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Player Pathway

Our Football Development Centre is aimed at ages 1-21 years old.

Age Groups

1-3 YEARS

Our Early Years programme follow the recommendations for physical activity in pre-school children and focus on:

  • gross motor skill development and locomotor activities that children find fun such as kicking a ball, throwing a ball, catching a ball and running with the ball.toddlers football
  • experiences that are enhanced by adult facilitation that provides mastery experiences (i.e. activities they can achieve successfully) and positive feedback about those experiences;
  • access to play spaces, use of equipment and outdoor learning;
  • Play not push – a positive, fun-filled toddler football programme executed in a friendly, pressure-free environment. Guided by our professional/qualified sports coaches, nursery school teachers, child health specialists and pro-active parents. The toddler football programme is an ever-evolving quest to teach fundamental techniques & elementary life skills in a vibrant, group play environment;
  • Invaluable social skills like listening, sharing, taking turns and teamwork are conscientiously woven into a involving programme that places as much emphasis on simple learning concepts like colours and numbers as it does on fine-tuning a child’s basic Agility, Balance and Co-ordination.

3-5 YEARS

From light trot to gentle canter, our budding toddler super stars are now at a point where they will be encouraged to participate in structured games and imaginative free-play, adding yet another dimension to their already flourishing development.

In other words, basic skills mastered via multi-directional teaching.

It’s about now that our toddler classes really start to have an impact on improving a child’s physical dexterity, particularly in the lower limbs and feet through a variety of balancing games. The arrival of these newfound skills paves the way for our pupils to learn how best to move through the gears and how to change direction comfortably.

5-7 YEARS

There’s no need to leave at 5!  This programme was developed in response to popular demand – many children who attend our toddler classes want to continue to build their skills – both physical and social – once they have turned 5.  This progarmme philosophy is divided into 3 core areas to enable them to do just this:

  1. Play: the greatest tool for development and learning is self-initiated play, which leads to excited and vigorous participation.  This in turn leads to rapid improvement.
  2. Practice: activities with limited touches and turns generally will have limited benefit. Activities with lots of turns and touches will facilitate greater growth at an individual rate within a group environment.  Simply put, the more you do it, the better you get!
  3. Understanding: within our programmed classes our coaches focus not only on teaching children how to perform a skill, but also to start building an understanding of why the skill is needed.

The Mega Kick Starters combines a series of activities that use imaginative play, familiar games, visual skill and creative participation to engage the interest of the child and makes them gain maximum enjoyment from participating.

7-9 YEARS     9-11 YEARS     11-13 YEARS    13-15 YEARS

The fun doesn’t stop there…as we start to develop children into maturing STARS through sessions to enhance your child’s development through engaging, small sided games with each session having a topic of learning

At any stage between 7-15 years, our development staff may invite your child to our additional GIFTED & TALENTED sessions, where we will focus more on technical support to further enhance your child’s development.

15-18 YEARS       18-21YEARS

Through our Development Centres located across the West Midlands, we appreciate that from 15 years young people are looking to now take football more seriously competitively and try and take it to the next level of Professional standards, regardless of level of ability our focus is on DEVELOPING and we will coach, develop and mentor.

You may have had trials recently and want our help and support to get you to the next level.

You may decide playing football may not be the career path you want to take and want to try your hand at coaching and developing the stars of the future.

We are with you EVERY step of the way

At any point the staff at The Football Development Centre- acting in their capacity football club scouts or using their links can recommend a player to an Academy at anytime.

To go through the full programme there are 7 steps

Step 1a) Players are coached and developed at our Development Football Centre venues that are located across the West Midlands area, players are coached from the ages of 1-21 years with the aim of development and progression-this is made through monthly assessments of each player attending regularly. EVERY player has a DEVELOPMENT PLAN OF ACTION.

b) Players maybe interested in developing their personal skills and NOT looking for a trial with any football club (ALL our training sessions are based on FUN andDEVELOPMENT, we NEVER push anyone into a Professional Football Career if it’s something they don’t want)

Step 2.  We identify players through our regular attended training sessions with us, through scouting and through additional training.

Step 3. These players are invited into our Development Centre GIFTED & TALENTED programme for specialist technical coaching

Step 4. Players showing good levels of performance and professionalism are invited to OUR DEVELOPMENT SQUAD against other professional/non league football clubs

Step 5a) The player excels in the game and the professional club in question would like the player to take trials – the player, parent and coaching staff discuss the opportunity and the big picture for the player and their family.

           b) The player has trial(s) but may need improvement in mentioned areas (Player will return to our Development Centre to improve before being invited to additional trials with that club)

           c) The player impresses at their trials and the club would like to invite for more trials (Player will return to our Development Centre to maintain high levels and wait for the next stage invitation for additional trials)

Step 6.  The player excels in trials and is offered a deal by the club holding the trials (the player, parent and coaching staff discuss the opportunity and the big picture for the player and their family).

Step 7.  The player signs for the Professional Club and is developed into a future STAR

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Posted by The Kick Start Academy on Thursday, 20 August 2015

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