Print Email




ASA Youth Academy

2018 - 2019



MISSION: To promote holistic player development over team development through a child-centered environment during the most the key developmental window.


WHY: The purpose is to increase player enjoyment, player retention, and improve the quality of soccer player developing throughout the state


  • Focus on the holistic development of each player
  • Reduce the emphasis on players and coaches to earn results

WHEN: Fall 2018 - Spring of 2019 seasons


WHAT is an Academy - a format that places all players within an age group or similar age groups into a “Pool” instead of teams.  Within the pool players train together in a player-centered environment, following a developmentally appropriate curriculum, and form teams for games.  Coaches place each player onto the developmentally appropriate team for each play date. Easy movement between teams gives coaches the opportunity to place each player into an optimal development environment in the game setting.


WHO: Clubs/associations must complete the application and be accepted to participate. Clubs/associations are reviewed annually for acceptance into the program. The players will combine two birth years for players to be able to play up and down one year. More importantly, the goal is to provide a wider range developmental abilities thus helping players find developmentally appropriate learning opportunities.

  • 2008 Birth Year - 11 and under
  • 2009 Birth Year - 10 and under
  • 2010 Birth Year – 9 and under



  • Teams will be put in the Alabama State League (so all participants are better prepared for Region competition)
  • Rosters will be increased for easy mobility of players from one roster to another based on needs of the team and competition level.  
  • Game day rosters will be maxed at 16 players to adjust for freedom of movement between games if needed.  You can choose any player from your player pool for the game day roster.



In an effort to make participation in the Academy affordable we are reducing costs:

Per Player Fee - $18

Academy Affiliation Fee replaced with a Per Team Fee - $50.  

Covers administrative and scheduling processes.  Capped at $450 per club each year. Ex: a club entering 10 or more teams will only pay $450

Fall Academy Showcase - $100 per team

Spring Academy Showcase - $100 per team

Showcase events are a requirement - if your numbers are lower than what are registered for the full season please contact


ASA will take over the scheduling process to ensure a minimum number of games per team (6 per season).

Scheduling Goal:  “Academy districts” where clubs/teams within each district play each other in a home and away schedule where possible:

North District - Decatur, Gadsden, Huntsville

North Central District - Alabaster, Birmingham, Tuscaloosa

South Central District - Auburn, Montgomery, Opelika

South District - Daphne, Fairhope, Mobile, Orange Beach, Perdido



Scheduling Procedures: With this format we will follow similar scheduling procedures currently in place for Alabama State League:

  • July 18th- Deadline Academy registration. Teams entered into each age group by gender and competition level (Most Competitive, Very Competitive, Competitive, or Least Competitive. A Description of each level will be provided to aid clubs in appropriate placement). ASA groups teams by location and competitive level to create Groups for scheduling.  Each team in the group will play a home & away with all teams in their respective group.
  • August 4th - Academy Scheduling begins. Clubs will have been given full ASL schedule to use and schedule around.
  • August 7th - Deadline for Academy Home games to be scheduled.  Any games not scheduled by this date will be scheduled by ASA. ASA will post completed schedule online and will forward schedule to Referee assignor so each game has officials assigned.
  • August 31st - Academy play begins


Programs will have freedom to schedule additional games and play dates.   


Any team that forfeits a game will be invoiced for $400 as part of the normal Bond put forth by clubs for ASL.


Referees will be scheduled similarly to ASL.

Fees for a 7v7 game are $33

Fees for a 9v9 game are $79 (3 refs).


Clubs will be invoiced for their home games at regular intervals (monthly) throughout the season.


Any game/playdate scheduled by the club outside of those scheduled through ASA will be handled as follows:

  1. Clubs submit the Academy Playdate Schedule Request form to
  2. ASA will approve (or deny) the request and send to the Referee assignor
  3. The Referee Assignor will work to fill the request based on referee availability

?NOTE: You can choose to only have 1 referee for 9v9 games on these playdates to save on costs.


Only players registered through the ASA Academy will be eligible to participate in scheduled games.  Each player must have a player card that is presented to the referees at the time of check in for each game.


Creating Optimal Development Environments
The challenge ahead of all Academy participants to create Optimal Development Environments that efficiently, effectively, and holistically develop all of our youth players throughout the state requires the following:

  • Competitive score-lines - 3 or more goal separation in the final result reflects an inappropriate matchup. Contingency plans must be enacted in these situations.
  • Both teams clearly attempting to execute soccer-specific player actions and and US Soccer’s Key Qualities of a player.
  • Adverse opportunities to respond to and overcome. Ex: Goals scored against & referee mistakes
  • Balanced combination of support, demand, and teaching from coaches
  • Balanced combination of support from parents, guardians, and spectators
  • Collaborative effort between opposing coaches to solve non-competitive matchups.
    • Ex. Putting an additional player onto the field for the team losing (do not take players off of the field
  • Providing the winning team with a challenge to overcome - Example: playing back to the goalkeeper before going forward


Players will be entered into the pool from Assessments/Evaluations rather than “Tryouts”

STANDARDS for Youth Academy Members

The focus for the ASA Youth Academy is on the training environment rather than on matches or tournaments. The training grounds are where great teachers can help further the holistic development of each player in an environment that encourages players to make mistakes.


YOUTH ACADEMY DIRECTOR - each member club/association must have an ASA Youth Academy Director who acts as the liaison between the local academy and the ASA Youth Soccer Academy Committee.  YAD must possess one or a combination of the following:

  1. The new USSF D License (2018)
  2. The National Youth Coaching License/ Certificate from US Youth Soccer


CURRICULUM- member Club/Associations must submit a curriculum for each year. Assistance in curriculum planning is available to all ASA members. The benefits of having a well-planned and progressive curriculum are many fold:

  1. Provides clear objectives for player development and a pathway to get there
  2. Gives the club identity, branding, and a key selling point
  3. Thorough educational experience for the players that graduates a ‘complete’ athlete/person
  4. Coaching staff works collectively rather than a bunch of individual coaches with a blueprint for training
  5. Easier to monitor and assess effectiveness of programs
  6. Keeps administrators and parents from interfering with technical issues


Curriculum Standards

  • Should include a holistic approach and the ADM/LTDM on the Academy Landing Page
  • Should include the club’s style of play or Game Model
  • Should include basic skill sets that the club wants players to have accomplished by the end of each season: Technical/Tactical/Physical/Psychological
  • Can include example training sessions/staple activities
  • The curriculum must be posted to the club’s website.
  • Will be reviewed by ASA Technical Director and Committee.



Sessions should follow the club approved and published curriculum which, at its center is a Long Term Player Development Model. Play-Practice-Play methodology is strongly encouraged as a means to develop players holistically and to increase enjoyment.


Goalkeeping will also be a major training component as all players should learn how to play the GK position. ASA will assist in providing goalkeeper coaches clinics upon request. Additionally, ASA offers goalkeeper training through the EPD Program.



The ideal academy coach should, first and foremost, be one who loves to work with young children and who possess charisma. Infectious enthusiasm is a strong asset with players this age, since inspiring a passion and love for the game is the number one priority at the academy level. It must be fun for both the players and the coach. This is not a job for anyone who regards working with young players as a chore.

Each Youth Academy Coach must possess the appropriate game model USSF Grassroots Course (7v7 or 9v9) within 1 year.  YAD must ensure that all coaches meet the proper standards.



  • Associations should host at least 2 Parent Education/Interactions per season.
  • Players must receive at least 1 formal evaluation annually.  Example evaluations available upon request