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Norwalk Soccer Club - Norwalk, Iowa

Apex Soccer Academy

Academy Soccer for U9 and U10 players comes to Warren County

The Norwalk Soccer Club, Carlisle Soccer Club and Indianola Soccer Tribe are joining forces to create Apex Soccer Academy. This is a U9/U10 Academy program under the Iowa Soccer Academy Central Iowa league.

What is Academy?

Academy is one of two options offered at the U9 and U10 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.

Is there another option?

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

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
  • U09 player who will try out for the U11 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. For example, all the U9 boys would practice together with 3-4 academy coaches leading the session. 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, especially later in the fall season as daylight hours wane and training sessions may overlap.

The curriculum is based on the recommendations from U.S. Soccer, U.S. Youth Soccer and incorporating some elements from National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA) 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 course last summer.  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. 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


The Academy program fee will $225 per season. 

Uniforms:  Apex Soccer Academy has its own unique identity with new colors and new uniforms.  

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.
  • 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.
  • Apex Soccer Academy plans to create Level 1 teams for U11 and older age groups.

Register Now
 at Apex Soccer Academy website and click on Register in the upper right corner. Register for the option for U9-U10 players.  

Contact Us

Norwalk Soccer Club

PO Box 431 
Norwalk, Iowa 50211

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