Wilson Academy

Tommy Wilson, Peter Fuller and Academy staff provide insight into the Academy at NSCAA Convention

The Philadelphia Union Academy was once again an active participant at the NSCAA Convention which was held in Philadelphia for the second year in a row. Finn Gundersen, Dr. Christina Fink and Tommy Wilson all gave presentations about specific aspects of the Union Academy. See below for a basic summary of each presentation along with session plans from Tommy Wilson and Peter Fuller.
Tommy Wilson
Philadelphia Union – Player Development Methodology
Building for the Future
  • Tactical Support
  • Technical Support
  • Technology Video Support

Methodology Based on Principals

  • Possession Based
  • Forward First
  • High Tempo
  • Fast Technique
  • Lots of Mobility
  • Balance of Long and Short Passes
  • Operate as a team in Attack and Defense
  • Tactical Flexibility

Path to Success

  • Position Specific Activities
  • Athletic Development
  • Technical Skills Training
  • Holistic Education
Finn Gunderson 
Investing in our Future: Strategic Discussion on Developing the American Player
  • Philadelphia Union and YSC believe the USA is a future global powerhouse of the game of soccer, and are committed to making Philadelphia Union a key contributor to the evolution of the American game.
  • Share, Learn, Grow: All of us share the vision of the USA winning the FIFA World Cup – to achieve this goal dialogue and communication are key.
  • How: Building for the Future by Investing in the American Player – Free of Cost = Equal Opportunity for All
  • Union Academy Objective: Become the preeminent player development academy in North America – The first MLS club to consistently produce homegrown world-class players.
  • It will start with building a Culture: having a Dream, stating our Beliefs, creating a Spirit to face the greatest imaginable challenges.
Dr. Christina Fink
Creating the Environment for Excellence
  • Outlined how to be a successful coach and create an environment of excellence, including staying in the present moment, giving effective feedback, having emotional composure, and giving players confidence
  • Challenged coaches to reflect on their philosophies and what they stand for
  • Discussed what it takes for coaches to be responsible and accountable
  • Explained that successful coaches are competent, committed, caring, consistent, and confidence-builders
  • Explained that successful coaches create a culture that encourages creativity and taking risks
  • Provided specific examples of how coaches can create a culture of excellence with their teams 
Choosing Confidence
  • Stated that coaches can choose to give their players confidence – or take it away – through their actions and communication
  • Discussed how coaches can maximize their potential by being self-aware and knowing how to sustain themselves
  • Focused on distinction between who coaches are and what they do, demonstrating the control coaches have over their choices of action
  • Explained self-regulation through distinguishing the “cool”, contemplative system versus the “hot”, action-based emotional system and how they influence coach decision-making and action
  • Advised about focusing on the “controllables” and shaping the athletic environment through communication, creative thinking, attitude, and emotional composure 

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