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Articles Links Research & Papers on player development

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Arthur
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Decentric wrote:
Some excellent articles have been posted here by Arthur and others.

This is what I was hoping I would find from joining forums four years ago!

It has taken four years. Better late than never.


This was my hope too, but it appears we are not only a minority but also a sub-group of a minority.
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Arthur wrote:
Decentric wrote:
Some excellent articles have been posted here by Arthur and others.

This is what I was hoping I would find from joining forums four years ago!

It has taken four years. Better late than never.


This was my hope too, but it appears we are not only a minority but also a sub-group of a minority.

This is also a generic football forum, so here you will have the majority having a general view towards football with a focus on their own team(s). If and when I come across things I think worthwhile posting here I will (but a lot of this sort of information is in copyright products).

Also as my son & daughter gets older I will be entering into community coaching, but which sport will be determined by their interests - hopefully it will be football, but you never can tell!

The thing about football - the important thing about football - is its not just about football.
- Sir Terry Pratchett in Unseen Academicals
For pro/rel in Australia across the entire pyramid, the removal of artificial impediments to the development of the game and its players.
On sabbatical Youth Coach and formerly part of The Cove FC

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Decentric wrote:
Unfortunately, FFA charge an extraordinary amount of money for licences.

This is problematic given there are few avenues to earn money from having an advanced licence.


The FFA is now organising AFC C licences in every state, in Victoria this will now cost $1,500 a significant lowering of costs.

http://www.footballfedvic.com.au/pageitem.aspx?id=30818&id2=&eID=7250&entityID=7250

I have said before that on a rough calculation Spain Germany and Italy have approx 30,000 coaches with UEFA B & above equating to 1 per 2,000 head of population.

For me this is the key to the games success in Australia we need 13,000 coaches with AFC B qualifications and above to become a world powerhouse for me this should be the FFA's number 1 goal. Then everything else should follow.

Edited by Arthur: 27/9/2010 01:10:18 PM
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Arthur wrote:
Decentric wrote:
Unfortunately, FFA charge an extraordinary amount of money for licences.

This is problematic given there are few avenues to earn money from having an advanced licence.


The FFA is now organising AFC C licences in every state, in Victoria this will now cost $1,500 a significant lowering of costs.

http://www.footballfedvic.com.au/pageitem.aspx?id=30818&id2=&eID=7250&entityID=7250

I have said before that on a rough calculation Spain Germany and Italy have approx 30,000 coaches with UEFA B & above equating to 1 per 2,000 head of population.

For me this is the key to the games success in Australia we need 13,000 coaches with AFC B qualifications and above to become a world powerhouse for me this should be the FFA's number 1 goal. Then everything else should follow.

Edited by Arthur: 27/9/2010 01:10:18 PM

I totally agree with this, I also think it should be mandated that no one can coach any level of ability with out a certain minimum coaching qualification. Bad coaching is in many ways worse than no coaching.

The thing about football - the important thing about football - is its not just about football.
- Sir Terry Pratchett in Unseen Academicals
For pro/rel in Australia across the entire pyramid, the removal of artificial impediments to the development of the game and its players.
On sabbatical Youth Coach and formerly part of The Cove FC

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Arthur wrote:
Decentric wrote:
Unfortunately, FFA charge an extraordinary amount of money for licences.

This is problematic given there are few avenues to earn money from having an advanced licence.


The FFA is now organising AFC C licences in every state, in Victoria this will now cost $1,500 a significant lowering of costs.

http://www.footballfedvic.com.au/pageitem.aspx?id=30818&id2=&eID=7250&entityID=7250

I have said before that on a rough calculation Spain Germany and Italy have approx 30,000 coaches with UEFA B & above equating to 1 per 2,000 head of population.

For me this is the key to the games success in Australia we need 13,000 coaches with AFC B qualifications and above to become a world powerhouse for me this should be the FFA's number 1 goal. Then everything else should follow.

Edited by Arthur: 27/9/2010 01:10:18 PM



At a state premier league club meeting tonight, one of the current state youth coaches said that a B Licence currently costs $5,500.

I did a Dutch KNVB course for $2300 at the AIS in Canberra. Luckily, I managed to get it for $1400 because I stayed at a relative's place, avoiding accommodation costs. This course is supposed to extrapolate to a C Licence.

I think it was far better than a C Licence, because Kelly Cross, Han Berger's second in charge, really looked up to the KNVB instructors. They have imparted this stuff for years. Kelly has only just started.

With the cost of a B Licence, I think I would probably go to the Netherlands and do the English language course, if I wanted to go further. I think it only operates once a year.

Edited by Decentric: 27/9/2010 11:55:08 PM
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Arthur wrote:
Blackmac79 wrote:
Arthur wrote:
Follow the link Blackmac79

http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/2009GameDev/default.aspx?s=community_coaching_news_news_item_new&id=26882

Thats where everyone starts, do a community Coaching Licence and go from there.


Thanks mate. would really like to work my way up to a C licence, or even maybe one day B.


Go for it mate, it will be one of the most rewarding things you can do.



I found the KNVB course one of the most rewarding things I've done in my life.

However, I was stressed out for the first four days because I knew I was out of my depth. I was terrified of being asked to present anything. Something clicked at the end of the fourth day. By the end of it I was presenting corollaries to Rob Baan's and Arie Schans' perspectives! They certainly taught the rest of the course and me a lot. I was mentally exhausted at the end of every day.

It improved my understanding of the game from a very basic youth coach to a semi-professional level in a week. As General Ashnak and Krones can attest, it annoyed some patronising know it alls on TWGF.
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Decentric wrote:
Arthur wrote:
Blackmac79 wrote:
Arthur wrote:
Follow the link Blackmac79

http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/2009GameDev/default.aspx?s=community_coaching_news_news_item_new&id=26882

Thats where everyone starts, do a community Coaching Licence and go from there.


