Interesting article I picked up last night about the balance in Academies and team training as a whole at any level between team play and individual skill development. ( full article available on Facebook page )
Of course the irony is that what made the player ‘special’ before they entered the Academy, what made them appealing to the scouts and coaches, is the thing that often gets taken away! This trend is happening all too much I’m afraid and the issue tends to be at the Foundation phase level, 9-11 years. Add in a year earlier with the ‘Pre-Academies’ and you see a four year development pathway which appears to forsake skill, 1v1’s and individual expression for team functionality and ‘passing’ with two touches.
What is happening is that these Academies are taking individuals and seeking to mould them into ‘strong’ teams forgetting that the overall purpose they should be seeking to achieve is to develop stronger individuals. This obsession with ‘team play’ and even tactical systems is wrong at this age.
Perhaps may be the case but it doesn’t stop the player in focussing on individual skill and technical work on their own. How often do we hear about the top players staying behind after training to work on their own individual needs.
That’s where I come in and that’s exactly what I offer. At every level!