PDP - Player Development Program
“Placing young athlete in the proper training environment is important to thier individual success”
Technical training and ball control skills should be the core of any youth soccer developmental program
There are two main key factors in developing youth players
First, is a love for the game and the enjoyment of what they are doing.
Second, is constantly returning to repetitive exposure of all the core skills. Players touching the ball with basic skills, dribbling, passing, moves, chesting, heading and all the skills they actually use in a game.
I can’t tell you the number of advancing soccer players I see that struggle to perform basic moves such as pull backs, cuts and circle hooks. They learned them a long time ago, but never practice them. I start EVERY training/practice session the same way. Core movement drills, repeating the basic and essential ball control skills. I end every practice the same way; fun, small sided games where the coach is not controlling every move. As a coach,” You don’t want your players to become drones on the field.”
Technical skills however, are slowly built and refined over several years. Once they are learned, they will continue to stay with you.
Keep in mind that individual skills need to be nurtured at an early age. Players who haven’t mastered the fundamental skills become frustrated because the game become too fast and gets too difficult for them as they move into the higher more competitive levels.”
The golden years of soccer development only happen once
We need to focus these early years on development and making sure our player(s) are being trained for the long term with skills, not just conditioned with set plays for the short term to win a game.
Failing to constantly return to basic core technical training is a problem that many upper level players have to deal with.
Only those that continually refine, develop and learn technical skills continue to progress.