Thanks mate. would really like to work my way up to a C licence, or even maybe one day B.


Go for it mate, it will be one of the most rewarding things you can do.



I found the KNVB course one of the most rewarding things I've done in my life.

However, I was stressed out for the first four days because I knew I was out of my depth. I was terrified of being asked to present anything. Something clicked at the end of the fourth day. By the end of it I was presenting corollaries to Rob Baan's and Arie Schans' perspectives! They certainly taught the rest of the course and me a lot. I was mentally exhausted at the end of every day.

It improved my understanding of the game from a very basic youth coach to a semi-professional level in a week. As General Ashnak and Krones can attest, it annoyed some patronising know it alls on TWGF.

Didn't it just :lol:

The thing about football - the important thing about football - is its not just about football.
- Sir Terry Pratchett in Unseen Academicals
For pro/rel in Australia across the entire pyramid, the removal of artificial impediments to the development of the game and its players.
On sabbatical Youth Coach and formerly part of The Cove FC

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Arthur wrote:
Blackmac79 wrote:
Arthur wrote:
Follow the link Blackmac79

http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/2009GameDev/default.aspx?s=community_coaching_news_news_item_new&id=26882

Thats where everyone starts, do a community Coaching Licence and go from there.


Thanks mate. would really like to work my way up to a C licence, or even maybe one day B.


Go for it mate, it will be one of the most rewarding things you can do.




Which licence do you have Arthur?
Arthur
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Decentric wrote:
Arthur wrote:
Blackmac79 wrote:
Arthur wrote:
Follow the link Blackmac79

http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/2009GameDev/default.aspx?s=community_coaching_news_news_item_new&id=26882

Thats where everyone starts, do a community Coaching Licence and go from there.


Thanks mate. would really like to work my way up to a C licence, or even maybe one day B.


Go for it mate, it will be one of the most rewarding things you can do.




Which licence do you have Arthur?


Junior
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Decentric wrote:
Arthur wrote:
Please feel free to add, anybody.:d



There have been some modifications to FFA Licences from a few years ago.

Then it was :

Community Coaching

Grass Roots Licence
Junior Licence
Youth Licence
Senior Licence
State Licence

Advanced Coaching

C Licence
B Licence
A Licence
Professional Licence

Professional is the top level and Grass Roots is the lowest.

There was no level 1 and 2 within the same level.



Edited by Decentric: 29/9/2010 11:15:24 PM



I forgot. In 2007 there was a community coaching category of State Licence.

Former Director of Coaching in Tasmania, David Abela, had this qualification. He trained me for the Youth Licence.

At the time he seemed omniscient. A year later and I had a higher qualification than him!
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Arthur wrote:
Decentric wrote:
Arthur wrote:
Blackmac79 wrote:
Arthur wrote:
Follow the link Blackmac79

http://www.footballaustralia.com.au/2009GameDev/default.aspx?s=community_coaching_news_news_item_new&id=26882

Thats where everyone starts, do a community Coaching Licence and go from there.


Thanks mate. would really like to work my way up to a C licence, or even maybe one day B.


Go for it mate, it will be one of the most rewarding things you can do.




Which licence do you have Arthur?


Junior

+ experience mate, I look forward to following the path as it is going to open my eyes up so much more.

The thing about football - the important thing about football - is its not just about football.
- Sir Terry Pratchett in Unseen Academicals
For pro/rel in Australia across the entire pyramid, the removal of artificial impediments to the development of the game and its players.
On sabbatical Youth Coach and formerly part of The Cove FC

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http://au.fourfourtwo.com/forums/Default.aspx?g=posts&t=42277

442 are after coaching bloggers, you guys need to think about applying.

The thing about football - the important thing about football - is its not just about football.
- Sir Terry Pratchett in Unseen Academicals
For pro/rel in Australia across the entire pyramid, the removal of artificial impediments to the development of the game and its players.
On sabbatical Youth Coach and formerly part of The Cove FC

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General Ashnak wrote:
http://au.fourfourtwo.com/forums/Default.aspx?g=posts&t=42277

442 are after coaching bloggers, you guys need to think about applying.


I'm looking for less writing not more.
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General Ashnak wrote:
Arthur wrote:
Decentric wrote:
Some excellent articles have been posted here by Arthur and others.

This is what I was hoping I would find from joining forums four years ago!

It has taken four years. Better late than never.


This was my hope too, but it appears we are not only a minority but also a sub-group of a minority.

This is also a generic football forum, so here you will have the majority having a general view towards football with a focus on their own team(s). If and when I come across things I think worthwhile posting here I will (but a lot of this sort of information is in copyright products).

Also as my son & daughter gets older I will be entering into community coaching, but which sport will be determined by their interests - hopefully it will be football, but you never can tell!



Funny how these things work out.

I was my kid's inaugural coach at under 8 level. I wasn't sure my child was that interested compared to other pastimes. The child showed much more early talent and interest in swimming and riding horses.

The same player had been overlooked for rep squads in junior ranks. Considered a bit of a 'plodder' by coaches.

Many other young players were mooted as being 'stars of the future'. Considerable time was invested in coaching many of them in 'elite' squads from ages 8-12. Many of these players no longer play football.

The child quit football for 2 years in grades 7 and 8. One coach's attitude encouraged the child to quit.

A high schoolteacher was instrumental in turning the adolescent back to the sport a few years later. The school was setting up a team.

The same indifferent youngster has now played for the state in outdoor football at underage level, having scored for the state.

The same indifferent youngster has played for the state in futsal in the last few days at underage level, scoring goals from defence.

