Website Manager

North Canton Soccer Club

North Canton Soccer Club

Vikings Academy - How does it work?

The Vikings Academy is a European-style soccer program that is focused on rapid fundamental development. The foundation of an Academy is grouping players by ability allowing for practice sessions to be hyper-focused on the player’s skill level. Ideally, players can float up and down between training groups to narrow in on the skill development each player requires.  Training groups are small around 10 players allowing coaches to give individual players direct attention. Traditionally academies do not play “games” as it is focused on skill development.  Our Academy breaks the traditional model in two ways, we don’t float players between groups and our older Academy players do play games.

The Vikings Academy is split into three levels - Little Vikings, Junior Vikings, and the Academy Team.  The Little Vikings are 4-6 year-olds with less than 2 years of soccer experience.  Junior Vikings are for 6-8 year-olds with more than 2 years of soccer experience.  The Academy team is a by-invitation group of Junior Vikings who will be preparing for travel.  The Academy team starts in the Winter running through spring. The Academy is designed to be a progressive path from brand new to soccer through preparing for the travel program.

The Little Vikings program is broken down into three levels.  We have new to soccer, 1-year experience, and 2-year experience groups.  Each one of these groups has a different practice plan each week, building on the progression of expected skill development.  New to soccer players will be highly focused on dribbling and doing a lot of drills where every player has a ball at their feet. Players with a year of experience will tend to have a ball at their feet for 75% of the drills.  Passing, shooting, and basics of defending will be covered in later sessions throughout the season.  Players with 2 years of experience will be introduced to 1v1 games to start building on their foundation skills.  We will start introducing some foot skills and “fast feet” drills. Drills and activities within this program are designed to be fun while working on a player's soccer abilities.  The program will instill a love for playing the game through enjoyment and learning.

The Junior Vikings program is more like a traditional recreational program.  Teams are split at random and play weekly games.  Practices are conducted closer to what a travel practice would look like with a defined set of skills to work on each week.  The players will learn about 1v1 situations, and the basics of attacking and defending, continue to work on fundamentals and begin spacing with possession training.  Going into Junior Vikings players should already be very comfortable dribbling and maintaining the ball individually, have proper passing and shooting technique, and have a fundamental knowledge of gameplay.  Junior Vikings’ games are an extension of the practice.  Games use small bow nets with no goalkeepers.  The reason for these smaller goals is we want to ensure players use skill vs speed and size to score goals. We want all players to work on their skills, we don’t want to promote the use of hands, and we want to keep all players safe.  Junior Vikings is designed to prepare players with the skills required to play U9/10 travel soccer. 

The Academy Team is a newer program piloted in the 2021/22 season.  It is designed for players who have been in the Academy for 3+ years and who have developed most of the skills required for travel but are not old enough to play travel.  This program begins in the winter and runs through the spring.  Players are identified for this program based on their fall performance. Players can be added throughout the Spring season. In the winter, there is one practice a week and we register them to play in the U8 division at the Dome.  This could adjust in 2022 with the newly introduced NCSC in-house Futsal program, but that has yet to be determined.  In the spring, they practice at the same time as Junior Vikings but do not play games with the teams on Sunday.  They will get about 4 scrimmages vs the U9/10 travel teams on weeknights during the spring as their game preparation. The  Academy Team practices are run like travel practices where they are learning more advanced skills.  Players in this program will have strong ability on the ball, basic foot skills, and a good sense of the game.  The expectation is for these players to move on to travel the following season if age allows.  

The Vikings Academy is a staged flow of soccer education for ages 4 to 8.  The process of learning the game is mapped out starting in Little Vikings with players new to soccer and progressing them to being prepared for competition at the travel level.  Junior Viking games can be competitive but no scores or records are recorded.  The Academy is set up for all players to learn, grow and enjoy the game of soccer.  


North Canton Soccer Club
PO Box 242 
Greentown, Ohio 44630

Email: [email protected]

Copyright © 2023 North Canton Soccer Club  |  Privacy Statement |  Terms Of Use |  License Agreement |  Children's Privacy Policy  Log In