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Program Overview: 

The Darien Soccer 3rd & 4th grade house developmental program is run by JA Elite Soccer Academy. The goal of this program is to promote a FUN, motivational, and exciting training environment that combines a player-centered approach with excellent coaching. It is designed for players who are not yet ready for the travel program or for those who prefer to continue learning the sport at the local level. Teams are a mix of 3rd and 4th grade Darien players. The teams practice twice a week and play games against one another on Saturdays. 

The training sessions will encourage constant play, allowing more opportunities for technical/tactical decision-making and numerous touches on the ball. We will provide every player in the program the opportunity to develop in a progressive and positive learning environment while having fun.

Program Goals:

  • To help ignite the passion for the game of soccer, by motivating and encouraging the players to enjoy the game and learn the fundamentals
  • To improve individual and collective basic skills
  • To further the individual and collective understanding of the game including playing positions & roles

Coaching & Curriculum: 

Our highly trained coaching staff will teach the fundamentals of soccer, including the technical side of the game and playing positions while maintaining consistency in our methodology with a progressive learning curriculum. The 3rd & 4th grade house developmental curriculum will align with our U9-U10 travel curriculum. 

Game Day: 

JA Elite coaches will support the volunteer parent coaches on Saturday games. They will remind players of the training objectives worked on during the week, as well as the playing structure, formation, etc. They will also evaluate the progress of the teams/players and will work closely with the parent coaches to help in the overall development of the teams/players. 

Fall 2023 Tentative Schedule:

  • The 3rd & 4th Grade House Development Program will likely begin with practice starting the week of Tuesday, September 5th (no practices Labor Day, 9/4) and run through Friday, Nonember 3rd. Exact dates are weather and field dependent and will be posted closer to the start of the season.
  • Boys will practice on Mon/Wed at either 4:00-5:15 and 5:15-6:30 (check your team's schedule on the website to confirm your times).
  • Girls will practice on Tues/Thurs at either 4:00-5:15 and 5:15-6:30 (check your team's schedule on the website to confirm your times). 
  • Games will most likely be played on Saturdays starting September 9th and running through November 4th. There are 3 time slots for both the boys and girls leagues which will rotate weekly - be sure to verify time on your team's page. 
    • ​Boys slots
      • 8-9
      • 9-10
      • 10-11
    • Girls slots
      • 1-2
      • 2-3
      • 3-4

Registration Guidance:

For House players whose birth year puts them in the same grouping for travel consideration as players who are in a grade above him/her, we offer the following options bulleted below. These options allow for each individual family/player to tailor what path is best, given their abilities and goals. For those current House players who aspire to play travel, exposure to their birth-year peers will undoubtedly provide him/her with an enhanced foundation in preparation for tryouts. However, we appreciate not all players desire to play travel or feel that playing with their birth-year peers would benefit them at this time, which is why the House league is maintained by grade so that playing with classmates and grade-level peers remains the priority. 

For House players considering 2nd grade House vs 3rd/4th House based on 2015 birth year, options are: 

  •      Remain in 2nd grade House (1 practice/week) with the option of an additional practice (Technical training – Fridays). Note – Sunday Academy will remain only for 2016 birth year players.
  •      Move to 3rd/4th grade House (2 practice/week) with the option of a 3rd practice (Technical training – Fridays) 

Questions regarding this league can be directed to Meghan Gehrke   for 3/4 girls, Nicole Pulaski for 3/4 boys, or to the House Director, Sarah Huber sarah.wilson.huber@gmail.com

** Please note that in accordance with DSA policy, consistent with other town sports, and in fairness to all players, we will no longer be assigning players to teams baed on specific friend requests from parents. In past seasons we aimed to honor these requests as a courtesy; however, in recent seasons, the number of friend requests has grown significantly and is no longer viable for our volunteers to manage. We will continue to assign players to teams based on their school so that they will have some familiar faces on their team.