STORM ACADEMY FC
“Inspired by passion and dedication to development”
STORM Academy - Training Environment and Curriculum
The golden ages of learning has been said to occur between the ages of 11-14. To be consistent successful at the professional level we must not lose sight at the importance of long term player’s development at the younger ages of 7-12. A player’s development needs to be broken down into manageable levels of long term and short term goals. As a CFA staff we need to think through and plan quality sessions and lessons for the players that will help them reach the next level of play. Development over winning has to be the key component of CFA. I hope this document begins to create a roadmap that guides us in our endeavor to develop young players into quality players.
STORM Academy – Youth Player Development Philosophy
Above all else, young players should be helped towards technical independence and creative application of technique in small group activities. We want our players to be comfortable on the ball and this only comes from countless hours on the training field and repetition accompanied by the player’s passion to train and play at home. Passion is what drives a player on through all levels and obstacles.
Rationale: Team development follows individual development, not the reverse. Therefore, a long-term player development philosophy is based on individual and collective (group) possession and the ability to play with controlled changes of rhythm. Quick transition to defending and attacking should be learned as a natural response to loss of possession and regains.
STORM Academy – Coaching Methods
To obtain the maximum benefit from a practice session the coach must have the insight to use the most effective and productive coaching method for the group in particular coaching situation. He or she must also have the experience and flexibility to be able to change the method according to the circumstances. Although we all generally have a favorite method, no one method is the best. Players respond in different ways so coaches must figure out the best way to maximize players potential within there session.
1. Drill work – This is a method involves small groups of players practicing techniques and skills, with or without opposition, by constant repetition and movement. Drills are a good warm ups and small group work. To be effective, drill work must be done at match speed and as near to a realistic game situation as possible.
2. Conditioned play – Highlights certain themes through conditions that stress a particular aspect of play. The conditions can be imposed by a multitude of things (alerting the dimensions of the field, creating certain rules in different zones, touch restrictions, use of incentives etc) This method can be very effective for emphasizing key factors of play to the team. The coach must make sure the conditions are a realistic and simple as possible.
3. Functional play – This is a method involves marking out of a realistic area of the playing field and using a small number of players. The main objective is to increase their understanding of their positions and tactical duties in the team. This will allow players to see a topic and rehearse that topic with repetition for progressive success.
4. Phase of play – This method is a natural progression from functional play, in which the emphasis is on much larger groups working on an attacking or defensive phase of play in at least a third or half field.
5. Coaching in the game – This method helps one or a combination of other coaching methods in the 3v3 – 11v11 game situation. This method can be too complex for players who require gradual help to overcome their particular weaknesses. Especially youngsters who will rely heavily on other practice situations with smaller numbers. However youth coaches can employ this method using the small sided games that generally lend itself to the academy training environment. Coaching in the game as a methodology is about playing the game. Running training sessions that allow free play, correct the players, rehearse the demonstration and then restart the exercise as you observe coaching points. STORM AFC coaches permit the game to begin without interruption so the players can develop a flow before coaching points are made.
6. Free play – At some point during every session players need to experience the game on their own terms. This is vital for a player’s development and should happen during every session. It is important to remember that learning will take place without a coach being present. Sometimes coaches need to say nothing other than the occasional positive comment and even join in the games as a player themselves. (If they are able from a risk management standpoint) This is a vital to the organic growth of soccer and skills within the STORM AFC academy.
*There will be some overlapping of the use of these major coaching methods, but generally these guidelines should help you plan your practice sessions at the correct level based on each particular season program and the collective age group priorities.