We have tried to cover most of them but if you have a question(s) that's not on the list below,

We would love to hear from you.  Please click here to email the Academy Director.


Q. With tryouts not until late June, what happens to the younger players who may be trying out for the NS-U13 team? What happens if the are not selected for the U13 team but by then the Academy U12 teams are full?

A. The players who are still eligible for U12 Academy SHOULD register with U12 Academy even if they plan to tryout for U13. If they do not make U13, they have their place on a U12 Academy team. If they make the U13 team, we will take them off the U12 Academy list and pull from the U12 Academy "wait list" to fill their spot.


Q. What if I am unable to travel to any games outside of Traverse City?

A. Players that are unable to travel outside of Traverse City are still accepted into the Academy. As the costs associated with the team are the same if your child travels or not, each player must still pay their share of those expenses. You would be responsible for the same player fee as others.

Q. I like to be involved in other sports in addition to NorthStar Academy. What happens if they occur on Tuesdays and Thursdays also?

A. We believe Academy age players should have lots of different sporting and life experiences. Running track, playing basketball, being in the school play, traveling to see family or new places, etc. are all part of the well-rounded development of our daughters. NorthStar has always been and will always be flexible with player schedules to allow for a wide-ranging assortment of other activities that may impact players’ attendance at practices, games, tournaments, and NorthStar events.

We ask only that parents and players keep a few things in mind when making decisions that will keep players away from their NorthStar activities. We all know that there are natural consequences to all decisions. By natural consequences, we mean those that just happen as a result of an action as opposed to assigned consequences which are determined by parents or coaches. For example, when a player misses an event she will naturally miss the shared experience and lesson of that event. Missing that experience and lesson could result in her not gaining a skill or understanding which will impact her own success or that of her team. She and her team may struggle on and off the field due to this missed event. Of course, this is a risk that parents and players may sometimes choose to take. We will always respect that decision. We simply ask that players and parents be aware of and weigh those natural consequences. If it is important to you that your daughters’ skills and knowledge improve, it’s important for her to be at practices.

It would also be helpful for coaches to know that, for example, a player plans to miss soccer practice on Tuesday to go to hockey practice and will skip hockey practice Thursday to be at soccer practice. All of our practices are pre-planned with specific objectives based on a certain number of players. These can, of course, be adjusted but it helps to know our numbers in advance. Having your daughter communicate directly with their coach about a planned absence or lateness also helps her learn pro-activity as well. We also ask that parents and players seek out from other organizations the same flexibility that NorthStar provides. Ask the basketball coach if your daughter can leave early one practice a week to be on time for soccer. Ask the choir director if your daughter can miss the Saturday performance for a game and miss the Sunday game for a performance, etc. You may find that NorthStar is more flexible and accommodating than other activities.

Lastly, please consider that the players who are on time and present at practices and events have earned the opportunity to play and, perhaps, play more than those who were absent – regardless of the value of the player’s reason for not being there. This is not punishment of the late or absent players, it is the earned reward of those players who chose not to miss the lesson and the experience. We will always respect parents’ decision to have their daughters miss practices or events; we hope parents appreciate that there may be natural and assigned consequences.


Q. What if I cannot meet the payment terms listed on the budget?

A. You should register your child and then go to the Scholarship link on the NorthStarSoccer.org web site. Follow the directions for completing and submitting the scholarship application. If your scholarship is not approved or if you do not qualify to apply for a scholarship, please contact the coach and/or team business manager. Other payment options might be possible.


Q. Are there background checks done on the coaches?

A. Each coach, assistant coach, and business manager is required to complete a State Risk Management background check. As a result of this check and thier subsequent approval they are issued a State Risk Management Certification/Card - NorthStar requires two background checks- one being the Michigan State Youth Soccer Association (MSYSA)  as explained above and another similar to the above but with the with US Club Soccer Organization as well. Both organizations check backgrounds.


Q. What are the certifications of the coaches and what do they mean? (A,B,C, D, National, Etc..)

A. These courses are offered by the state associations which are affiliated with USYSA.
• Youth Module This is primarily a classroom course.This module is critical to ensure a positive and developmentally appropriate soccer experience for players of this age. This course addresses this by providing the most current and advanced information on the cognitive, psycho-motor and social development of the adolescent player. This course takes a Games and Activities approach to teaching and learning. The coach serves as a facilitator creating a fun learning environment of games and activities.
• E Certificate (General Certificate of 11-A-Side Soccer) This course focuses on the development of the player as an individual and also as part of a team. This development takes a player from being technically oriented to refining those techniques and applying them to game situations.
• D Certificate (The Consolidation of Techniques & Tactics) The curriculum focus is to provide a framework and understanding of practical coaching tools to improve the player's technique and to expand the tactical awareness of the players function within the team, by improving the coaches ability to create game like situations in practice that challenge and improve the individual and the team.
• National Licenses National "A", "B" and "C" courses consist of extensive oral, written and practical examinations.
• The National Youth License course consists of classroom and field instruction and written and practical examinations. The instruction for the course is age-specific. The course is devoted to the physical, psychological and social characteristics displayed by children of a specific age.The coaches must have an E license, unless a waiver is granted.

Q. How will I know if my daughter is making progress if I am new to soccer and have a tough time following the game or practices?

