Week 1 Update
Dear Virtual Academy players, families, and community members,
IMPORTANT - Please check your Spam and/or Promotions folder if you do not receive the sessions and activities in your inbox on Mondays/Wednesdays.
We hope you are keeping safe, healthy, and active in these uncertain times. The purpose of this is to provide you with an update, as well as a roadmap moving forward for all players involved in the Virtual Academy. The response has been unprecedented - currently over 3,500 enrollments in the Virtual Academy have been received, and that number continues to grow! I’d like to thank the families who submitted content to us to help get us started - your help was instrumental in getting us up and off the ground running.
Our original goal with the Virtual Academy was to continue to provide services to our membership in the form of weekly videos. Through feedback from staff, membership, and community supporters, we realized that the Virtual Academy needed to be much more than that. Soccer is not only about having a ball at your feet, but developing relationships with individuals both on and off the field. The biggest challenge is that soccer is played in a physical space, on a field - you have a finite number of players on the field, with parents all supporting each other in pursuit of a common goal. The spread of COVID-19 has prevented us from doing so, and with that, Lonestar Soccer Club endeavored to find a solution. Through ideas and feedback from inside and outside the club, we identified 3 distinct needs the Virtual Academy needed to have to continue to provide some sense of normalcy (and structure) for the kids:
An ever-growing list of resources, including activities and sessions for kids to take personal responsibility to work on their development.
A connection with our coaching staff, to provide guidance and support to all players who need it. This is a part of our mission and vision of bringing soccer to youth in Central Texas - to provide soccer to all kids, with the notion that we will never turn a player away for lack of resources. This includes all players within the club, as well as outside the club in the greater Austin soccer community.
Creation of an online, invested community of families who are visible to each other through the Virtual Academy, and can support each other’s development and well-being through new ideas and moral support.
As a result of the collaboration with the community and the rapidly changing social restrictions around COVID-19, we realized that meeting the above three objectives was not the finish line. Depending on why and how long we are on the field, the Virtual Academy needed to be a solution for the foreseeable future (e.g practice rainouts), and we will continue to operate on that notion, especially given the positive response from both staff and families.
Browse individual short activities that your player can easily replicate at home with a ball, couple of cones (or any stand-in objects).
Browse complete sessions added every week for your player to follow along with the Lonestar coaching staff
View additional tools, resources, and activities designed to complement player development
Keep up to date through our blog, which in addition to soccer activities, will publish content that will engage your player holistically, and develop their mind and passion for the game.
Connect with others in the Virtual Academy community by sharing your videos through social media, (which in turn will show up on the Community page (http://virtual.lonestar-sc.
com/community) of the Virtual Academy website:
Instagram/Twitter @LonestarSC - Share your videos with the hashtags #VirtualAcademy and #StaySharpStayConnected
Facebook - Share your videos as posts on the Lonestar Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/
LonestarSC/) with the same hashtags
Continue diversifying the library of activities to ensure every player from U5-U19 can find suitable, age/skill-appropriate activities to perform at home. Furthermore, the communications to Virtual Academy members will also become more targeted, in that sessions and activities you receive will be more appropriate for your player. This will happen through collaboration with coaching staff from their respective programs (e.g Recreational/Junior Academy/Select/Elite/
Provide an increased level of knowledge and information regarding coaching staff performing the activities. With over 3.5k enrollees, we feel it is important to know who each of you are connecting with, and who your player is following.
As per popular request, we are also looking at the possibility of live sessions that player’s can follow along with at home.
Next week, we’ll be releasing 3 additional sessions and associated activities from coaches around the club. Expect emails to be received on Mondays/Wednesdays around 3-4pm with links, but you can always visit the Virtual Academy at virtual.lonestar-sc.com to find the sessions and activities as they are published. Again, please check your Promotions/Spam inboxes for emails from Lonestar SC if you do not receive them.
Thank you again for your support and investment in this project! Please note that this project is free and open to the soccer community, as we believe that all kids, regardless of background, should have access to soccer resources. Please consider sharing the Virtual Academy with friends, so that we can continue to develop the soccer community together. If you have any ideas or improvements, please do not hesitate to email me.
Stay safe, stay sharp, stay connected!
Virtual Academy Creator