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U9-U10 Academy

Academy Soccer for 9U and 10U players

 Apex Soccer Academy was created to give players from Norwalk, Indianola, Carlisle and other surrounding communities an option to play a higher level of soccer with a connection to their home clubs.  This is a 9U/10U Academy program under the Iowa Soccer Academy Central Iowa league.

What is Academy?

Academy is one of two options offered at the 9U and 10U age groups. This age group is very important to the development of youth soccer players in Iowa and it is vital to create an appropriate developmental environment without making the environment too competitive or restrictive, resulting in players leaving the sport.

This will allow players to play with and against players of similar ability and at a level where they will experience the most success and have the most fun playing the sport.

There are no tryouts or selections at this level. All teams follow the Level 3 guidelines including 50% playing time in matches. However, the emphasis is placed on creating a playing environment that is more conducive to the individual’s development over the team’s development.

Ready to Register? Click here to Register for Apex Academy.

Is there another option?

Yes, Level 3 soccer will be offered by the club.

To help parents decide which is most appropriate, below are the characteristics of typical players who would participate in an Academy program.  If your child displays a majority of them, they are probably more suited to that level of play.  However, it should be noted that during a player’s soccer development, they may move back and forth between Academy and Level 3 play.

  • Demonstrates sound technical skills (ball control, dribbling, shooting)
  • Physically stronger, athletically quicker than most players within their age group
  • High level of coordination and good agility
  • During games is aggressive in their attitude and approach to getting involved and tends to dominate play
  • Demonstrates high level of focus and concentration during practices and games
  • Started to narrow down the number of extra-curricular activities
  • Soccer is a high priority
  • Practices with a ball on own time outside scheduled games and practices
  • 9U player who will try out for the 11U competitive age group in the following year



Training sessions will be held 3 nights per week. Two of the training sessions will be done as an age group and lead by the Academy coaches. The third session will be led by the team coach and only include his/her team. We ask that each player make every practice but understand that things may come up.   Players are expected to make at least 2 practices per week.  We are designing our structure to have a ratio of 8-13 players per Academy coach. We may utilize some team coaches to assist our Academy coaches in training.

The curriculum is based on the recommendations from U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth Soccer and incorporating some elements from United Soccer Coaches and Coerver Coaching.

Academy Coaching Staff

The Academy Director is Mark Gavin, current Director of Coaching at Norwalk Soccer Club. Coach Gavin has over 10 years of experience coaching competitive soccer in Colorado and Iowa U6 through U19 age groups. Coach Gavin holds the U.S. Youth Soccer National Youth License as well as the U.S. Soccer National D license. In addition, Mark earned the National Diploma and the National Goalkeeping Diploma from NSCAA.  He also completed the Coerver Youth Diploma in 2014.  Mark grew up in Indianola and played for Indianola Soccer Tribe and Indianola High School and continued to play into his early thirties in adult leagues in Colorado.

Each team will have a volunteer team coach.  Each coach will be required to have a U.S. Soccer E License or hold a certificate for the new 7v7 Grassroots course from US Soccer. Contact Mark Gavin, if you are interested in being a volunteer coach for your child’s team at the U9 or U10 age level for this Academy program.  [email protected] or 515-556-1073

Fall 2023 & Spring 2024

9U - 2015 birth years
10U - 2014 birth years

The Academy program fee is $225 per season.

Uniforms:  Uniforms are not included in this fee. Uniform kits can be ordered for approximately $100. 

Online Registration: Now on PlayMetrics CLICK HERE

Why should I choose Apex Soccer Academy for my child?

  • The ratio of professional coach to player will be approximately 8-13 players per 1 academy coach.
  • Opportunity to train one night a week in your community or one very nearby. Each team will have at least 2-3 players from each of the 3 communities on the team to help with transportation to and from training sessions.
  • Your players can play and train with many of their friends.
  • Apex Soccer Academy strives to offer a quality program with a focus on player development at a reasonable price.


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