The focus for the Youth Academy is on the training environment rather than on matches or tournaments. Training time is an opportunity for great teachers to help further the holistic development of each player.
Youth Academy Director
Each member club/association must have an ASA Youth Academy Director who acts as the liaison between the club’s Academy Program and the ASA Academy Program. The YAD must possess one or a combination of the following:
- The new USSF D License (2018)
- The National Youth Coaching License/ Certificate from US Youth Soccer
Member Club/Associations are strongly encouraged to have a training curriculum. Assistance in curriculum planning is available to all ASA members. The benefits of having a well-planned and progressive curriculum are many fold:
- Provides clear objectives for player development and a pathway to get there
- Gives the club identity, branding, and a key selling point
- Thorough educational experience for the players that graduates a ‘complete’ athlete/person
- Coaching staff works collectively rather than a bunch of individual coaches with a blueprint for training
- Easier to monitor and assess effectiveness of programs
- Keeps administrators and parents from interfering with technical issues
- Should include a holistic approach
- 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.
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 as 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.
- Clubs/Associations should host at least 2 Parent Education/Interactions per season. Assistance with substance and planning is available to all Academy members.
- Players must receive at least 1 formal evaluation annually. Example evaluations available upon request.