Why professional football ruins youth football education

Now the World Cup had finished and all the consequences are here for the youth education.

I am a member of many Facebook groups of coaches, pseudo coaches, wanna be coaches or papa coaches. In those groups, they started to share the Croatian youth development program and the Belgium one.

Let’s see: Croatia won 3 games in the extra time (2 penalties 1 extra time) what if they had lost the first game in the penalties in 1/8 final? Will then everybody shares the Croatian youth development program? Of course not.

We extrapolate professional level results to football education and there we have a problem.

This is really dangerous.


Professional football is all about details, all teams are so close to each other. Only 2 wins of more than 3 goals in all the WC.

Football education is more complex than that, there is not a secret sauce.

The secret is not to play only small sized games or to only work on the technique or play futsal until a certain age.

Why we want the secret sauce? The shortcut? And what we want it for? To educate takes time and the best is not to rush with short-term decisions and changing methods every now and then.

Is the objective to just train to “make” one professional player? Football is the most played sport in the world. That means almost all the players are not gonna be professional football players.

How we then train our kids and how we must educate them to love the sport?

We need to stop looking at what happens in the big leagues and big events and then try to work it backward in order to get the solution to educate the youth players in the best way.

For me the best way is clear:

  • Play a lot of football
  • Always with a ball
  • Make them think and discover every training
  • Guide them find solutions to the different situations they find in the field
  • Make the training funny
  • Push them to be better than what they were yesterday
  • Give positive feedback much more than negative feedback

But that is just my idea and what I believe, the point here is to have your own idea, the idea you believe, your plan, a goal and work in that direction and do not let professional football results influence the way you educate players.

And please coaches, get educated, many people say they do not work but you definitely learn something in 300 hours doing your UEFA B or 500 hours for the UEFA A.


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