One of the questions we are hearing is why we decided to partner with US Soccer’s Girls Development Academy (DA). For Sporting Omaha FC, the DA aligns with our club’s philosophy of cultivating a passion for the game while developing character in players, parents, coaches, and referees. Further, the DA is a good fit strategically, ensuring we continue to offer the most progressive training available to our elite players and require the highest level of education and licensing for our coaches and referees. We believe this is an extraordinary opportunity for our club and for all female soccer players in the greater Omaha area and the State of the Nebraska.
We know, however, there are some criteria for player participation that may seem extreme, such as no high school play and the no re-entry rule. Looking at these two aspects without considering the DA in its entirety only paints part of the picture. We look at the program holistically, considering all of its aspects. For us, it is much like a jigsaw puzzle. One piece doesn’t make sense independently of the others, but when properly placed the pieces fit together perfectly. That is the case with the DA.
The DA is a player development structure focused on the individual without the biases, distractions, self-interests and financial gains that compromise the optimal everyday environment. In a system that often puts winning competitions and trophies ahead of the player’s best interest, the DA development structure emphasizes the everyday training environment, balancing training with meaningful game play to ensure she plays to her full potential.
So what do we mean when we say “everyday environment” and “maximizing the player’s development”? Everyday environment means providing more training time than game time – a minimum of four training days per week – and more meaningful games; playing against teams with equal or greater skills and limiting games to no more than one per day. This approachmaximizes the player’s development by strengthening their technical skills, matching skill level to raise player performance, and providing appropriate rest to prevent injury and maintain the player’s health and well-being. The most important piece of the DA puzzle is the player and its development structure ensures a player-centric approach.
As always, we are available for your questions about the program. We also know that there are many questions about ID sessions and other logistical aspects. We are in the planning stages and will notify you as soon as information is available.
Thank you for your continued support and interest in the DA.
Sporting Omaha FC Executive Director