Zone 1 Academy

a true player-centered development program.

Zone 1 Academy

ZONE 1 ACADEMY brings experienced soccer and educational experts together to create a soccer program which produces fundamentally advanced players who have a love and passion for the game. ZONE 1 Academy is a true player-centered development program!

No matter if a tree grows to more than a thousand feet in height, each leaf, each day must return to its roots for nourishment

If we truly want to change the culture, we have to pour more of our resources into Zone 1. We have to focus on honoring the technical coach who transforms the kids with an exciting personality and a thorough understanding of the joy of the game, the technical growth and make that coach our youth coach hero. Zone 1 Academy is fantastic and I love the whole concept.

««— Anson Dorrance, legendary University of North Carolina coach


The Challenge: Just a glance at the youth club soccer landscape reveals at least three things:

  • An excessive emphasis on building “winning” teams rather than developing technically advanced players
  • An ongoing neglect of the younger players in the FOUNDATION PHASE (Zone 1) and resulting failure of players to develop to their full potential
  • A lack of top coaches working with the Zone 1 age groups. The current youth club system is broken because about 70% of all players drop-out of organized club soccer by the time they reach the U13 age group. The Zone 1 Academy provides a solution

The Solution: The goals of the Zone 1 Academy Program are:

  • Change the methods by which the youngest soccer players are coached in Kansas City and nationwide
  • Produce technically advanced players who thoroughly enjoy playing the game
  • Implement a uniform playing and coaching style to develop skillful and creative players
  • Nourish players’ naturally competitive spirit without sacrificing development of each player as an individual

This compelling and innovative Zone 1 Academy Program will raise the bar for youth player development and will set the standards and form the basis for future growth within the game! The Zone 1 Academy will form the “roots” that will provide the “nourishment” for players to progress through the different age groups. By laying the correct foundation, the Zone 1 Academy will be improving the quality of the overall game in the U.S.

Player-Centered Program

The program is for 6-11 year old soccer players. These are the formative learning years and the ideal time to develop a love of, and a passion for the game. Players will be instructed in a highly positive “player-centered” (rather than team-centered) environment.

Zone 1 Academy is about being with a child throughout the key fundamental learning phase. We are not about recruiting and cutting players to win trophies and league championships. Our program will eliminate playing time issues and our “guided play” initiative will help emulate the type of soccer played during the street soccer era.

Developing Technique, Soccer Culture & Passion for the Game

Zone 1 Academy will not only work on the technical abilities of the youngsters, but will establish a lifetime of passion and love for the game through the atmosphere in which the program will be presented. This passion will then act as a platform for technical development.

It has been established that under the current youth club system about 70% of all players drop-out of organized soccer by the time they reach the U13 age group. The current system is broken. Zone 1 Academy provides the solution.