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Despite the circumstances at hand with COVID-19, the Academy program has seen tremendous strides in not only player development but also creating an environment that enables problem-solving, motivation, and teamwork.

Building a Foundation

By Cory Marr, 10/13/20, 1:15PM CDT

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As part of San Antonio Surf’s long-term goal of becoming the premier youth soccer club in San Antonio, building a strong foundation is key to success. Despite the circumstances at hand with COVID-19, the Academy program has seen tremendous strides in not only player development but also creating an environment that enables problem-solving, motivation, and teamwork.

In its inaugural year under the new partnership of Surf Cup Sports, San Antonio Surf’s Academy program began its Fall 2020 season August 2nd with two weeks of group training before breaking out to team training. However, the foundation for this season was built in the midst of the pandemic itself. Prior to the August start date, academy coaches administered weekly at home training programs that focused on player development. Surf Olympics was established with the mindset of creating a series of performance-based tests within each age group to drive competition while staying virtual. This innovation and determination was key prior to kicking off the 2020/21 season.

Phil Rabbito, San Antonio Academy Director, explains how impactful this program not only is for the parents and players but himself as well, “As the Academy Director, I count getting to work with this age group as one of my greatest joys in life. The smiles and fist bumps I get to exchange with the kids on a weekly basis is irreplaceable and shows the connection we are building here at San Antonio Surf.  Watching them grow in their individual skills, their love for the game, their teammates and the club is our primary goals. Being able to work along-side parents and be a small part of youth development in San Antonio is part of who we are and what we do. The efforts are great, but the rewards are priceless."

“'The academy is a key piece of our 4-stage development plan,’ says Brian Davis, Director of Coaching at San Antonio Surf.’ As the number of players continue to increase in the game model it provides new and exciting experiences for the players to learn the game from a number of different positions. Our focus is on individual ball mastery and development in a team environment. Our Academy Director Phil Rabbito is continuing to build a development culture that will provide these players a strong foundation to continue to build on for years to come.”

With restrictions being lifted, the program is back to full training now and have instituted a COVID policy that has parents completing a health assessment prior to sending their players to team training and games. Break stations are set up for each player, coaches wear facial coverings at all times, and limiting access to the fields during training are policies that San Antonio Surf has implemented to ensure safety during this time. Game day policies include parents and players from the same club must be on the same sideline to limit contact tracing, facial coverings for all at all times for all adults, and a staggered game time start to allow parents and players to exit and enter without crossing over. 

If you would like to #RideTheWave and become apart of the movement and have a child with the birth years 2011-13, please contact our Academy Director Coach Phil Rabbito at 214-223-4713 or prabbito@sanantniosurfsoccer.com, as we continue to create an environment that leads to problem-solving, motivation, and teamwork!