By: Sheryl Sowell | Category: Recreation/Leisure | Issue: August 2013
Academy Director Greg Wilson with Tulsa Nationals Academy players.
As a parent, have you ever been confused about what choices to make for your children? There are so many things to consider when raising children, from what foods to eat to what sports to play. Once you make the decision to put your child in soccer, where do you start?
The appropriate beginning is with recreational soccer to see if this is a sport suited for your child. As with any sport, for long-term success the player has to possess the love and desire to stick with it.
Academy soccer is a great next option for your young 5- to 10-year-old player. Academy is a developmental concept bridging the gap between recreational and competitive play. This may not be for every player but is designed for those who love soccer, have the desire, passion and commitment to train, and who are ready for additional challenges the Academy presents. Emphasis is on developing the complete player in all four pillars of the game, including technical, tactical, physical and psychological components.
Tulsa Nationals is the competitive branch of Union Soccer Club. “Our Academy program focuses on player development and providing players with the best possible training,” says Academy Director Greg Wilson. “We want them to reach goals and achieve success at the highest level they can attain. The key to success is player retention and individual player development, as opposed to the ‘team forming’ model that may exclude players who are way too young to have developed certain skill sets.” The focus is primarily on player improvement and not winning. Academy promotes fair play and fun, and downplays the emphasis of winning and competition. Players are placed on teams with same age-like skill, but players may be moved up to offer additional challenge.
“There are many soccer clubs to choose from; that is why at Tulsa Nationals we take your trust in us to educate your child in the game of soccer seriously, while at the same time making it a fun, child-centered experience,” says Wilson. “We feel that the best way to make an educated decision about the right Academy or Competitive team for your child is to contact us and arrange to come out to a practice to meet your respective team and coach. Do your homework; check out all available options so you can make an informed decision as to the right fit for your child.”
Tulsa Nationals is one of the most successful clubs in Oklahoma since it was founded in 1995 on the principles of developing proper skills, etiquette and gamesmanship to local area players. Tulsa Nationals has had multiple state champions and tournament titles since its inception. They have had many teams playing in the Oklahoma Premier League (OPL) and consistently have teams advance in State Cup tournaments each year. A large percentage of the seniors receive college scholarships. Tulsa Nationals also provides its own in-house scholarship program to graduating seniors who meet certain criteria.
Tulsa Nationals has one of the strongest coaching staffs in the region. This experience, coupled with coaches who instill in their players sportsmanship, integrity, leadership, teamwork as well as the necessary skills, makes Tulsa Nationals a great fit for those who may want to continue on to play competitive soccer.
Tulsa Nationals Soccer Club Founder Victor Moreland was born in Belfast, Northern Ireland and played professional soccer for 22 years, winning many national titles. Victor played for the Northern Ireland team as well as the Tulsa Roughnecks, Dallas Sidekicks, Wichita Wings and the Ft. Lauderdale Strikers. He was inducted into the Oklahoma Soccer Association Hall of Fame in 2012.
Tulsa Nationals Academy Director Greg Wilson has over 12 years coaching and administrative experience. As an experienced coach, he has enjoyed many 1st place league finishes and many championship tournament finishes. He currently coaches both Academy and Competitive soccer teams as well as oversees all operations for the Academy.
Tulsa Nationals Soccer Academy is accepting players now for the fall season. “We would like to invite you to bring your child out to a regular team practice or to one of our drop-in skills camps to learn more about our club and the opportunities available,” said Wilson. Skills camps will be held at USC Soccer Complex (3801 E. 136th E. Ave., Tulsa) every Friday night at 6 p.m. through August. Cost is only $5 per session.
Sheryl Sowell was born and raised in Tulsa, OK. She graduated from Will Rogers High School and received her Bachelor of Arts in English from Northeastern State University in 2007. She has worked for Value News as editor, writer and advertising copywriter since 2008. She enjoys meeting and interviewing people for Value News articles, learning about their backgrounds, and helping to promote their businesses and local events. In her free time, she enjoys reading, trying new recipes and crafts from Pinterest, attending concerts and sporting events, and spending time with family and friends. Sheryl lives in Tulsa with her fiancé Paul, their daughter Scarlett, and their two dogs, Gunner and Boo.
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