Registration for the 2020-2021 Junior Academy season will be open in June.  If you are new to the club, you must first create an account in the SportsAffinity system. Begin by selecting your team (TUSC 2014-2015 Boys Junior Academy or TUSC 2014-2015 Girls Junior Academy), then chose Option 2 to "Create New Account". 

For more information please contact Head Coach, Liz Spragens 615-974-3044 liz.spragens.tusc@gmail.com.

“Emphasis is development over winning. Winning is important, it’s a soccer game and you play to win, but the most important part in youth especially at the younger ages is to have coaches understand and focus on development and on teaching and not the weekend game.”

- Claudio Reyna, Former U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director



The Junior Academy at TUSC is focused on helping young players develop soccer skills while enjoying the sport.  Through a variety of developmentally appropriate activities, free play and fun games, junior players will learn basic techniques for dribbling, passing, and receiving the ball.  Players will be given the freedom to try their skills in a game setting without worrying about the repercussions of failure.  In short, the primary goal is to find fun ways to develop soccer skills.

Eligibility, Registration, and Cost

Junior players are defined in the Fall 2020 - Spring 2021 seasons as children born between January 1st 2014 and December 31st 2015.  

The Junior Academy at TUSC is open to players of all skill levels including players who may be brand new to the sport.

Junior players may be registered for the Junior Academy at TUSC through the TUSC Website. Registration for the Junior Academy at TUSC will begin in late June. Junior players will NOT participate in tryouts.

The cost for participation is $__ per season.  This covers the following fees and costs:

  • Tennessee State Soccer Association Player Registration
  • City of Hendersonville and Goodlettsville Park Fees
  • Tennessee United Soccer Club Player Registration
  • Coaching Fees

*Uniforms will be ordered separately.

Our Approach to Coaching

“Children in the junior age group still play predominantly as individuals and occasionally with a partner”

- Sam Snow, U.S. Youth Soccer Director of Coaching, U.S. Youth Soccer Player Development Model

At this stage in their development junior players are in the ‘golden age’ of acquiring information.  We refer to them as little sponges.  However, they are still very ‘me-centric’.

It is essential that we use this time in their development to help them acquire the appropriate skills so they will be prepared to learn the appropriate tactics they will need to compete at the older age groups.

“Everyone forgets today’s score before the end of the season, but decades later the children still remember the adults whose affection and support remained steadfast regardless of the scoreboard”

- Douglas E. Abrams, Villanova Sports Journal, 2002

Junior players make plenty of mistakes.  And while we will work to help players learn from their mistakes, it is of vital importance that players have the freedom to try new skills that may lead to those mistakes.  And more importantly we must praise players’ efforts and successes when trying those skills.  When we tell a player we are impressed with a specific skill we saw them use we are encouraging them to do it again.

An important part of a player’s soccer development is their decision making skills.  If, after a mistake, we dictate what the correct decision should have been we have robbed the player of a chance to develop their decision making skills.  If, instead, we ask the player what they could have done differently we are challenging them to come up with a solution to the problem on their own.

Coaching Staff

As required by Tennessee State Soccer Association, all coaches for the Junior Academy at TUSC will obtain the proper level of coaching license or approved equivalent  for coaching a Division 3 program.

Where most recreation (Division 4) programs do not require coaches to attend USSF approved coaching education courses, the minimum level of coaching certificate for Division 3 programs (E Certificate) requires 18 hours of coaching education.

The Skills

Junior players will be taught the following...

  1. Basic ball manipulation including a variety of dribbling techniques which encourage the use of all surfaces of the foot.
  2. Short passing technique using the inside of the foot for maximum accuracy.
  3. Receiving the ball using a variety of foot surfaces so the ball moves in the direction they want to play.
  4. Basics of using team play to maintain possession of the ball.
  5. When it is most appropriate to dribble and when it is most appropriate to pass.


Players will attend two, 60 minute practices a week. A player can choose from any of the following sessions

Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-6:30pm at Drakes Creek Park (DCP) in Hendersonville

Tuesday and Thursday from 5:30-6:30pm at Moss Wright Park (MWP) in Goodlettsville (2013 players only)

This is current but subject to change when training schedules are released.

Practices will utilize fun games which encourage the mastery of specific soccer skills.


Unlike most recreational leagues, junior players at TUSC will not be split into well defined teams.  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 some 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.


As recommended by U.S. Youth Soccer and Tennessee State Soccer Association, game format will be 4v4 with no goal keepers. Players will use a size 3 or 4 ball.

Players in the Junior Academy will participate in 6 game days.  On game days, players will be divided into teams of between 5 and 7 players.  Each team will play one game (two, twenty-minute halves).  Teams will change for each game day.  Games will be played against other teams comprised of Junior Academy players.

All games will be played at Drakes Creek Park, Moss Wright Park, or Volunteer Park at Arrowhead.

Unless otherwise specified, games will adhere to the U.S. Youth Soccer Junior Playing Recommendations .

Season Schedule

Registration for the Junior Academy at TUSC will begin in late June. Players can also register over the Winter break for the following Spring season. There is NO TRYOUT process for junior players.

There will be a team meeting for parents in the Summer to discuss the program.  Location and time of the meeting will be determined at a later date.

Practices for Fall will begin in early August, and end in mid November.

Practices for Spring will begin in early March, and end in mid May.

Player Equipment

All players must have the following equipment for all practices and games:

  1. A size 3 or 4 soccer ball
  2. Soccer appropriate cleats
  3. Shin guards
  4. Proper training uniform (for practices) or gameday uniform (for games).
  5. Water
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P.O. Box 1088

Hendersonville, TN  37077


Steve Henson

Executive Director