In an effort to accelerate the development of world-class female players, U.S. Soccer is launching a Girls’ Development Academy Program in the fall of 2017. The Academy will focus on positively impacting the everyday club environments to assist in maximizing female youth player development across the country.
Creating the Girls’ Development Academy provides the elite female player with an improved player development model in which players can focus solely on training with the appropriate number and level of games. This model focuses on developing the individual player within the club environment, which allows for additional training sessions per season to enhance player development
The Girls' Development Academy is part of U.S. Soccer's global leadership position in women's soccer and connects with its long-term plan to improve player and coach development. The mission of the program is to provide education, resources and support to directly impact the everyday environment for clubs to develop world-class female players AND will work alongside the NWSL and its efforts to support player development and the long-term growth of professional soccer.
The boys Academy program currently consists of 152 clubs across five age groups, serves as the elite player development model for the USA and has significantly improved the everyday environment for players, coaches and clubs. The Girls’ DA will be structured with many of the same principles.
"In support of U.S. Soccer's long-term plan for player and coach development, launching a Girls’ Development Academy is part of an unprecedented commitment to elevating the women’s game,” said U.S. Soccer Women’s Technical Director April Heinrichs. “This program will directly impact the everyday environment for clubs and further connect players and coaches to our National Teams. From a program perspective, we will educate both players and coaches on position-specific roles, physical and psychosocial planning and preparation, current coaching methodologies and the use of sport science and technology."
The guidelines for members will feature increased training requirements with fewer, but higher quality games. U.S. Soccer’s technical standards have been designed to benefit players and coaches, and allows clubs to work directly and collaboratively with U.S. Soccer technical staff and Youth National Teams. The overall focus of the program is to assist in developing world class players, coaches and referees by prioritizing training and player development within the team concept.
From the start, the program will feature three combined age groups in the Girls’ Development Academy: U-14/15, U-16/17 and U-18/19. Clubs will be expected to train a minimum of four times a week. The players in the Girls’ Development Academy clubs will play exclusively within the Academy program and will not play in any outside competition, such as ODP or high school. The use of combined age groups will require clubs to form teams with a balanced roster of players from two distinct birth years. The games will be scouted by U.S. Soccer and the program will serve as a pathway to U.S. Soccer’s Youth National Teams.
In addition to combining the most elite players from each birth year to form the mixed age group player pool, coaches will be encouraged to play their most elite players “up” on an older age team within the club to help accelerate development.
The competitive framework will focus on the core values of the program, which emphasizes quality coaching and teaching in a positive learning environment for players with zero tolerance for poor behavior from coaches.
Competitively, the program competition will feature local and regional matches as well as regional and national events with playing rules based on international standards, e.g., no re-entry, limited substitutions and proper rest and recovery periods. The season will be structured over a 10-month period, likely from September through July, and as in the Boys’ Development Academy, the clubs will be organized by divisions and conferences with national and/or regional events incorporated into the overall program.
PLAY UP/TRAIN UP ACADEMY MODEL
ROLLING TRYOUTS/TRAINING PERIOD FOR TRIALISTS
COLLABORATIVE COACHING PHILOSOPHY
CURRICULUM FOCSED ON PLAYER & TEAM DEVELOPMENT
MORE HIGH QUALITY & MEANINGFUL GAMES
4 DAYS P/W PRACTICE
SPORTS NUTRITIONISTS SUPPORT
LONG TERM TECHNICAL & TACTICAL DEVELOPMENT
TECHNICAL TRIANING SPECIALIST
SMALL SIDED: FUTSAL TYPE MODULES
TRAINING PLAYERS IN VARIOUS SYSTEMS
CENTRALLY RUN/CLUB MANAGED TEAMS
PROFESSIONAL ADMIN. TD, DOC, GM
COACHES, PLAYER AND PARENT BEHAVIOR GUIDELINES