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.


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. Examples: 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 like playing back to the goalkeeper before going forward

For more information on how to create Optimal Development Environments, click here 


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

ASA Youth Academy Official Rules – Click here

Academy Game Reschedule – Click here

Player Benchmarks

ASA Youth Academy

Players in the ASA Youth Academy should strive to execute the following actions as they develop:

All players, regardless of age must strive to add the following Key Qualities to their personal player profile: