Playing opportunites for talents
Domestic playing opportunities
Competitions offer players opportunities to implement what they have learnt in training. Competitions and games must start with a focus on having fun and playing football, and then progress to a situation in which the best can play with and against the best at each stage of the pathway. It is crucial to challenge talents in preparation for professional football. As with training, repetition is key, although balance is required.
Call to Action
1. Create a games programme that maximises the opportunity to play across all age groups and minimises the gaps that incur drop-out
2. Use the support of technical expertise to ensure competitions are competitive and age-appropriate, and offer different experiences
3. Integrate the use of technology to support and monitor the
development of players and coaches
International playing opportunities
At international level, the same principle should be applied: the best v. the best across all age groups. Regular exposure presents players with invaluable experience and a greater understanding of what is required at the highest level.
At the same time, this gives technical staff a clear understanding of the level required and what needs to be adjusted to meet these demands. Furthermore, it must be noted that international playing opportunities are not only relevant to associations, but also offer key development experiences for academies as part of a progressive games programme.
Call to action
1. Organise more frequent competitions across all national teams
2. Develop suitable programmes for youth national teams
3. Facilitate international playing opportunities for academies
The use of video footage to support performance analysis of both the team and the individual is common across the game. Such analysis can be used in a multitude of ways, including performance analysis, match preparation and delivering best practice.
Call to Action
1. Integrate the use of technology to support and monitor the development of players and coaches at international level
2. Support the development of specialist practitioners as part of the overall education strategy
3. Integrate such knowledge into the coaching curriculum
4. Emphasise the concept of individual player development within a team
setting in coach education