- This weeks AYSA Travel Team matches:
- AYSA 10U - Team 1 vs. Delaware 2:30
- AYSA 10U - Team 2 at Flemington 1:00
- AYSA 12U - Team 1 at Flemington 1:00
- AYSA 12U - Team 2 has a BYE WEEK
Alexandria Youth Soccer Association, Inc.
-----PROUDLY AFFILIATED WITH -----
THE AYSA GOAL FUND HAS REACHED ITS GOAL!
Thank you to everyone who donated to the AYSA GOAL FUND
to help us raise enough money through our various fundraisers
to purchase a new set of goals for our 10U Travel teams
A special THANK YOU goes out to the following businesses and families
for their generous contributions to the AYSA Goal Fund:
Church & Dwight Company The Dierker Family ExxonMobil Corporation
The Bredeson Family Muller Toyota The D'Alessio Family
Sawyers Control Systems The Wagner Family
Riegel Federal Credit Union The Nolan Family Loew Orthodontics
DEVELOPING PLAYERS TO THE BEST OF THEIR ABILITY
U.S. Soccer has introduced new player development initiatives which will help to improve the sport of soccer at the youth level. Despite the increased popularity of soccer and the success of our national teams, the youth soccer landscape at the entry level needs to be improved. Our soccer culture at the youth level focuses on winning and results rather than focusing on developing the skills of individual players. The concept of a team outweighs the importance of players having fun and developing to the best of their abilities. As a country, we need coaches and parents to spend less time caring about wins and losses, and more time devoted to teaching individual skills. Part of this initiative is to educate and empower coaches and parents to change the way we look at the sport.
These initiatives are part of a long-term plan that will take time to reap the benefits from. For example, U-10 players don't play in the World Cup, so there is no reason to treat them and the environment they play in the same as our senior teams. We need to remember that kids at these ages are nowhere near the finished product, and their development process is a long way from being completed. To succeed, this means that players need to be in the best environment possible, both on the field and at home. Players should be encouraged to have fun and express themselves. Working with coaches and being encouraged by parents who support these initiatives is crucial to the overall success of the project. As mentioned before, this is a long term approach with no shortcuts, and results require years of commitment.
The starting point for our new player development initiatives is to create small sided standards and institute a birth year registration process. The rationale for the changes is simple: We want to develop players with more individual skill, intelligence, creativity, and confidence. Players should be having fun, and feel free to make their own decisions. These standards were created based on the needs of the players and they also provide for a consistent approach across the country.
SMALL SIDED STANDARDS
Here are the core objectives behind the small sided standards. Fewer players on the field means more touches on the ball and more involvement in the game, which helps develop more individual skill. Players who are more skilled may become more confident and comfortable when in possession of the ball. The ratio of players to field size is designed to assist players with making the right kind of decisions and improving their awareness. As players get older, and numbers increase on bigger fields, this approach builds on itself. And as a players gets older, the building block approach also allows them to better integrate into a team model where they develop partnerships with other players that make up the team. Overall, the standards provide for an age appropriate environment where players can achieve these objectives.
BIRTH YEAR REGISTRATION
In addition to small sided standards, birth year registration is also part of US Soccer's new player development initiatives. Unlike small sided standards, birth year registration applies to all age groups of players and not just players 12 and younger. Not only will this change align our players with the international standard, but it will allow us to be better informed to combat relative age effect when making teams for youth players. Relative age effect refers to the selection bias towards players born earlier in the year. For example, players who are born on January 1st are 364 days older than someone born on December 31st of the same year. This gap may result in the player born in January being more physically mature (taller, faster, stronger, etc.) than the player born in December, especially at the younger ages. Studies from a variety of sports, including soccer, show that physically mature players are often selected ahead of their more talented but less physically developed peers at the key developmental years (ages 12-15). Given the variance of growth rates, it's important that skilled players don't fall by the wayside just because someone is bigger or faster. U.S. Soccer recommends that a player's individual skills be prioritized ahead of their physical maturation and this is especially true for the ages before and during puberty.
Overall, the success of these initiatives will be limited without the support and execution at the local level. This long term plan is truly a collaborative effort between U.S. Soccer and all of its members. Together, we have the ability to transform the soccer landscape to develop players to the best of their abilities. Changing our soccer culture to prioritize the development of individual players ahead of team results will also allow us to create a future generation of players that can compete and succeed domestically and internationally for years to come.
The Alexandria Youth Soccer Association stands behind U.S. Soccer's commitment to improving youth soccer through these new player development initiatives. We will be implementing them beginning in 2017.
AYSA Program Director
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The Alexandria Youth Soccer Association, Inc. is an independent, non-profit, youth soccer organization and
is not affiliated with Alexandria Township or with the Alexandria Township Park and Recreation Commission