The same indifferent youngster has been asked to trial for the senior state futsal team in a few months.

Today the same indifferent youngster, now 18 years old, signed up as an American college soccer scholarship player. They train twice daily for at least 5 days per week on USA campuses. They earn a subsidised US university degree and play football in a professional environment.

As I speak to the USA college recruiters, one realises the limited opportuniites for players outside the Australian Institute of Sport, the state institutes and A and W League clubs.

Other than these options, players only have the chance to train twice weekly in Australia at amateur level.

Many players are selected into programmes at an embryonic age, often by one coach in Australia. It can be very subjective. If a player misses out, it can be tough to access decent alternative quality training programmes.

In the USA there are many back up systems for players. In Australia we don't have them.

In the USA they probably have millions of footballers playing at a quasi professional level. In Australia we have about 40 at the AIS, 180 at state institutes and 400 A and W leaguers.
620 players of both genders play professional semi/professional level in Australia.

In the USA there are probably millions of players playing at professional and semi-professional level.

General A, one never knows what that future will be. Until the last 20 months I thought playing college football in the USA would be the last thing my kid would do!



Edited by decentric: 2/10/2010 01:33:27 PM
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I will with confidence say that the path for talented footballers in this country is to go overseas.
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krones3 wrote:
I will with confidence say that the path for talented footballers in this country is to go overseas.

Just to add to this, once a player/coach is in the Australian system. It is harder for them to be removed than to get in and less likely.


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krones3 wrote:
krones3 wrote:
I will with confidence say that the path for talented footballers in this country is to go overseas.

Just to add to this, once a player/coach is in the Australian system. It is harder for them to be removed than to get in and less likely.



There is some truth to what you say.


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This is a nice article from Goal Weekly about Bulleen Lions and their player development model. I have to admit I was not a fan of this Club but have come to appreciate them over the last two years.

This is the Club that developed Matthew Leckie I have been to watch their Senior team play this year and they have quite a few former junior players in their squad.

Quote:


[size=7]Bulleen Lions looks to its cubs for the future [/size]

Written by Aritro Abedin / Monday 20th September 2010

With 800 kids in their junior program, no one could accuse Bulleen Lions of neglecting to nurture young talent.

Throw in the astonishing volume of silverware that their underage sides have brought home, with their underage sides bringing home league championships in almost every age group, and you have to wonder exactly what they’re putting in the water down at the Veneto Club. Bulleen technical director Sergio Sabbadini spoke to Goal Weekly about the high level junior development program he has spent two years overseeing.


Ask Sergio Sabbadini what he’s trying to achieve in his role as the Lions’ technical director and he’s is in no doubt.
‘Our vision is to have a whole senior team made up of our junior players,’ he says.
If their aim is to fill their first with home-grown players, then the odds are certainly in their favour – the Veneto club played host to approximately 800 juniors this season.
‘I think it’s mostly through word-of-mouth. Bulleen’s always had a strong junior set-up and I think people know that. If we had another soccer ground we could probably have 2000 kids, but we because haven’t got the space we have to limit it to 800.’


However, it’s not just the quantity of kids but their quality on the pitch that stands out. Sabbadini reels off the list of honours that the club’s youngest charges have brought home during season 2010. Cast your eye across the different age groups and you start to wonder whether there’s actually any other teams competing in any of the leagues. Their under 11s, 12s, 13s, 14s and 15s side all won premierships this season, and are scheduled to being contesting the state finals this weekend. Meanwhile their under 16s are another story altogether.


‘Our 16s are undefeated. They were winning games by 10 to 12 goals every game so we had to put them in the under 18s age group. They would definitely have won the premiership in the under 16s but we thought they wouldn’t have developed as well so we pushed them up.’
So what exactly do the Lions do to get such mercurial results from their army of junior players? Well for one, they make sure that only the best young talent ever gets to make into the Bulleen ranks in the first place.
“If an external player wants to come in at Bulleen, they have to do the assessment. We only take the top 10% of kids that want to come to that.”
The assessment in question covers a series of exercises designed to test the full range of a young player’s on-the-ball skill-level, as well as their natural athletic ability.
“There’s probably about 17 exercises; there’s a speed guage part of it with a 10 metre sprint and a 20 metre sprint. We also look at the player’s ball mastery, so things like juggling, we do circuits with the ball, we look at ball control under pressure and then we finish it off with an improvisation to see how they go in a tight area.”
And it’s not just the kids who are on outside looking in who have to negotiate the assessment regime. “We’ve implemented an assessment program where every child at Bulleen has to do an ability assessment; one a year and then the next year, and then after they’ve done that we collect the data and all the kids are then ranked from 1 down to 60, or however many kids there are in that age group. The kids really should be a lot better than they were the year before. If it’s not, then something’s wrong.”
The usefulness the assessment regime lies in the capacity of each of the exercises in it to produce a set of measurable results, ultimately allowing the coaching staff to quantify a player’s improvement from year to year using hard data.


“One of the ways we collate data is to see how many times they can juggle the ball. A 12 year old has to be able to juggle 120 times, and 16 year olds have to be able to do it 160 times. The Lionel Messis of the world can juggle forever so we consider that a pretty important skill.”


However, Sabbadini attributes program’s success largely to the quality of the coaching staff that the club have assembled and the environment in which they go about their work. He gives special credit to SSF co-ordinator Jim Peios, but all the staff at the club have an impressive pedigree.


“We’ve employed coaches that have the right accreditation, and by that I mean senior licenses from the FFA. The coaching team pretty much function like a teaching hospital, we try to teach our coaches the proper way, what to coach and how to coach and I think they respond it. It’s a great team sort of team environment and they haven’t got egos. They actually listen and try to implement.”


