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Nurturing Future Stars: Understanding Young Football Players' Physical Development

Updated: Oct 3, 2023

In the world of football, the journey to excellence often begins at a young age. As young players lace up their boots and take to the pitch, it's crucial to understand the intricacies of their physical development. The football association's guidance on this matter is invaluable, offering insights into how young players evolve physically and the importance of considering factors beyond just chronological age. In this article, we explore the guidance provided by football associations and seek commentary from Tekky Sessions coaches Lance and JF, who have a wealth of experience in shaping young football talent.

Understanding Physical Development: Guidance from Football Associations

Football associations around the world have recognised the significance of understanding young players' physical development. They emphasise that young footballers are not a homogeneous group and that their growth patterns can vary significantly. The guidance highlights the following key points:

  1. Chronological vs. Biological Age: One of the fundamental concepts stressed by football associations is the difference between chronological age (actual age) and biological age (age of physical maturity). Players can develop at different rates, and it's essential to consider biological age when assessing their physical capabilities.

  2. Growth Spurts: Young players go through growth spurts during adolescence, which can affect their coordination and balance. These periods of rapid growth may temporarily impact their football skills and performance.

  3. Injury Prevention: Football associations emphasise the importance of injury prevention strategies tailored to young players. Proper warm-ups, cool-downs, and exercises to improve balance and coordination are crucial.

  4. Psychological Factors: The guidance acknowledges that psychological factors, such as confidence and motivation, play a significant role in a young player's development. Coaches and parents should create a supportive environment to foster mental resilience.

Tekky Sessions Coaches' Insights

Coaches Lance and JF of Tekky Sessions have extensive experience working with young footballers, and their perspective aligns with the guidance provided by football associations. Coach Lance notes, "Understanding the physical development of young players is vital. We've seen players of the same chronological age exhibit varying levels of skill and athleticism due to differences in their biological age. It's crucial not to rush their development and instead focus on gradual progress."

Coach JF adds, "During growth spurts, it's common for players to experience temporary challenges in coordination and balance. It's essential for coaches to be patient and provide the necessary support and training to help them regain their form."

Balancing Development and Competition

The football association's guidance also emphasises striking a balance between development and competition for young players. It encourages coaches and parents to prioritise player development over winning matches at a young age. This approach allows players to focus on improving their skills and physical attributes without undue pressure.

The physical development of young football players is a dynamic and multifaceted process. Understanding the guidance provided by football associations is essential for coaches, parents, and players alike. As Tekky Sessions coaches Lance and JF attest, taking into account factors beyond chronological age, providing support during growth spurts, and nurturing the mental aspects of the game are all crucial components in the journey of young footballers. By following this guidance and fostering a holistic approach to development, we can ensure that future stars reach their full potential on the football pitch.

Steve Halls Consultant for Tekky Sessions NexxtGen Football


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