The FutAcademy Philosophy has been created following extensive research into the world’s leading youth development models. FutAcademy has endeavoured to take aspects of many of these philosophies in order to apply them to our own coaching methods here in Mexico City.
The FutAcademy Philosophy has five main stages of development;
Ages 3 - 6 years
Ages 7 - 9 years
Ages 10 - 12 years
Ages 13 - 15 years
Ages 16 - 18 years
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 participate fully in the class and activities should be short and stimulating.
FoUNdation Phase - Let the Game be the Teacher
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. More formal matches are also introduced whereby players can learn about authoritative figures, limits and boundaries, time constraints etc… Match outcomes are NOT important and keeping score should be discouraged.
Youth Beginners Phase - Matches are a celebration of Training Concepts
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. Players should be encouraged to rotate positions on the field in order to learn new skills, techniques, roles and responsibilities according to the demands of each position. This should be taught in monthly blocks; i.e. 4 weeks defensive position then 4 weeks midfield etc… Matches processes lead to outcomes.
Youth Intermediate Phase - Technically Proficient: Tactically Astute
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. Matches should be used to teach players the roles & responsibilities of different positions within 11v11 matches. Player rotation still occurs whilst not so radical. 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”.
Youth Advanced Phase - Winning is Temporary, Development is Permanent
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. Players should be encouraged to self-evaluate in order to reach in game solutions as well as reflect constructively on both their individual performance as well as that of their team.