
- Footskills such as sole rolls, push pull, inside cut, outside cut, inside-outside
End of U7 Jr Academy
- Working together and communicating with teammates
- Awareness of team shape and positions
- Game flow understanding – up on offense, back on defense
- Dribbling at speed and in small space with well developed control
- Ability to receive a ball with appropriate touch
- Ability to pass accurately up to 5 yds
- Beginning to develop shooting form
- Footskills such as acquiring fakes and creative manipulation of the ball
End of U8 Pre Academy
- Ability to receive and pass the ball with speed and technique in a team sequence
- Refined, consistent positioning on defense and offense
- Awareness of responsibilities of the individual and teammates
- Moving with a purpose
- Awareness of off-the-ball activity
- Defensive posture and situational positioning
- Understanding of game situations and restarts
- Footskills such as comfort in manipulation of the ball with all parts of the foot, use of both feet