The Youth Development Phase U12 to U16 year olds
‘The phase of learning to play and compete in the team’
This is the age of ‘learning to play and compete in the team’ and although continuing to develop individual skills is part of the programme, there is now more of a focus on developing team work, game and positional understanding and of competing with the peer group and with the opposition.
It is our philosophy to start position specific coaching work at the start of their under 14 seaspn. Players have 3 years left before leaving school and before any apprenticeship decisions have to be made. We feel that this gives the players sufficient time to develop in to a specialist in one position over the three seasons and to develop their knowledge base.
The other consideration at this phase is maturation as some players may have an early technical/tactical, physical, psychological or social maturation rate whereas some players in the group may be late developers and so have a late maturation rate in any one of the 4 corners of player development.
Therefore, right up to under 16 age group players may still be rotated and viewed in different positions so that we do not miss a player through a hurry to define a position for them too early.
Learning the Game
At the beginning of each 6 weekly meso cycle, we will alternate the playing format to teach the players the different systems of play that are generally employed in English football. This should aid their long term development and give the players an appreciation and awareness of the roles and responsibilities in each formation if the player makes it to first team level.
We feel that if our players have a basic knowledge of many systems, then it will help them if and when they progress in to senior football when systems played can change from club to club.
4 diamond 2