In this phase players should be encouraged to DISCOVER ways to manipulate the football. Senses should be stimulated. The use of hands should be encouraged rather than prohibited.
Balance, co-ordination, gross and fine motor skills should be developed through FUN interactive games.
Players should be encouraged to continue to discover ways to manipulate the football but in a more organised environment. Boundaries should be introduced. Rules & regulations should also be introduced and adhered to.
TECHNICAL coaching commences with introductions to skills such as dribbling, turning, shooting, passing and receiving.
Players are entered into more formal regular competition. Training should focus on becoming more proficient in technical areas. All players should be developing proficiency in both feet.
Players will also begin to learn some very basic tactical skills. This phase sees a transition from a 7v7 match format to 9v9 format.
This should be taught in monthly blocks; i.e. 4 weeks defensive position then 4 weeks midfield etc… Matches processes lead to outcomes
Players should be proficient in most technical areas and learning will now focus more on the tactical side of their development.
Team shape, positional responsibilities, functions in different formations should be taught whilst highlighting the fact that players can make mistakes, but will learn from them.
Players should be tested by playing on both sides of the field and encouraged to see the benefits of tactical fundamentals such as “playing out from the back”, “pressing” and “quick transitions”.
Winning becomes a more serious focus in this phase, however it is important to continue to understand that players are still developing. Their tactical knowledge and understanding of the game should become more proficient.
Techniques albeit proficient, must be practised with regularity and tested in competitive training and match environments.
The diagram depicts what competitive format players should be playing, whether they should be learning techniques or tactics, whether they should be focused on development or winning and above all ALL PLAYERS should be sufficiently challenged and motivated to work.
"You can tell if a player will become a professional from the age of 14 years."