Page 1

VYSA is on the #ROADtoTX The 12U, 13U, and 14U Virginia State Cup Champions have earned their place at the National Championship Series Regional Championships and are headed to the Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center (PublixVSTC) June 30 – July 4, 2017! The winners will join the 15U, 16U, 17U and 19U Virginia State Cup Champions crowned last fall. The Champions from the Region I Tournament will go on to compete in Frisco, TX July 24 - July 30, 2017, for the National Championships.

Congratulations to the VYSA 12U, 13U and 14U Virginia State Cup Champions!

12U LOUD 05G Red 12U ARL 05B Red

13U ARL 04G Red 13U ARL 04B Red

14U BRYC 03 Elite 14U LMVS Patriots 03B


LEARNING IS A LIFE-LONG SKILL By: Gordon Miller, VYSA Technical Director There are a lot of books and articles out there on the backgrounds of the world’s top coaches. Whether they are from the sport of soccer, hockey or basketball there seems to quite a few similar characteristics. Amongst the traits that they share, one in particular that stands out is their ongoing quest for knowledge. They are inquisitive, they read, they ask questions, they are open to input and they stay on top of trends in the game so that they can continue to improve and evolve as people as well as high functioning coaches. A lot of us, in our day-to-day jobs, must take continuing education and professional development in order to stay up, evolve and keep their company and themselves relevant. Soccer coaches are no different.

Dave Chesler (US Women’s National Team Performance Analysis Coach) gave two presentations: “Individual Performance Plans for the Women’s Team” and “Scouting a High-level Opponent and How it Applies to Team Tactics”.

VYSA’s Gordon Miller at TD Day

Dr. Dan addressing the technical leaders

Last month, the VYSA Technical Department hosted a “Technical Leaders Day” in Fredericksburg. Over 80 Club Technical Directors, Directors of Coaching and people who are in charge of the technical direction of their respective organizations in Virginia were invited for a full day of presentations from soccer and non-soccer experts.

Dr. Dan Freigang (Sports Psychologist for US Soccer, Stanford men’s and women’s soccer teams and the US Women’s Ski team) did a presentation of the “Gold Brain” and how optimum learning takes place in players and coaches. He then provided strategies on how technical leaders can facilitate a more productive learning environment. Dr. Carrie LeCrom (Executive Director of the Center for Sport Leadership at VCU in Richmond) presented “Strategic Thinking” and how it applies to the participant’s individual soccer situations.

In another, and separate educational opportunity, the US Soccer National “B” License came to Virginia for the first time ever in May. And, nine of the 33 coaches were Virginia-based residents. In the first meeting of the “B”, the coaches were required to complete both on-field and online assignments. One of the more unique aspects of the course curriculum is that the coaching candidates design a practice session based on a problem they saw in a recorded game and then put that field session on in front of their colleagues and instructors. The coaches are mic’d up and filmed and then given an individual review on their session. To see and hear themselves on film, conducting training and making coaching points, can be a little daunting. However, they learned to step outside their comfort zone, received some valued feedback, and got used to being uncomfortable. The coaches must complete other online tasks between now and when they come back in September for the second meeting, which also receives a grade.

The new “B” License is much better than the old one, where in the past the candidates came in for nine days and then tested at the end when they were mentally and physically fatigued…not an efficient way to learn. Now they come into a course, learn, get feedback on their sessions, and then go back to their clubs where they put what they have acquired into practice with their teams. After that period they return for their second meeting where they will learn again before returning in November for their final testing phase. It’s a much better way to learn, acquire knowledge, and ultimately become better coaches. Many people are apprehensive in the beginning about learning, feedback and testing, all in order to become better at the craft of coaching. But, as one Virginia-based coach said, after going through the life-changing experience, “Why did I ever say no in the first place?”

When your family is protected, we all win. At Nationwide®, our number one goal is being there for our members. That’s why we have your back when it comes to protecting what’s most important, like the car you drive to every practice or the RV you use for that weekend tournament. To learn more about a special discount for Virginia Youth Soccer Association members and to get information about youth safety, visit or call 1-888-231-3614.

US SOCCER PLAYER DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES: 4v4 Gets It Rolling As of September 1, 2017, all US Soccer member organizations will be mandated to play 4v4 at the 8U and under. The most recent PDI document highlights that “players need to be put in the best possible environment”. How does one corral this whole age group, which encompasses two distinct types of players? 6U players have cognitive traits that make them ego-centric – that is why we see them bunching together when they play. 8U players, however, have the ability to process more than one task at a time and are starting to get more control over their bodies. Thus, we can start to introduce activities that highlight learning on a multitude of levels. The coach’s impact sky-rockets if he/she knows the details of these traits and frustrations plummet when they have this information that can support management of the player. US Soccer established a committee six months ago to look at establishing a Grassroots Pathway which will complement the PDIs, specifically the 4v4, 7v7, 9v9 and 11v11 model. We at VYSA have a working group that examined the demands of the 4v4 environment and how to best serve the coach. This summer we will “get the ball rolling” in 4v4s with a 4 hour course. This will cover the Key Qualities of a Coach, from how to efficiently work in this wide age group to setting up a practice in a game-like environment to making the match environment a positive one. We look forward to supporting coaches on their journey. For more information, contact Jackie Burket, VYSA Coordinator of Coaching Education.


Youth soccer is a great opportunity to instill positive habits that last into adulthood. Publix proudly supports the Virginia Youth Soccer Association, as well as others throughout the Southeast. Visit for more information.

PRESIDENTS CUP REGIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS JUNE 17-19, 2017 The Presidents Cup Finals were held this past November at the Publix Virginia Soccer Training Center. It’s now time for the champions that were crowned to go on to the Region I Championship being held June 17 – 19, 2017 in Barboursville, WV! The champions from Regionals going on to Presidents Cup Nationals, July 12 – 16 in Auburndale, Florida.

Congratulations and good luck to all VYSA teams at Regionals! 12U 13U 14U 15U 15U 16U 17U

HERN Curve Black VAR 2004G Rush Beach FC 03G Black Beach FC 02G Black Arlington (wildcard) BAC Blitz VAR 00G Nero

12U 13U 14U 15U 16U 16U 17U

PWSI Courage B 05 Red GRFL 2004 Blue Boys ARL 2003 Boys White VIST Barrio Boys Elite PWSI Courage B 01 Red CYA Gold (wildcard) VAR Rush 00B VSL


The E-Newsletter of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association


The E-Newsletter of the Virginia Youth Soccer Association