There is already a mounting list of Bulleen players who have gone on to play at the higher levels. Matthew Leckie is already established in the A League with future Socceroo honours, while young goalkeeper Lucas Stinella has been selected In an Australian youth side. The club also has players in the National Training Centre and the Melbourne Victory youth team, as well as a host of players in the underage Victorian teams. However Sabbadini isn’t looking too far beyond his immediate aims.


“Our goal is to get all our senior team made up of junior players. But yeah, if we produce players for our senior team, hopefully we’ll be producing players that go on to the AIS and ultimately play for Australia.”



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The Top Dangers of Sideline Coaching
Sourced from http://www.kidssportspsychology.com/

Too often well-meaning parents live through their children and expect their kids to take on their own dreams and goals. As a youth soccer coach in Portland, Ore., Sue Mak confesses that she found herself too emotionally involved at times in her son's athletic experience. She often yelled if her son was in danger or if referees failed to watch for fouls, she says.

"If someone would jump on my son, I would say, 'Open your eyes. You almost killed my kid.' If I saw a kid fouling another player, I would yell, 'Ref, watch what's going on!' "

When Mak's son, Justin, was about 12, he told her that she embarrassed him when she challenged referees' calls.

"I realized I was overzealous, so I tried to tone it down. I tried to back off," she says. "I tried to find a way to still be involved in the game but to be a real positive part of the excitement," Mak says.

Parents, like Mak, must learn to strike a delicate balance between being overly involved in their kids's sports activities and not showing enough interest in their athletics.

Coaching From the Sidelines: A Common Parental Error

Too often, well-meaning parents live through their children and expect their kids to take on their own dreams and goals. They evaluate their child's success or failure based on his or her performance--not his or her happiness. They are overly critical. And, like Mak, coach too much from the sidelines.

Says Lauren, a 12-year-old who plays soccer, Lacrosse, basketball and tennis in Portland, "The major problem affecting my confidence is my parents. Dad's cheering embarrasses me. Just before I shoot in soccer, he yells, 'Pull the trigger!" It's so awful."

Rather than expressing enthusiasm by coaching from the sidelines and criticizing, parents need to take a step back. Try to understand why your child takes part in sports. Does he or she play to be with friends? Does your child play because she loves to be part of a team? Or does she enjoy competition?

Once you understand your child's motivations, try to support his or her interests. Ensure he or she has the opportunity to spend time with teammates, to feel like part of a team, and to have fun.

Being supportive also means letting children lead.

Kids who excel in sports are those who are passionate about it. And their drive comes from within--not from their parents. They'll beg you to bat balls in your front yard with them, to rebound while they shoot baskets and to kick a ball in the neighborhood park. You don't ever have to nudge these kids into practicing.

You'll also help your children enjoy sports by telling them they're doing a great job--whether they win or lose. Keep the focus off performance. Concentrate on fun, enjoyment, laughs!

It's also important to attend kids' games, whenever possible. Cheer them on without pressuring them. Try to be supportive of coaches, referees and umpires. It's important to set a good example--even if you don't always agree with the coach, referee or umpire.

As Mak says, "Good sports parents realize this sport is a tool to teach your child about life."

Coaching From The Sidelines: Striking A Balance

As a rookie soccer coach 20 years ago, Mak struggled to find a balance in how she gave feedback to her team. After experimenting with a number of styles, she discovered that children benefit most if they receive mainly positive feedback. Her job, she decided, was to be a master cheerleader.

If you, too, learn how to be a master cheerleader, your children will experience many benefits. They'll have more fun, learn important life lessons, and likely stay involved in sports for a long time. Remember, 75 percent of kids drop out of sports by the time they are 13. That's because they're no longer having fun!





Such a very amazing link!
Thanks you for the post.


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Great thread mate I forced myself not to look at it until after exams this will keep me entertained for a while. haha =)
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see any similarities between here and there ?

http://www.clubnewsletter.co.uk/2011/feb/faproposals.html


A new direction for youth football in England

Dan Pope, Club Website editor

The winds of change are blowing through youth football in England and, as the good ship Football Development heads in a new direction, the FA are putting the kids at the helm.

Following repeated failures by the senior team at major championships and the inevitable calls for action that follow, the FA last month announced a Young Player Development Review, including 25 recommendations for English football that they hope will stop such calls happening ad infinitum.

The recommendations - currently undergoing a period of consultation before a potential sign-off in May - have implications for the game from top to bottom, but central to the proposals are changes to youth football at grassroots level.

The proposed changes aim give children more touches of the ball in small-sided games with age-appropriate pitch and goal sizes. The aim is for children to fall in love with the game whilst helping develop their technique before they make the step up to the 'adult' 11-a-side game.

The man behind the proposals is Nick Levett, the FA's National Development Manager for Youth and Mini-soccer. He is currently touring county FAs and youth leagues across England to discuss the new proposals, but he kindly stopped off to tell Club Website what the changes are all about and what they will mean for our member clubs.

The FA's proposals are outlined in sections below. Click the following links to jump straight to a section:



•Overview - a child-centred approach
•An increase in small-sided football
•The introduction of 9 v 9
•Raising the age of "competitive" football
•Flexible formats & summer football
•Age groups and the Relative Age Effect in football
•Timetable for proposed changes


Overview - a child-centred approach

The proposals are centered around the people involved - the children who play the game. Nick Levett and his team have done a lot of research on the subject of child development from both within and outside of the game. He was able to quote from numerous research papers, the Sports Council and even the United Nations on the best way to approach child development, but the most important research was the FA's own consultation with the game itself.

They spoke to over 300 youth clubs, hundreds of grassroots coaches, over 150 youth leagues and, arguably most importantly of all, 42 different groups of young footballers aged 8-12 from both professional and grassroots clubs.

