I’m continually impressed by the quality of businesses that are gravitating towards and opening facilities in our “small town” (that’s not quite so small anymore!), and NOW Soccer Academy is one of those businesses that we are so fortunate to have. I hung up from our interview incredibly inspired and am so excited to tell you about it.
Never heard of NOW Soccer Academy? That’s because the Madison location just opened last month as an extension from the Huntsville location that opened in 2013. What started as 11 students, has erupted to over 700, and the owner and Director of Coaching, Norbert Webley believes that they are just getting started.
What is NOW Soccer in Madison?
NOW Soccer is a training academy that focuses on individual skills in a one-on-one or very small group setting. Players as young as three years old are invited to join and learn the game of soccer while improving their skills.
“Players have a process to follow as they go through the curriculum,” shared Webley. He says that they have four levels as a part of their curriculum. For example, the beginner level focuses on composure and confidence with the soccer ball, while the intermediate level works on technical training.
“One of the unique things about our program is that if a player is developing faster than the program is designed, we’ll offer them a form of cross-training.”
He continued to share that cross-training allows a player to see what the next level is like, and if one is ready, he or she will move up.
Enrollment for ages 8+ happens throughout the year when one is ready to get started. For children ages 3-7 years old, they have the option to enroll in the Cadet program, which is an eight-week program that introduces them to the game of soccer and teaches them about all positions and how to be a good individual and team player.
The next Cadet program begins October 31st, so get in touch now to sign up your 3-7 year old child.
Webley says that the training they offer students 8+ is catered very specifically to that athlete.
“We have so many testimonies about kids who have never played but really want to try out for their middle school or high school team, so they come to us for some training. They then transform into some of their team’s top players.”
Webley says that new students will go through an assessment to decide which level to start on.
As a parent to young children, I was curious why I would sign my kids up for NOW Soccer in Madison versus a program like AYSO.
“AYSO is more focused on teams. NOW Soccer is a training program. We are an academy, and we focus really hard on individual player development.”
Webley shared that every one of his coaches has a high-level coaching license and follows a strict curriculum.
One aspect of NOW Training Academy that Webley is really excited about is the ability for college coaches to log into training session and recruit that way amidst the pandemic. He says that everyone will be aware that coaches are watching, and that they’ll play five players versus five players so that college coaches get a good idea of the recruit’s strengths.
Another neat opportunity that NOW Soccer offers is Webley’s PTMP program, or Private Training Mentorship Program. This program is for middle and high school students who have their sessions recorded.
“I give video analysis feedback, attend their games as often as I can, provide nutrition plans for how they should fuel their bodies before, during, and after games, and much more.”
Webley says, “We communicate on a daily basis. I’m pretty much like their life coach,” he jokes.
As for Webley and his background, he tells a captivating story.
Originally from Kingston, Jamaica, Webley played for The Jamaican National Team.
“Nobody ever played soccer in my family, but my dad lived in Germany for a while and thought that maybe I should play soccer.”
Webley ended up loving it and excelled to play on a professional level.
After moving to Huntsville years ago to begin his career in Engineering, he began coaching soccer on the side too.
He says that he realized that a lot of players weren’t getting that individual attention to their skills that was so crucial for him when he was developing as a player himself.
“The first time I was cut from my youth team, I was so confused.”
He went on to share that a prestigious coach from Brazil noticed him and pulled him to the side. He explained to him why he got cut, and that that coach became his mentor. Three months later, he made the team again, and then went on to play in the starting line-up and serve as team captain.
“Some of these kids are so talented, but talent also needs to be mentored.”
Webley’s life experiences have all lead him to build NOW Soccer Academy where he feels like he’s paying it forward.
He says that he stepped away from engineering because his passion is working with people, and he wanted to solely focus on soccer.
“I want the community to know that NOW Soccer Academy is a place for everyone. It’s an environment for people to relax and come to have a good time. I want them to play and learn. Everyone always leaves our facility happy. We are a family.”
Soccer in Madison, Alabama
For more information about the upcoming NOW Soccer in Madison Cadet program beginning October 31st, click here.
To learn more about NOW Soccer Academy in general and enroll your child, click here.
NOW Soccer Academy
147 Westchester Road, Madison