The evolution of the youth sector in football, differences and considerations


Today, societies are facing the evolution / involvment of football in the youth sector (and I speak about the provincial and district camps) which, over a few years, require a change in the technical approach and not;



The life of today’s kids is very sedentary; the activities that in the past helped to develop basic motive schemes (oratories, sub-chase camps) are becoming less and less, and are replaced by computers and telephones;

The so-called “road” is useless to say it was also at the level of character, comparison with others the iteration of society today is minimized by social issues and as already pointed out several times with the advent of technology, I personally see among today’s many guys Less irreverence and bitterness than the past;

If in the past the work included the management of individuality, the categorization of the single team available and disciplinary principles, today in a football where tactics speak on all channels, you should work with the kids more on the coordinative point of view Technician igniting them and giving him confidence to boost his self-esteem, a totally inverse process in my opinion over 20 years that requires an adaptation of presidents, executives and coaches.



I happened to attend guardians and executives who for reasons of responsibility forbid the boys who come first to the field to play autonomously before the arrival of the coach, I have made the reversal of this habit one of the small elements of my work credo, I managed to get the boys half an hour before the training session had their spaces (tennis court, cage 2 vs 2) their freedom to play outside of the training session, trying to stimulate the arrival to the field in advance;



I think we should start from all of these small details to support today’s boys approaching the world of balloons, I think we need to stimulate them to find freedom of play even before a fictional path


Communicating is also motivated and vice-versa by Fabio Pecchia

One day, before entering the training field, the coach asked us to stay in the locker room; It was a delicate moment of the season and on Sunday we would have to meet a team fighting for the scudetto. After a few minutes of waiting, between jokes and laughter, from afar I heard an animal knock (I thought of a dog right away, maybe because I got the phobia). And my fears were immediately confirmed: our coach entered a Rottweiler in the locker room and, without speaking a word, let the animal grow (even angry enough!) For a few moments to us. His message was clear: on Sunday we should have the same attitude as our guest; We went down to the field and started training. “If I have to be honest personally I did not take it very well … more than the” dog anger “the situation underlined my” dog fear “and that is why I in every In the case of the dog I would have preferred the mythical phrase of V. Boskov: “Come on! Come on! Warm cold heart head! ”

In sports, the motivations of an athlete can make the difference between achieving or missing established performance goals.

In psychology there are various classifications of motivations; The classic distinction between Intrinsic Motivation and Extrinsic Motivation seems to me very appropriate to qualify the athlete’s mental attitude in the performance of sports performance.
An athlete with a strong intrinsic motivation plays for the pure pleasure of doing it, fun becomes the engine of his agonistic participation and the sense of fatigue is reduced.
Extrinsic motivation, on the other hand, characterizes athletes who in the sport especially seek external recognition through positive or negative reinforcements (awards or punishments).

Another possible classification of the types of motivation concerns the so-called Orientation to Task and Orientation to the Self:

A task-oriented athlete wants to confront himself and finds pleasure in learning new abilities, noting his improvements.
A self-centered athlete, on the contrary, seeks to demonstrate his ability primarily through confrontation with others, will therefore feel only when such a comparison is conducive to him. It will therefore be indifferent to the possibility of improvement, but will be motivated by the desire to magnify your ego.
Some research has confirmed a positive relationship between task orientation and intrinsic motivation; Subjects with both of these characteristics are defined in “Internal Control” psychology; They are people who interpret events as a product of their own behavior.

While those that make events dependent on other factors (luck, fate, etc.) are defined as “External Control”.
Beyond these classifications it is beyond doubt that communication, both with oneself and with others, must be certain, detailed and direct.
Certain communication is obtained by using verbs as imperative; The detailed one is intended to give ourselves and the other precise and detailed information because the mind of each of us needs precise elements for them to be realized and the direct one serves to communicate with one another immediate and the other the objective pursued , The desire to be realized and obtained using expressions like “I want this thing”: “That’s it! and that’s that”.

