The Soccer Institute at Montverde Academy (SIMA) and Orlando City have partnered to create the Aguiluchos program, a youth development program for children born between 2008 and 2014. Aguiluchos is Spanish for “little eagle” which encapsulates the focus of a long-term player development program.
Spearheaded by SIMA Director and Head Coach Mike Potempa and SIMA/OCDA Director of Methodology Toni Hernandez, they based the program on two principles. The first was to respect the nature of the child which includes having fun through age-specific motor skill development, space awareness and creativity. The second is to respect the nature of the game through decision making and unpredictability training.
With a 7:1 coach to student-athlete ratio, the program looks to focus on quality over quantity. The Aguiluchos program is a seven-year, 14 semester, educational training experience built to prepare student-athletes for their future through soccer values. The final objective of this experience is to optimize their opportunities that must be achieved before the age of 12.
There are several benefits to enrolling young athletes in this Aguiluchos program. Under the guidance of skilled coaches, they will train creative intelligence through decision making activities where the player has to make a choice and solve different game situations. The focus on the whole athlete is built on athletic skills and becoming a responsible citizen and community leader. Age-appropriate training sessions and small-sided games are adjusted to the physical and psychological characteristics of each age group.
No tryouts are required for this youth training program as each practice is considered an open training session to all those who register in advance.