20 enthusiastic football coaches showed their passion for supporting young players and developing their own skills in Guernsey recently when The FA’s Pete Sturgess delivered a showcase ‘Foundation Phase (5-11 year olds)’ presentation.
Sturgess, FA Technical Lead for the Foundation Phase, was at Sylvans SC on Sunday the 29th of April to provide Continuing Professional Development (CPD), mostly to individuals currently coaching 5-11-year-olds. The event was an opportunity to share the latest ‘England DNA’ content, both in the classroom and during a practical session on the Dave Jehan field.
The England DNA is the starting point for the creation of a world-class culture of elite player development which leads to winning England teams. It’s a statement about the identity and character of England in both the men’s and women’s game and outlines fundamental and distinctive characteristics both on and off the pitch, values and standards of behaviour.
Embedded in the England DNA is the FA ‘Four-Corner’ Player Development Model which features the following elements: Technical/Tactical, Psychological, Physical, Social. Sturgess’ presentation outlined what the key messages and priorities are in all four corners for Foundation Phase players. He explained: “The England DNA is a blueprint for the development of all the players in our Development and Senior Teams.”
“This needs to be presented in an age-appropriate format for our youngest players in order for it to become a perfect fit for their age and stage of development. Coaches should always try to have open and inquisitive minds, both for the further development of their players and themselves. CPD provides an opportunity for this to happen and I see it as an integral part of wanting to be a coach. Continual development is what challenges us to improve.”
“I’m a great supporter of this type of event. The feedback was extremely positive and supportive, despite explaining to the coaches how working to support the key DNA messages would not be easy as they’d require greater knowledge, understanding and application. I get the feeling there’s a lot of support for the direction we’re asking coaches to go in and the help, support and guidance provided via the DNA resource is being very positively received.”
Angus Mackay, Guernsey FA Football Development Officer, added: “Pete had already visited a number of County FAs on his ‘Foundation Phase DNA Roadshow’ and he was very accommodating, it was great that Pete found time to visit the Channel Islands, he is such an expert at working with the 5-11 age group. The event itself was brilliant, and well attended by local coaches. It was an amazing opportunity for our local coaches to see Pete work, ask him questions and get a better understanding of the Foundation Phase DNA. Sylvans SC supported the event by providing the venue, and the GFA Aztec Academy Under 10s squad participated in the practical session; the children were a credit to the GFA Academy with their effort and enthusiasm.”