English FA – Intro to Age Appropriate Training

On my trip recently to the UK I had the opportunity to attend the English FA Introduction to Age Appropriate Training Module run by Essex FA and Alan Ackrell (FDO Hertfordshire FA) as the course instructor.

Here are some of my notes from the course:

Learning Outcomes:

  • define movement skills incorporating agility, balance, coordination and relevance to game
  • explain demonstrate how age appropriate games to grow understanding of football and how us coaches manage difference in our groups
  • Show how to modify appropriate games to have an effect upon individual technical/teaching needs
  • We all learn differently and being to include this in a coaching session
4 Corners of Foundation:
  • Technical
  • Physical
  • Social
  • Psychological
Dealing with Differentiation (within a Session)
  • Trying to Keep Up: Poor Awareness, Lower attention span, Lack Confidence
  • Coping: Need to be challenge, Willing to work, Attentive, Enjoy their football
  • Forging Ahead: Confident, Problematic at times as they don’t feel challenged
*Always have different variations for players to ensure players that fall into the 3 categories can get the maximum out of the session.
Skill Practice:
1. Opposing Players
2. Target
3. Teamwork – Cooperating Players
  • applying STEPS principle to meet the needs of individuals
  • S – Space
  • T – Task
  • E – Equipment
  • P – People
  • S – Safety
* By changing one of the principles you can create numerous variations
  • We are born with rudimentary skills
  • Everything else is learned (95% of skills by age 10)
  • Learning can be messy
  • Learning takes place at different rates
  • Sometimes those that take longer, benefit in the longer-term
Different Ways to Learn:
  • Visual – show and see
  • Auditory – explain and hear
  • Reading – see and verbal
  • Kinaesthetic – take part and play
  • Allow it to be fun and enjoyable
  • Allow players to have the opportunity to make decisions
  • Give the players cues NOT answers
  • Meet the needs of the individuals (STEPS)
  • Always put yourself in the child’s position/point of view
  • Players need to practice
  • Players should be encourage to experiment (might fail), but structure can limit creativity
  • Players need to compete against others to test things out
  • Practices need to progress to meet the needs of players
  • A – Agility
  • B – Balance
  • C – Coordination
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