All of this research has fed into the proposals, which aim to make football fun and enjoyable for kids, particularly at the youngest ages, to aid the development process and reduce the chances of kids dropping out of the game.

"It's a child-centred approach," said Levett, "because adult values and child values are very different. If four kids had a ball to make up a game, they wouldn't have subs and they wouldn't stick themselves in a line and take it in turns; they'd just have a game."

The roadshow has been met with largely positive feedback, but Levett accepts that not all of the proposals will be to everyone's liking. However, he strongly believes in the changes the FA are seeking to make to the game and is confident that, if the changes are signed-off after the period of consultation, by the time they are put into place for the 2013/14 season the FA can, with clubs and coaches, help to develop the game to meet the needs of the children.
An increase in small-sided football



The FA's new youth football structure will see an increased use of small-sided games for all age groups up to under 12s. This will allow children to progress gradually through age-appropriate formats, rather than jumping straight from mini-soccer to the 'adult' 11-a-side game before they even finish primary school.

The entry point for under 7s and under 8s will be the 5v5 game. Under 9s and under 10s will then step up to 7v7, followed by a new 9v9 level for under 11s and under 12s. Each step will feature appropriate pitch and goal sizes allowing kids to develop with the game, before they take the final step up to 11-a-side at under 13s level.

Playing smaller-sided games has been proved to give children an increased number of touches of the ball, while providing more goals and scoring attempts, more one-v-one encounters and more chance to attempt dribbling skills. It is this increased contact time with the ball that the FA believe will help children enjoy the game more while providing them with better preparation for the 11-a-side a game.

The FA's Director of Football Development Sir Trevor Brooking has been a long-time advocate of such a change.

"Any skill I might have had as a player was almost there when I was 11 and I don’t see that in sufficient 11 year olds these days," he told Club Website in June 2008. "If your technical skills aren’t there when you start playing 11v11, you’re never going to cope with the game."

The introduction of 9 v 9

One of the biggest changes in the FA's proposals is the introduction of 9-a-side football for under 11s and under 12s. The new format is designed to help bridge the gap between mini-soccer at under 10s and 11-a-side football at under 11s - a jump so big that this age group currently suffers from one of the biggest drop-rates in youth football in England.

It seems absurd to many in the game that children as young as 11 are expected to play on a full-size pitch and in full-size goals. And kids, being kids, are able to highlight this absurdity in brilliantly simple fashion. Here are a few of the comments that Levett heard from children in the under 11 age group while discussing the change to 11-a-side:


“Why do I have to defend the same size goal as PetrCech?” - Josh

“Why is the pitch so much bigger than last year? We're only a little bit bigger.” - DJ
“How am I expected to save shots in a goal that's so big? When the adults come to
take the nets down they use a step ladder!” Adam



The bare statistics back these views up. "The fastest-growing kid grows 2.5cm in the three or four months between leaving mini-soccer at under 10s and starting 11v11," says Levett. "In that time, we increase the size of the goal by 265% and the size of the pitch by 435%."

By introducing an intermediate-sized pitch, Levett hopes to remove the temptation to play a "territorial game" with the biggest kids at the back and the fastest kids up front.

The smaller pitch, he hopes, will encourage teams to play through the thirds, thus giving kids more touches of the ball and more chance to develop their skills while still moving towards an understanding of the full-size game.

The 9v9 game will be largely welcomed by the grassroots community according to a Club Website poll from May 2010, when 74% of our members said they favoured using 9v9 as a "stepping stone" from mini-soccer to the 11-a-side game.

Of course, there will be valid concerns over how teams can accommodate another format of football,when ground space for pitches is already at a premium. Aware of the issue around facilities, Levett says the FA's solution is "not about losing 11v11 pitches; it's about being more creative with how we use them."

The solution - already happening in 9v9 leagues around the country - is to use existing 11-a-side pitches and mark out 9v9 pitches in blue lines, with either one pitch from box to box or two pitches across half a pich (see diagram above).

Portable intermediate-sized (16' x 7') goalposts will also required, but the FA are currently working with the Football Foundation to make funding available for these as part of the Grow the Game scheme, while Sport England can provide 100% funding for 9v9 goalposts via the small grants scheme.

Levett believes that the FA can learn lessons from the 110 leagues already playing 9v9 across England, thus helping them to implement the new format across the country. "Working locally I think we can find solutions to any problems," he says. "It is about us opening our minds and being creative doing that."

Raising the age of "competitive" football




As part of the new proposals for youth football, the FA plans to scrap league tables for any children at primary school age (under 11s).



Research that the FA carried out with 42 groups of 8-12 year old kids found consistently that winning league tables and trophies did not even register as a reason for kids wanting to play the game.

Conversely, they found that increased pressure from parents and coaches wanting their team to finish higher up the table put kids off playing and often led to kids dropping out of the game.

Once again, this comes back to structuring the game around the needs of the child rather than the adult. "We need a child-centred focus," said Levett. "Not adult-driven around league tables and trophies. That's the difference."

"We want kids to play the game so we have to make it as attractive as possible and if parent and coach pressure is one thing that's forcing kids out of the game then we need to change that."

This might set alarm bells ringing for parents and coaches who want to see childrens' teams playing in a league structure. In fact a recent Club Website survey found that 63% of our members worried that removing league tables for under 11s risked making them less competitive.

Levett understands these concerns and recognises there is a place for some competitive football - "there's nothing wrong with under 7s playing for a cup three times a season" he says - but he is confident that kids will be naturally competitive enough without the adult-driven imposition of league tables.

