PSA COVID-19 Response
Today we stand tall in a world none of us ever imagined we would be in. Restricted to ‘stay in place’ by executive order of the governor of New Jersey due to COVID-19, teams can’t train together, players don’t get to have in-person interaction with their friends, and coaches and players can only resort to virtual meetings and training. The structured environment our student athletes are so used to is no longer the same. The new ‘normal’ we are experiencing today is an adaptation for everyone!
Businesses across the state and country are having to make difficult decisions on their operations and the futures of their livelihoods, and those of their employees too. This pandemic has even seen a number of youth soccer clubs across our state temporarily close their operations, leaving staff without employment, no paycheck, pondering how to move forward. Very difficult decisions for presidents and directors to make, and I am sure one certainly not taken lightly. As an organization we have made the decision to support our entire PSA family through this time, all of our staff, players and their families.
Here at Princeton Soccer Academy we were quick to transition the development platform for our players by launching our staff across the state onto a virtual remote education plan with robust engagement opportunities for our players. As a club we are committed to players owning their own development heavily utilizing our club-wide partnership with Techne Futbol which provides a monitored program for individual technical training. Every player within the club has access to this platform for FREE as part of their annual membership. In addition, the club is utilizing weekly virtual meeting discussions, various video resources, game analysis, soccer IQ development and fitness challenges. Each team has a weekly schedule with session plans built into their TeamSnap accounts for players to execute while at home. We aim to keep all of our players engaged, physically and mentally, using unique and innovative approaches which are directly connected to our club curriculum.
As the Girls Director of Coaching for PSA Wildcats Region, Dan Manson commented, “It’s easy to see the importance of club’s programs and leadership in today’s new normal. Our players and families need our services as much now as ever to provide structure and engagement for each of them while supporting their continued development.”
Our PSA high school age players are also hard at work enhancing their collegiate planning and exposure. In addition to individual virtual meetings with their coaches, players are utilizing our club membership with College FitFinder. Fulfilling their player profiles and narrowing down their choice schools. PSA takes pride in its work with its student athletes in preparation for their next step onto college. Virtual college panels are being streamed for our male and female student athletes to assist in the navigation through these times. PSA has a proven track record of supporting players in their placement collegiate athletic programs. With a robust network of relationships across the regional and around the country, players have an excellent recourse base here.
Ruairi Lynch, PSA SDFC Boy’s Director of Coaching, and Division 1 outfit, St. Peters University, Assistant Coach stated “
The COVID-19 situation has presented a lot of challenges, but it has also created a window of opportunity. This spell away from the field has allowed our staff to spend additional time working with our players on an individual basis further developing their personalized recruitment plans. Our players are taught how to stand out from the crowd, and to be clear, concise and consistent in their contact with potential college coaches. Through our partnership with College Fit Finder, players have been working alongside their coaches on their prospective collegiate options. As a club our focus is first and foremost making sure everyone in the PSA family remains safe and healthy, and then we want to take this time to connect with our players in this age group and ensure we are addressing their individual needs to maximize their collegiate exposure.”
Our club leadership is committed to all of our staff, families and players. Our focus is geared towards providing resources to each stakeholder. Our family centered culture is one that we are proud of and recently recognized as one of only 94 clubs in the US to be awarded the US Club Soccer Player’s First License. Our operational qualities and on field player development were also recently acknowledged by soccer powerhouse NIKE, in being awarded and named a Nike Premier Club.
In conclusion, PSA Executive Director comments, “It is during unprecedented times like this that we have to show our unity, not as a club, but as a family. We are a soccer family on and off the field, and it is important that we support each other that way. We are committed to keeping our players active and educated during this time, in addition to keeping our staff secure in their positions to help support them and their families. We are also committed to supporting our family’s businesses, one community together, help direct our membership to support each other where they can. This isn’t easy for anyone involved, but we will get through it by being there for each other.”
PSA has 3 regional locations; Princeton, SDFC and Wildcats in addition to the PSA National division based in Central NJ. For players of all across New Jersey we have opportunities to play and compete while receiving the best soccer education possible.
"With the initiation of the virtual training regimen I have seen a focus and positive determination develop in my daughter during this time. The physical training coupled with the mental and emotional aspect of the game that is being analyzed has really made my daughter think in a more global way about soccer. In many ways, I feel like the girls will come out of this situation in a better place; as better players, more independent about their workout responsibilities, more educated on the mental and emotional aspects of the game and just better individuals overall." Jennifer O'Shea, PSA National Girl's parent
"The weekly instructional videos in combination with the Techne Futbol app have been extremely beneficial for my son's progress while away from his teammates and coach. Having the ability to keep a ball at his feet with instruction in an organizaed manner is a huge help to mom and dad as well. Thank you to the coaches for their continued dedication to the development of our kids as individuals, as well as soccer players." Mike Cohen, PSA Princeton Boy's parent
"PSA has been great with their frequent communications on keeping us updated with the current soccer season. Our daughter's coach has been instrumental with keeping the girls engaged with their teammates and motivated with at home training drills. Our daughter enjoys the weekly zoom meetings with her coach and teammates long with the weekly remote training and game reviews." Beth & Brian Dendis, PSA Princeton Girl's parents
"During this frustrating time without regular soccer, PSA has really been setting a positive example. Our coach has been proactive with communication about the club and reaching out to the players to keep everyone involved. He has encouraged the players to keep working on their skills using the Techne Futbol app, which is a great tool. The skills work changes every week, which helps keep things fresh. And to keep their heads in the game, there is a weekly game analysis session, where the kids scrutinize a 30-minute clip, learning to analyze various aspects of the game. After completing written preparation, they gather in a virtual meeting to discuss and compare notes. It has been a great way to deepen their knowledge of the game while supporting morale and maintaining the connection they feel as teammates." Steve Lucas, PSA SDFC Boy's Parent
"As far as Techne App, its been a great tool for my daughter to keep her training and practice some skills. During the 1st week I had her do at least 15-20 minutes. By the second week she does the training on her own with app downloaded to her phone. One thing I actually like about the techne app is the bodyweight strength workout & exercises. She's been doing it consistently everyday before she does the soccer drills and I believe that this will be a good way for her to get used to strengthen her body. My daughter enjoys the challenges you send. She looks forward to it every week. It really keeps her engage and she likes to challenge herself. She misses practicing with the girls but all the stuff you've been providing really helps cope with the situation." Jason David, PSA SDFC Girl's Parent
“PSA cares about the players both on and off the field, it’s like a family and the coaches are so talented. We have 3 different coaches for our children, and they all provide the same structure and quality instruction to each of them.” Kristin Lee, PSA Wildcats Girl's & PSA Princeton Boy's Parent
"As parents of high performing soccer players, we are all searching for a sense of normalcy and routine for our kids during this unique time. I’ve been impressed by the structure and cadence that PSA have built to ensure that soccer remains a relevant part of our sons daily life. Through detailed weekly engagement plans, our boys are being challenged to live up to their commitments and remain accountable in fun and creative ways." Owen Morin, PSA Wildcats Boy's parent