Richard Allen – Part 2Dalton Harris
A foundation phase team will receive a review of their learning from games and training which is directly linked to our technical syllabus. The PMA (Player Management Adminstration) which all premier league academies have, is a website that stores everything we do from coaching sessions to match feedback, games, recruitment and more. The players can access this too, which really supports the process when they’re at home in a less pressured environment. For the foundation and youth phase this is massively important, as they will receive masterclass videos on their syllabus topic, games, age group videos and basic videos on principles of play. This sounds in great depth for potentially an 8 year old, but nothing on the PMA is indifferent to the language we use in our sessions.
With all the coaches we are constantly trying to develop our language into ways that trigger thoughts and develop that curiosity for players that want to keep learning more. Clarity is something we work on everyday.
The youth development phase (13-16) receive match feedback weekly as well as a syllabus session with a video containing elite examples and their own examples which directly relate to what we are working towards. We are always seeking new ways to present information for players and if we want creative and exciting players it’s crucial that we can be creative and allow them to present on different things away from the pitch.
All of this helps the coaching process as we are one of many support mechanisms for them along with sport science, medical, psychology and physiotherapy. If a player isn’t quite understanding something, then a video is a great way to reflect and learn and often it compliments the coaching language that we use. It’s also really beneficial to our players as a lot of them are visual learners so they’ll need to see a lot of pictures that will help them on the pitch.
Our syllabus is fairly simple but with this simplicity you get a clear understanding and opportunity to be creative with it. Doing this stuff day to day is extremely beneficial to me as I’m constantly watching games and I get to know the players and the decisions they are making each week. I might suggest something that the coaches might not have seen and this will work the other way too. Since coming back to the club my technical and tactical detail has significantly improved and this is one of many things I’m constantly looking to develop. So that’s a bit about me and what I do!
Here’s 3 tips that I’d give to any young, aspiring players;
– Be open minded to everything both in and out of school. Try to balance both your football and school education so you create lots of opportunities for yourself and you don’t make yourself exclusive to just one thing. Play other sports and try new things!
– Be curious and don’t be afraid to ask questions and challenge those around you. If you’re not sure or if you think you could contribute to a discussion, put yourself forward. This creates a really healthy learning environment and will massively improve your knowledge and understanding.
– Practice. It’s really crucial that players spend time away from the learning environment to practice on their technique. It’s something that’s widely known within the game at the moment that the top players will spend time practicing skills until they can’t get them wrong. Develop your technique, create new skills and try new things! Even if this is just 30 minutes a week to start with, imagine the time that it’ll equate to over months and years. A video diary and journal is also great for this, show your team mates and coaches!