“Kids want to win whatever they play. But their emphasis isn’t on winning so for us the emphasis shouldn’t be on winning. It should be about enjoyment, fun, learning the game, falling in love with it and getting better at it.”

As for league tables helping the development of young children, Levett refers to the model employed by Premier League and Football League clubs.

“In the professional game there are no leagues at all [for under 16s]. If it was good for development they'd put it in," he says.

"I've tried to balance the research where I can, but I can't find any research that says drilling children into competitive leagues is good for development. All I can find is research that says it increases pressure which increases dropout."


Flexible formats & summer football

Research has demonstrated that children's learning is helped by a variety of experiences. What works for one child might not work for another, while learning and practicing in different situations will help a child's development.

With this in mind, the FA are seeking to be more flexible in the sort of football they can offer to children to help their development, away from employing the standard home and away structure throughout the season.

The FA have no plans to change the formal structure in this way, but are encouraging teams and leagues to think about creative ways to vary the football that kids play.

One suggestion is to split the season into thirds and play a different type of football in each. For example, an under 8s league could play the following types of football for a third of the season each:

1.All teams come together to play at a single venue. Mixed teams, everyone plays, no subs, kids referee matches themselves. Ethos on fun, participation and learning the game
2.Indoor football for six weeks during winter months with teams playing 4v4 / 5v5 matches
3.Opposing teams have a joint training session delivered by home team followed by a match of 5v5


In line with this new flexibility, the FA are also considering a change to a summer season for youth football. In March, the Scottish Youth FA begins its first summer season as part of the National Player Pathway and a recent Club Website poll found that half of our members across the UK would welcome a similar change.

The FA have no immediate plans to impose such a change but Levett recognises that it's a worthy topic of discussion.

"We played away at Portsmouth a few weeks ago and it was freezing," said Levett of the team he coaches at Fulham FC. "Kids were coming off the pitch saying 'I can't feel my feet' and 'I can't feel the ball'. How's that going to develop them? So if summer football is in the best interests of kids, then we've got to consider it."


Age groups and the Relative Age Effect in football


The Relative Age Effect describes how people born later in their selection year - e.g. the youngest children in a school year group - are much less likely to go on to achieve high-level sporting performance.

This effect has been demonstrated in academic achievement and in numerous sports around the world. Football is one of them. In 2009, 57% of Premier League academy students had birthdays in September - December, 29% were born in January - April, while those born in May - August accounted for only 14% (see graph, left).

So with a bias towards the older children in a group, how many potential stars of the future are being lost to the system at an early stage?


FA research has found the effect when looking at the grassroots game - i.e. teams finishing at the top of their league have a higher proportion of 'older' children than those finishing lower down - and so they are looking to de-couple youth football from the traditional academic year-groups and run it based around calendar years, as per the system already in place in Scotland and in most other countries around Europe.

Such a change would shift the bias in grassroots football towards the January - April group but, with school football still structured around the academic year, it would mean children born in May - August would no longer be the youngest in both school football and grassroots football. Add to that some new some formal FA competition structures to benefit those children born in the summer months and the long-term relative age effect should be reduced.

For those parents and coaches worried that this might break up existing teams, don't worry. If the proposals are accepted, the FA will introduce the calendar year system in 2013 for the new under 7s age group only, before phasing the system in gradually for each under 7s age group that follow.

Timetable for proposed changes

All of the FA's proposals detailed above are currently undergoing consultation. They will be put before the FA council next month and, if accepted, could be signed off in May.

If the proposals are accepted, the FA are keen to give clubs a decent lead-in period to prepare for the changes.

As a result, none of the changes outlined would become mandatory until the 2013/14 season, and they would be phased in for those age groups where a change in format is required (e.g. an under 12s team in 2013/14 would not be forced to switch to 9v9 for just one year, having played 11v11 at under 11s the season before).

The 2012/13 season would be an optional season for leagues to make the change ahead of schedule if they choose to, while no changes will be introduced at all next season.

So there, in quite a large nutshell, are the proposals on the table for changes to the youth football setup in England over the years ahead.

The FA is keen to receive feedback during this period of consultation and we'd obviously love to know what you think so, if you have any comments or questions on any of the proposed changes, please click here and leave a comment.

We'll then ensure that all of these are fed back to Nick Levett and his team on your behalf.

Dan Pope

Club Website editor


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Arthur wrote:


An interesting article in The Guardian and surprising that school and sports had not been intergrated.

I know that in Melbourne two Secondary Colleges are designated "Sports Colleges" Maribynong and Rowville Secondary Schools run Sports Programs and strong football ones.

Stuart Munro of Rangers, Northern Spirit fame and coached Carlton, South Melbourne and VPL Clubs as well as being a Coerver Coach, leads the coaching at Rowville.

http://web.rowvillesc.vic.edu.au/index.asp?s=3&t=4


http://www.maribsc.vic.edu.au/MC/MSS/Home.html

Makes for an interesting conversation especially as A-League Teams may be expected to run their own junior development programs. Is it the right way to go?

As a comparison AFL has a strong presence in private schools, the PS offer scholarships to the best young talents as well as offering strong AFL coaching programs within their schools with significant resources available in coaching and infrastructure. Something our game is unable to offer at the moment.


Quote:
How can England win the World Cup? They could start by asking WatfordBy merging education with training sessions Watford's youth academy has become the envy of clubs across Europe

Paul Doyle The Guardian, Saturday 17 July 2010

The visitors from Ajax's celebrated youth development programme were adamant. "If you tried to copy us, you've got it wrong," they told Nick Cox, the co-ordinator of Watford's academy. Then came the pay-off. "You've managed to get even more coaching time with the kids than we have. Well done!"

