The Carolina Railhawks are considering the creation of a comprehensive day-long soccer school to open as early as this fall.
According to an email to soccer parents from Phil Moses, the professional soccer team's educational consultant and speaker, the school would combine college-prep academics with soccer training sessions throughout the school day. The school would combine "guided online education" for academic learning with additional workshops and seminars.
"Training would include outdoor technical and tactical training sessions, as well as indoor video analysis, fitness, strength and flexibility training, and sports psychology sessions," Moses writes in the email. "Students would continue to train and play for their club teams or [U.S. Development Academy or Elite Clubs National League] teams as they currently do. Our goal is to create an academic experience that is second to none in the area and to provide world class supplemental soccer training that enhances your child’s development."
Officials will be talking about their plans and other topics with fans and members of the media this week.
In the email, Moses writes that the team is seeking input from parents as they consider the school.
"We have done extensive research regarding possible academic methods of delivery and anticipate providing the highest quality guided online education available at a reasonable cost," he writes. "We are exploring the academic support services necessary to enhance the educational component and to give all participants the opportunity to reach his/her potential. Additional workshops and seminars will be provided. Of course, all precautions will be taken to ensure transferability of the coursework and NCAA approval."
The Railhawks is seeking input from those interested in the school through this online survey.
This is far from the Railhawks' first foray into youth soccer. The Capital Area RailHawks teams are a partnership between the RailHawks and the Capital Area Soccer League's U.S. Development Academy for boys and Elite Clubs National League for girls. The teams started training last summer. The program aims to be a pathway from youth teams (starting at the 13/14 age group) to professional teams.
The RailHawks also have started Elite Technique, another training program for kids. It offers youth soccer players a structured training environment and meets weekly, focusing on player development. It's taught by current and former professional players.