A. Progress at the Academy level can seem slow and patience is required by both the player and her parents. By the end of the season, though, even those parents not familiar with the game of soccer will see a difference. Please remember to ask your daughter what she is learning. If needed, email the coach. An email may be able to answer your question(s). If not, ask the coach for a time when then can meet with you. REMEMBER that trying to discuss these topics at a game or immediately following a game is not the best time for the coach.


Q. Why don’t you focus on winning games?

A. Our job as “youth” soccer coaches is to teach young players individual skills and make sure that these skills are not only taught, but also repeated to the point that they become instinctive to a young player. We should make sure the young soccer experience is fun and well rounded.
Spending a great deal of time on technical skills is easy at first. However, when we start to lose games we feel we are weak on tactical strategy and we have a tendency to make practices all about tactical work. The much needed “technical training” just seems to disappear.
Here are a few things that add to this difficulty.

1. Parents, a HUGE contributing factor, want their child to be on a “winning team”. If a team is losing all their games, they think it’s not their child’s weak technical skills that are the problem but that it is the coach and his game plan that is causing us to lose.

2. We as coaches / humans want to win or be successful in the eyes of others. Unfortunately this is often based on what people see as the “public grading” or the win / loss record.

3. We try to, however not nearly enough, to sit down with ALL the people involved and communicate what our goals are for the player and team. If only a few parents understand that we are not there to win now but to learn now and that we are not there to create a U10 local tournament championship team, but we are there to create a U17-18 State Cup and Premier League Championship team... then it simply will not work.

A truly great “youth” soccer coach understands that his/her job is to teach his young players individual TECHNICAL skills. Our job is not to teach a 10 year old extended tactical vision for the game, but instead give them mastery of the tools that it takes to play the game. The creativity and vision for the game will only truly come once this process has ended and they can focus on the GAME as a whole. It’s hard to be “creative” when you keep tripping over the ball while dribbling.

Yes, we do give them some basic vision points for the tactical side of the game. However, it does no good to try and teach them a play that has one player feeding in a ball 30 yards, while another player receives it and finishes if neither can complete the basic skills to make this play happen.

Everyone should realize that while some tactical education will be conducted, it will be age appropriate and more on a general basic and done at a visual understanding level. It should be understood that younger player development will be largely technical based and competitive games are simply a place to try our newly learned technical skills, not a measure of results.

Youth soccer has finally been facing up to these problems around the world. Many international development programs and US Youth Soccer programs are slowly getting this message out to clubs, leagues and coaches. However, this powerful message seems to fall short when it comes to reaching the parents. coaches , clubs and leagues must humbly face this reality and focus on moving this message to the parents.

Without the parents “buying in" 100%, this movement will fail- to the detriment of the players' playing abilities at higher levels.

Q. How come the coach does not yell at the players?

A. Many coaches feel that yelling works and that is unfortunate. If yelling worked, we'd see teachers screaming at students in class. Really, lets think about this for a minute:

Soccer coaches ( all coaches for that matter) should not yell to the players. Why not?
1. The game belongs to the players !
2. Are they really going hear you from way across the field? Even if they do- can they process what you're saying during the intensity of the match?
3. The coach's information needs to be communicated in practice, not at the match.
4. Make them learn for themselves- this is empowering! ( this is tough for parents to watch) We do not want to solve the issue(s) for the player! It is their responsibility!

Any one who has coached younger players knows this is not always practical. We feel that when children are learning the game, the coach needs to at times tell players where to be and what to do, but, MOST important of all is giving positive feedback on what they did RIGHT !!
Players need to learn how to think for themselves! Especially when older, quick thinking without help from the coach is a necessary mental skill needed to reach the next higher level.


Q. What does " wait-listed" mean?, Do I sign up for other non-NorthStar teams ?

A. Wait-listed means that the current team offerings are full. Our online registration process has a cut-off based on a certain player count amount. . After that number is reached, the online registration will only show you a wait listed option. It is advisable that you wait list register with NorthStar in the event a spot becomes available or for future offerings. .


Q. What is the chance that my daughter will move from "wait-listed" onto an actual Academy roster?


A. We anticipate that some U12 Academy wait-listed players WILL be added to the Academy roster. This is due to the fact that some players already registered with U12 Academy plan to tryout for the U13 NorthStar team. If any of those players are chosen to play on the U13 team their will be taken off the U12 roster and added to the U13 roster thereby opening up places for "wait-listed" players. In the U10 and U8 Academy programs "wait-listed" players will move on to the roster if registered players "drop."


Q. When will I find out if my daughter will move from "wait-listed" onto an actual Academy roster?

 A. If openings occur, we will move U12 Academy wait-listed players onto the U12 roster AFTER the U13 and older tryouts are completed at the end of June. That is when we'll know who has been accepted onto the U13 NorthStar team.  If a U10 or U18 player drops we will move the wait-listed player(s) on to the roster before the July 2 paperwork meeting. You will be contacted directly to verify that change. 



Q. If I register with NorthStar do I have to register with TBAYS too?

A. Effective with the  2009-2010 Soccer season NorthStar Soccer Inc. is no longer affiliated with TBAYS.  If you register with NorthStar, you do not need to register with TBAYS.