In the debate as to how England can produce more, and better, footballers – an issue raised yet again after the feats of Germany and Spain at the World Cup – Watford are providing a persuasive answer. Their academy for 11- to 16-year-olds at Harefield, just off the M25, has attracted admirers from as far afield as Valencia as well as a slew of Premier League clubs.

Since the Premier League began introducing academies 12 years ago, the problem clubs have most consistently complained about is how little time they can spend with young players. Watford used to have similar gripes. Cox says: "The kids would be tired after a day in school, then dash home, maybe grab some fast food on the way, then travel to the academy to do an hour of training, then travel back again and then maybe stay up late to do their homework. They may not have been eating right, probably weren't getting as much rest as they should have and, on top of that, weren't playing as much football as children in European countries with different education systems."

Proponents of youth development invoke the so-called 10,000-hour rule, according to which people who achieve excellence in any sphere only do so after about 10,000 hours of practice. Ged Roddy, the Premier League's director of youth, says: "Academy players will need up to 20 hours a week of contact time with their coaches across the secondary school years if they are to have any chance of meeting this level of contact."

No Premier League club is near that target even though most go to considerable efforts to strike deals with schools over the release of players. Sunderland, for example, employ Brian Buddle, a former head teacher, to oversee maths and English tuition for teenagers when they are given a day off school to train and have been awarded Grade 1 approval by Ofsted.

Watford have gone even further. Cox says: "Like all clubs we wanted to increase the contact time with the kids but we decided to go about it in the opposite way to most: not to get them out of school, but to put them into one."

Three years ago, they offered 34 young players places in the local secondary school in Harefield, which, driven by the former Olympic figure skater Haig Oundjian, a governor at the school and at the time a director of Watford, was being reinvented as a comprehensive academy with a focus on sport. So unlike Dutch clubs or residential programmes for young footballers such as France's acclaimed Clairefontaine model, Watford have integrated their academy players into a mainstream school, securing more time with their charges while saving on cost and preserving a healthy sense of normality among aspiring footballers.

Cox says: "We pick the children up at around 7am and they then do all the normal subjects but also have scheduled coaching throughout the day – at times when they are fresh – then we drop them home at 7pm. We get to do about 15 hours of football with them a week, up to three times more than most other clubs in this country.

"And not only do kids not have to sacrifice their education, we find that they actually perform better in the classroom as well as on the pitch because the environment is more stimulating and they are more driven in everything – they know if they are not doing their best in the classroom we can take away the privilege of training. We have 50 kids here now – before, they might have been in 50 different schools and we would have had no idea what they were doing for 95% of their time. Here we can take more responsibility for their development, both as players and as people."

The Premier League approves. Roddy says: "The development of academies and the deregulation of schools may provide some interesting opportunities for football to link with the education system. This could provide a more flexible environment in which to negotiate the much-needed access to coaching for the potential elites that frequent our academies."

Cross-training is another development buzzword. Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion and Birmingham City have started to put this into practice in a limited sense – by training their 10- to 14-year-olds together, exposing the children to a wider range of playing and coaching talent.

Again Watford go further. The scholars at Harefield also include gifted young gymnasts, dancers, cricketers and even a jockey and an ice hockey player, and Watford take advantage. Limbering up every day with the ballet teacher has proved an enlightening experience. "We were a bit sceptical at first but it has really helped our strength and flexibility," says the 15-year-old Richard Mensah. "You notice it most when you stretch for the ball – you can stretch farther without feeling any strain."

Already Watford are reaping the fruit. They reached the quarter-finals of the FA Youth Cup – the national tournament for Under-18s – in each of the past two seasons. "Last season we beat Liverpool at Anfield before losing to Chelsea," Cox says. "That was a massive marker for us because our players all grew up on average 12 miles from Vicarage Road whereas many of the Premier League clubs start bringing in players from all over Europe once you reach over-16 level, so it's been a great indicator of the progress we've been making." On the final day of last season, the 17-year-old Gavin Massey laid down another marker when he became the first Harefield graduate to make his debut for the senior side, appearing as a substitute against Coventry City. He has




Interesting article, Arthur.

It is a challenge to get enough kids in Australia receiving 15-20 hours football instruction per week.
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Interesting

http://www.americancoachingacademy.com/sl/svprac.html

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Arthur wrote:


An interesting article in The Guardian and surprising that school and sports had not been intergrated.


Proponents of youth development invoke the so-called 10,000-hour rule, according to which people who achieve excellence in any sphere only do so after about 10,000 hours of practice. Ged Roddy, the Premier League's director of youth, says: "Academy players will need up to 20 hours a week of contact time with their coaches across the secondary school years if they are to have any chance of meeting this level of contact."

No Premier League club is near that target even though most go to considerable efforts to strike deals with schools over the release of players. Sunderland, for example, employ Brian Buddle, a former head teacher, to oversee maths and English tuition for teenagers when they are given a day off school to train and have been awarded Grade 1 approval by Ofsted.

Watford have gone even further. Cox says: "Like all clubs we wanted to increase the contact time with the kids but we decided to go about it in the opposite way to most: not to get them out of school, but to put them into one."

Three years ago, they offered 34 young players places in the local secondary school in Harefield, which, driven by the former Olympic figure skater Haig Oundjian, a governor at the school and at the time a director of Watford, was being reinvented as a comprehensive academy with a focus on sport. So unlike Dutch clubs or residential programmes for young footballers such as France's acclaimed Clairefontaine model, Watford have integrated their academy players into a mainstream school, securing more time with their charges while saving on cost and preserving a healthy sense of normality among aspiring footballers.

Cox says: "We pick the children up at around 7am and they then do all the normal subjects but also have scheduled coaching throughout the day – at times when they are fresh – then we drop them home at 7pm. We get to do about 15 hours of football with them a week, up to three times more than most other clubs in this country.

