Academy Resources

Information about ASA's Academy Program

Resources for the Academy Program

Fitness & Injury Prevention

ASA partners with a number of individuals and organizations to provide an agility and fitness curriculum to help prevent injury and fatigue. Additionally, several nights a week Academy participants can visit with a trainer from OrthoVirginia who works from one of our training fields.
Injury & Rehab Resources

Video Support

ASA owns five Veo cameras utilized for filming games and practices. Prioritizing our high school aged teams, coaches aim to film as many games as possible. Game film is used to teach concepts and tactical understanding as well as for high school students to use in highlight reels for college applications.

Goalkeeper Training

Goalkeepers in the Academy program can participate in weekly goalkeeper specific training sessions with ASA’s professional goalkeeping staff. These sessions take place during the fall and spring seasons and supplement a team’s regular outdoor practices. Keeper sessions will cover technical aspects of catching, deflecting, low and high ball diving, managing crosses, breakaways and through balls, and distribution.

Individual Development Plan (IDP)

Twice during the Academy year (once in the spring and once in the fall) coaches provide a written and/or verbal progress report for each player, known as an Individual Development Plan. Players and/or parents have the opportunity to meet with the coach to discuss the plan, including strengths and areas of improvement. IDPs typically include evaluations in the following areas:
  • Technical: first touch, ball striking, passing accuracy, dribbling, defending, goalkeeping (if applicable)
  • Tactical: decision making, game awareness
  • Psychological: attitude, growth mindset, mental toughness, focus, commitment, respect
  • Physical: endurance, agility

Curriculum

ASA prides itself on providing an intensely FUN, challenging, dynamic and progressive learning environment and nationally recognized training curriculum. From the earliest ages, players are taught essential technical and tactical habits within a club playing style that values game intelligence and technical excellence. Game concepts are introduced in a sequential manner corresponding to the age group, ability level, and match demands. The goal is for players to possess a substantial amount of game knowledge and technical ability to prepare them for the competitive phase (U15+) and opportunities beyond high school

Mental Training

Mental Training Consultant, Robyn Kenney, is a peak performance expert. She is also a former international athlete for Field Hockey Team USA (2002-2006) and a Boston University Athletic Hall of Fame recipient (2017). As the Director of Mind Body Athletics she teaches mental skills to a variety of athletic teams to improve focus, resiliency, and confidence. Robyn holds an MA in Energy & Environmental Analysis and a certification as a Mindfulness Instructor from the Center of Koru Mindfulness. She's works closely with teams, at the coach's request, to help prepare participants for competition.

International Experiences

We recognize the power of soccer to bring together communities large and small around the globe. As part of ASA’s initiative to provide kids with access to unique learning opportunities we have developed official partnerships with several unique organizations and soccer clubs around the world. Our goal is to provide opportunities for players, parents and coaches to experience other cultures.
International Trips

College Recruiting Support

ASA’s Director of Player Placement, Lee Clement, assists Academy players interested in collegiate-level soccer. Lee is a former Academy Coach and provides guidance to our high-school aged players on where to begin and how to move through the recruiting process in a way that maximizes a player’s opportunities. Among other information, this includes input on financial considerations and advice to players on how they can advocate for themselves throughout the recruiting process.
Meet Lee
PAthway to Pro (p2P)

ASA is a club affiliate of D.C. United Academy’s “Pathway 2 Pro” (P2P) program. The partnership, in conjunction with D.C. United and elite youth soccer clubs across the DMV, provides the most advanced players from specific boys age groups a pathway to the professional level.

Based on overall performance, growth, and readiness, ASA coaches collaborate with D.C. United technical staff to identify ASA players to invite to monthly training sessions with high-performing players from other P2P affiliate clubs (Loudoun, Arlington, PPA, Virginia Development Academy, Pipeline and D.C. United Academy). If D.C. United identifies a player for their pro pathway, the ASA staff and the DCU staff (along with the player’s family!) work together to determine a timeline for transitioning to D.C. United Academy that is beneficial to the player’s development. Historically this process has taken two to three years as DCU works closely with all entities and supports development and growth along the way. The P2P program and this partnership provides an exclusive track to professional soccer for the most advanced ASA Academy players.

ASA 08s, Aidan Zarate and Xavier Baugh after competing in the 2019 U12 Challenge Cup with DCU.
WEATHER POLICIES

Decisions on field closures are made as late as possible in order to give the best possible chance for the game to be played. Please check the Alexandria Sports Hotline for field closures at (703) 746-5597. If a field closure is not reported on the hotline, it is at the discretion of the training program coach/administrator to determine whether training is cancelled. It is always a good idea to check with your coach or manager via TeamSnap.

The risk of heat related illness from vigorous sports activity increases with the temperature. Hot weather is considered at any point where the Heat Index reaches or exceeds 90. Coaches should follow the following procedures based on conditions:

  • Heat Index up to 89°: Normal Play. Regular hydration patterns
  • Heat index of 90°- 95°: Mandatory water breaks every 25 minutes. 
  • Heat index of 96°-102°: Mandatory water breaks every 15 minutes. 
  • Heat index at or above 103° (at start of training): All outside activity cancelled

 At the first sign of lightning, all coaches, players, referees and spectators are to withdraw from the field and seek proper shelter.

Coaches should follow the 30 minutes rule and wait at least 30 minutes after the last lightning flash before giving the “all clear” signal and resuming normal activity.

Players are more susceptible to injuries during cold weather, particularly from pulled or torn muscles. Players should be encouraged to wear appropriate clothing to aid body heat retention yet afford adequate movement without creating a safety hazard. As a general rule, training programs will be cancelled if the projected temperature (including wind chill) at the start of training is projected to be below 25 degrees Fahrenheit. At times, high school teams may opt to train when the temperature is 25 degrees or below.

TEam Managers

The Team Manager is a parent volunteer responsible for team administrative and logistical needs as set by the club and coach.  Many of our managers volunteer year after year, and love the chance to get to know players, families, and coaches. Trained and supported by the Academy Director, they are key members of the ASA family. Responsibilities include:

  • Administrator of the team’s TeamSnap account
  • Assist in gathering materials for player registration in VYSA
  • Team check-in for tournaments
  • Support game day activities such as field set-up, player check-in, schedule changes and uniform color
  • Maintain binder of team roster, player cards, medical release forms, etc
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