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Player Development. Character. Leadership.

Player Development

It has been suggested that to achieve excellence more than 3 hrs of deliberate practice daily for 10 years is required. To implement this properly a long term plan is necessary. Fundamentally, the general goal in the development of an elite player can be simply split into enhancing the development of the mechanism of force production and force reduction and developing motor control, all aspects of training contributing to the enhancements of one or both of these areas.


Fundamental Phase (6-11 years)

The fundamental phase of development is a multilateral phase that builds a foundation on which complex motor abilities can be developed. The key implications to coaches working with this age group are summarized below. Basic skills should be developed (passing, receiving, shooting, heading etc) Short duration, immediate energy system activities should be planned with endurance being developed through play and games. Use slow progressions in hopping and jumping activates with strength training being limited to technique development. Specific activities and games should emphasize co-ordination and body awareness, integrating gymnastic and athletic activities into the program.


Training through growth Phase (11-14 years)

During this phase of development athletic formation begins to take place with the body and its capacities developing rapidly. The key implications to coaches working with this age group are summarized below. Monitor training carefully and begin to individualize the content of training to ensure adaptation. Remember that chronological age may not be the most appropriate way to group players. With the improvement of fine motor movement all basic technical skills (passing, receiving, shooting, heading etc) should be mastered. Players should learn how to train during this phase, including physical, technical, tactical and ancillary capacities (e.g. warm-up, cool down, nutrition, rest, recovery etc).

Some previously learned skills need refinement as limb growth will impact on technique. The increase in body mass requires a more structured aerobic training. Only short duration anaerobic activities are recommended. Utilize the warm-up to further develop the central nervous system and develop speed.

Training to compete phase (14-18 years)

The biggest changes in training occur during this phase of training. The exercises undertaken are aimed at high-performance development with the intensity and volume of work gradually increasing. The key implications to coaches working with this age group are summarized below. Aerobic and anaerobic systems become fully developed and can be trained for maximum output. Full football-specific energy system training should be implemented. Strength training can be maximized to improve overall strength development and training the nervous system should be optimized. A gradual progression in training overload should be continued throughout the phase. Learning how to complete is important, incorporating all technical, tactical and ancillary components into performance. To maximize individual player development, all players will be provided an opportunity to play in every game; however, within this competitive framework equalized playing time might not be possible, particularly at the highest levels and in older age groups. Our qualified coaches make all decisions concerning player's positions and playing time within the guidelines established by the club.