Welcome to the FFC Academy
We will provide the youth of Montcalm and Ionia Counties with an opportunity to have an experience that serves more than just a desire to play a game. We will provide mentorship, coaching and caring that will serve the athletes well beyond their years on the soccer field. We will do this within an environment that encourages connection and community. We will serve the community by serving its future generations.
The FCC Academy is a developmental system oriented toward younger players who are investigating the sport of soccer. It is a place where strong bonds are made, community is encouraged, and licensed, trained coaches mentor and teach players the skills that can help them to be successful both on and off the field. The FCC Academy program promotes,
Fun - This is a non-competitive league, meaning that the athletes do not need to try out to be accepted. This does not mean that we do not compete. Each age group will have a playoff at the end of the season for the teams with the best records. There will be trophies - but it's not all about the trophies. This program is about helping young kids fall in love with a great game, and to do so within a community oriented program.
Community - The Academy is supported by the community, and it is our desire to be present in the community. We want our players to feel that they are a part of something bigger than themselves, and we endeavor to see a two-way engagement between community organizations and the teams.
Foundation - Soccer is a sport, and it is important that, in the midst of the fun, the players be given the beginnings of a foundation in athletic training. Our Academy prepares athletes for the demands of athletics, but in an environment where fun is emphasized. In order to progress in any endeavor there must be some effort invested, but there is no rule that says that effort cannot be enjoyable, and, especially for the youngest Academy members, that is a high priority. They may decide one day to pursue another sport, and if they do we hope that the athletic foundation they received at the Academy will serve them well as they head down that path.
Life Skills - Athletics provides more than just physical benefits. Our Academy's trained coaches seek to instill in our players the benefits of teamwork, selflessness, discipline, and perseverance. Even if they do not pursue athletics beyond the Academy the skills they learn here will serve them well in any field they should choose.
Why This Is Important
We are living in an exciting time, but it's also a time that poses challenges for young people that prior generations had never dreamed of. I'm not talking about drugs, though that is certainly a serious issue. My 80 year old father's generation knew about drugs. Maybe not to the extend that kids do today, but they were out there. I'm talking about the loss of connection.
The concept of connection within a community - the belonging to something bigger than yourself has been largely lost in our society. We have become a digital society of detached individuals. Communication takes place from a distance, and relationships tend to be somewhat shallow as a result. We've probably all seen people in the grocery store or on the street staring at their phones like zombies. I've done it myself. The truth is, face to face interaction is very important in the development of a community's identity. We need each other, but we have very few mechanisms in place where people can truly become a part of the broader community. We have teams and clubs, but those groups often become somewhat insulated, and their focus becomes very narrow and inwardly focused. Not all, thank goodness, but many.
In the Academy, we give kids the opportunity to expand their community circle, and both children and parents are provided with the means to build bridges and connect with other families in the community. Each age group will have multiple teams, and those teams will interact regularly during the course of the season. They will practice together, play games against each other, and attend events that bring the whole Academy together. It will never be just about one team. All the teams in the Academy are members of the same community.
The Academy is not just a soccer league. The Academy is part of a community-focused club. We intend to bring people and local businesses and organizations together across both Montcalm and Ionia Counties. Detachment is not how healthy communities grow and prosper. At the Academy we will bring the broader community into the spheres of our members. Every child in Montcalm or Ionia Counties is welcome to become a member. All members belongs to a community. That is the goal.