"And not only do kids not have to sacrifice their education, we find that they actually perform better in the classroom as well as on the pitch because the environment is more stimulating and they are more driven in everything – they know if they are not doing their best in the classroom we can take away the privilege of training. We have 50 kids here now – before, they might have been in 50 different schools and we would have had no idea what they were doing for 95% of their time. Here we can take more responsibility for their development, both as players and as people."

The Premier League approves. Roddy says: "The development of academies and the deregulation of schools may provide some interesting opportunities for football to link with the education system. This could provide a more flexible environment in which to negotiate the much-needed access to coaching for the potential elites that frequent our academies."


The only way we can really develop players in Australia, not at the AIS, is to have A League clubs access young players at school.

My daughter must be doing about 15-20 hours a week as a college player in the US. However, about 5 hours of that is lifting weights!!!
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Arthur, you've found some thought provoking articles. Thanks for posting them.

I wonder if they should go into the Performance Section?
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The performance section was created after the original post on this topic, when this forum was grassroots. Now it has been changed to State League Football but this topic and many other junior development topics remain here. IMO grassroots should have stayed as it was and a new forum, State League Football could have been created aswell as the performance forum. As it stands not much junior development topics are posted any more.
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yet another ex colony ups the ante in football development

http://www.socceramerica.com/article/41977/reyna-unveils-new-coaching-curriculum.html

The U.S. Soccer Federation has unveiled its new coaching curriculum for coaches of players ages 5-12. Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna presented the "age-appropriate roadmap" to player development on Wednesday to youth soccer coaches and directors at the Nike International Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. The curriculum is available for download on ussocccer.com.

Reyna, who captained the USA at two World Cups, said four key points of the curriculum are:

1. Development over winning.

“Our players are naturally competitive,” Reyna said. “We don’t need to ramp that up anymore. The whistle blows, our kids want to win. That’s one of our strengths and we're proud of it. But if we’re manipulating and thinking winning-over-development, we’re making a huge mistake. We’re short-cutting the development of players. ...

“Our aim is to produce skillful, creative, confident players.”

Reyna, who made several references to Barcelona’s famed youth program, quoted star playmaker Xavi: “Some youth academies worry about winning. We worry about education.”

2. Quality Training.

“Make every session a quality session, come prepared, don’t waste time,” Reyna said. “Keep players focused and active. … If you have 12 one-hour sessions in a month, and you waste 10 minutes each session, you can waste two sessions in a month.”

3. Age appropriate.

“Providing players with too much too soon leads to confusion and hurts development,” he said. “We don’t need coaches teaching 8-year-olds zonal defending or an offside trap, just like we don’t teach a second-grader calculus. Kids learn rapidly, but at different stages in their lives.”

4. Have fun and inspire your players.

“If we make it fun, we’re going to inspire them. Soccer is a great, fun game,” said Reyna. “Let’s make sure we create an environment so that our players want to come back to our training sessions and be part of the fun.”



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Decentric wrote:
Arthur, you've found some thought provoking articles. Thanks for posting them.

I wonder if they should go into the Performance Section?




They are here now.

Thanks Benjamin.

Arthur has posted some excellent, thought provoking articles.
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Quote:
yet another ex colony ups the ante in football development

http://www.socceramerica.com/article/41977/reyna-unveils-new-coaching-curriculum.html

The U.S. Soccer Federation has unveiled its new coaching curriculum for coaches of players ages 5-12. Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna presented the "age-appropriate roadmap" to player development on Wednesday to youth soccer coaches and directors at the Nike International Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore. The curriculum is available for download on ussocccer.com.

Reyna, who captained the USA at two World Cups, said four key points of the curriculum are:

1. Development over winning.

“Our players are naturally competitive,” Reyna said. “We don’t need to ramp that up anymore. The whistle blows, our kids want to win. That’s one of our strengths and we're proud of it. But if we’re manipulating and thinking winning-over-development, we’re making a huge mistake. We’re short-cutting the development of players. ...

“Our aim is to produce skillful, creative, confident players.”

Reyna, who made several references to Barcelona’s famed youth program, quoted star playmaker Xavi: “Some youth academies worry about winning. We worry about education.”

2. Quality Training.

“Make every session a quality session, come prepared, don’t waste time,” Reyna said. “Keep players focused and active. … If you have 12 one-hour sessions in a month, and you waste 10 minutes each session, you can waste two sessions in a month.”

3. Age appropriate.

“Providing players with too much too soon leads to confusion and hurts development,” he said. “We don’t need coaches teaching 8-year-olds zonal defending or an offside trap, just like we don’t teach a second-grader calculus. Kids learn rapidly, but at different stages in their lives.”

4. Have fun and inspire your players.

“If we make it fun, we’re going to inspire them. Soccer is a great, fun game,” said Reyna. “Let’s make sure we create an environment so that our players want to come back to our training sessions and be part of the fun.”


With all due respect, this is just another collection of motherhood statements to appease stakeholders in their ivory towers. Nothing new, revolutionary or considered 'visionary' in any of this.

As for the USA scholarship system; I've known many many kids (men, not girls) in Sydney who went down this route. They all had one thing in common. That is, a shortfall of genuine talent to make it at state league level. Their enthusiasm to go the USA path was fueled mostly by their parents, to keep the 'dream' alive. None of them returned as better players, and to the best of my knowledge, none ever did make into the top tier of state league football. In summary, a bit of two bob path that may appeal to dreamers.

Also, from memory it's hardly what I'd call a "scholarship" as significant money changes hands between pupil and college. And, there would be some doubt about the validity of the education received and the value and recognition of any 'degree'.

Edited by judy free: 24/4/2011 09:39:19 AM
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