Frequently Asked Questions About FC Wisconsin

Question: How is the mission of FC Wisconsin unique and different?
Answer: FC Wisconsin was formed to provide a training and development platform for aspiring Wisconsin female soccer players based on a long-term athlete development philosophy aligned with the best teaching and training methodologies in the world.  Our program begins with a fun, developmentally-appropriate Youth Academy program, and culminates in participation in the ECNL - the top developmental and competition platform for the best youth female soccer players in the United States.  
Question: What is the committment required to play in the U6-U10 FC Wisconsin Youth Academy?
Answer: The most important things about U6-U10 soccer are simple!  The program must be fun, players should learn to love the game, and the time expectations need to be realistic and easily met by families!  This is done by using highly trained coaches, creating an environment of learning and excitement, and building a developmentally-appropriate training schedule and curriculum.  U6-U10 players at FC Wisconsin have 2 trainings per week, play locally, and the cost is competitive and often less than other local clubs.  Click here for more information!
Question: Why is the different staffing structure at FC Wisconsin so unique and important to player development?
Answer: FC Wisconsin teams are coached with a program-based staffing model.  This means that every team has multiple coaches that work with the players every day.  This allows improved coaching ratios (the number of players per coach is lower), more specialized training, and for players to learn from and relate to different personalities and perspectives.  Quite simply, when there are more coaches working together, there is more individual feedback and more personalized attention for every player - which helps every player learn faster and develop more quickly.
Question: Why is playing in the ECNL different and important?
Answer: The ECNL is the most competitive environment in the country, and ECNL clubs are the top youth clubs in the country.  ECNL teams include the vast majority of the future national team and Division I soccer players.  Every year spent in the ECNL environment is a huge advantage to players in their development, collegiate exposure, and personal growth.

Question: Why is the ECNL different than the MRL, State Leagues, or State Cups?

Answer:  ECNL clubs are selected based on their proven record of developing top players year after year. Very few ECNL players and teams play in other leagues, and very few ECNL teams play in state cup or regionals. Some people are confused when they see ECNL clubs with teams in the MRL, in state leagues or in state cups; these teams are almost always the second or third teams within the club - not the ECNL teams.
Question: Can I play another sport and still play in the ECNL?
Answer: Yes! Many ECNL players have had tremendous success as youth and college soccer players while still continuing to play other sports.  At young ages (U13 and below), FC Wisconsin players frequently play other sports even in the fall.  At U15 and above players sometimes play a winter sport, and those who do so are careful in their time management and planning to make it possible.  FC Wisconsin coaches will speak individually with any player that wants to play another sport to discuss the best ways of doing so.

Question: Can I play high school soccer and still play in the ECNL and with FC Wisconsin?

Answer: Yes! FC Wisconsin offers an optional spring program for those players that prefer to play club soccer year-round.  We offer this program because many players in the club desire to participate in a year-round option in the club.  If players prefer to play high school soccer, they are free and able to do so.

Question: Where does FC Wisconsin train?

Answer: FC Wisconsin has training sites in both Milwaukee and in Madison.  During the winter, FC Wisconsin teams will train in gyms and indoor turf facilities around suburban Milwaukee or Madison (as appropriate).

Question: How do I know if FC WIsconsin or the ECNL is right for me or my daughter?

Answer: This is a very personal decision.  Players come to this decision at different times in their life, but the most frequent age where players face and answer this question is somewhere between age 11 and 14.

The best way to make this decision is to ask a different question: “Where do I want my soccer to be in 5 years, and what do I want to be doing in soccer?”

The worst way to make a decision about your soccer career, (especially if you have aspirations of playing Division I college soccer), is to make a “group” decision or a "social" decision.  As players age and mature, (usually beginning at U13), individual priorities and focus changes.  Some players begin to prioritize soccer and embrace ambitions of playing at high levels, while others grow other primary interests and show lower commitment to the sport.   There is a reason elite soccer (or any sport for that matter) is structured as a pyramid, with a broad base that becomes increasingly narrow as players get older and move to higher levels.  “Group” decisions or "social" decisions reflect the priorities of the majority, and almost always skews towards players with lower ambitions or less focus on soccer.

Question: How do I distinguish between coaches and clubs to determine the right fit for me or my daughter?

Answer: Different coaches and clubs cater to different priorities.  FC Wisconsin was created to serve athletes and families with ambition to be great, and the answer to this question is focused on these athletes and families.

Soccer is filled with great salesmen – coaches that sound good, tell you what you want to hear, and promise lots of rewards and success without mentioning a word about the difficulties in the path, and the obstacles that are there.  (Read more here.)  So how do you make a good choice?

  1. Look at resumes.  Google the coaches.  See what they have actually done in coaching – not what they have talked about, or where they have played.
  2. Look to see if the coaches are involved in player development at a national level now – not 10 years ago.  Just like playing, coaching is a pyramid – only a few are working with the country’s best and there is usually a reason why.
  3. Look at whether the coaches are involved in the game at any level outside their club or community.  It is impossible to teach players to get to higher levels if you don’t understand the higher levels.  It is impossible to understand the higher levels if your primary reference point is your own club or community.

If you ask questions and listen to answers, and if you look … the path usually becomes clear.  Doing the research helps make the right decision.


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