Indecision, doubt, fear of failure to do so, uncertainty and lack of clarity are the main obstacles to our performance.
In fact, the indecision of the messages that we give to ourselves and to others depict the possibility of expressing and expressing others
better. Only by my determination will I be able to influence the determination of others. The determination and the conviction of the coach is “almost for osmosis” to his players; Sometimes this belief (obviously optimistic) seems to distract madness but it is when “the impossible becomes possible” that the strength is born to overcome our limits. For this I will never forget an extraordinary night at the Stadio S. Paolo in Naples:

So many years have passed but I still feel the thrill of the crowd on my skin and the emotion of having lived that special evening:
“It was a night game against Zeman’s team, the first time ended with us under two goals and” satisfied “the result, the passive, in fact, could have been much heavier:

We had taken a “doll” ever seen. In the long run (which at that moment seemed to me to be very long), a subway that led us from the field in the changing rooms I kept thinking about the many occasions of the opponents’ goals and above all I had many questions (self-talk): “how do we argue” is team? “; “the
Cut outs who absorbs it? “;” Who gets the mezzala that fits in? “;” How long do we have to run behind these assassins? “.

Certainly in my head had created negative representations, but I challenge anyone in such a tourbillon to think positive. Meanwhile, I finally came to the locker room: I sat down in my seat and looked at the rest of the team: low heads and no one trying to open my mouth a little bit of anger, a little disappointed but, above all, because we needed to retrieve Breath, we were in apnea.

After drinking a glass of hot tea, he went in and thought, “now we are massacred” and instead, without giving any technical / tactical indication, he said: “From the young men, now let’s go back and win 3 to 2 !!” “Sure! Sure!” To say that he had surprised the whole dressing room seems to me ridiculous. Yet the effect on all of us was immediate and extraordinary; Already the return journey to the field was completely different, that subway that only seemed to me infinitely 15 minutes ago now seemed much shorter, so much was my desire to resume the game immediately. But in my head I was just thinking, “Is my master a madman or a magician?”

The race started in a different way: even with a slight decrease in tension between Zeman’s men, we quickly reduced the distance. The more time passed and the more conviction of
To be able to retrieve the game. And even after doubling our attitude did not change, we did not go back one meter, yet after such a first time we had to match that match
Could already be considered a great achievement; But the mister told us that we would win 3 to 2 and then boldly look for victory. The wind had obviously changed, but to force our push, in addition to the warmth of an infuriated and enthusiastic saint, was precisely the possibility of materializing the “prophecy” of our histrionic technician.

That was how we won the incredible match in the last few minutes. Just as our “trainer” / “communicator” had planned, that night, certainly, a bit “sorcerer”.

Official thesis of Coverciano Training by communicating by Fabio Pecchia


The disadvantaged group in football: “weak” and “strong”

By training a homogeneous group, as it often happens to all of us instructors who work in football schools where no selection is made, it has to do with children of different levels of football. What I want to submit to your judgment is the always discussed topic: playing “weak” and “strong” together, who benefits and disadvantages? Or better: are the benefits for the less advanced footballer better or the stronger grass player regressing its qualities? In my humble opinion by playing with the best kids you learn, you try to “steal” with your eyes, starting from the beginning of emulation.

The less gifted child is actually pushed to improve because he sees in his companion the real example to imitate and reach. In the history of football, even at the level of first-team and elite football, it has always been this way.

We can mention in the past the example of Fernando De Napoli who arrived in Naples with a technical luggage not really excited that training and playing with a certain Diego Armando Maradona has been enriched by improving even in the strictly technical terms. Still, in our day, we all love players like Rino Gattuso, a field gladiator unjustly considered a “poor foot”.

Perhaps it was at the beginning of his Rossoneri adventure, but today, after years spent by people like Seedorf or Kaka, even his feet seem to be heavily domesticated technically. It is clear that the better footballer, or football student, will have to be smart, humble and eager to make it available to his comrades by not closing in himself the secret of a fake or a shot made in a way. Probably these only playing with the weak will not improve, but fortunately he will find on his football course someone else stronger than he and equally with time will increase his creativity and fantasy by aiming to always try new numbers, always looking for new challenges With others, but above all with himself.

The importance of … to participate

Starting with the Pulcini category, the eight-year-old child from the Small Friends category, where comparisons take place only in the form of events that include confrontational games, looks for a “real” match for the first time. At this time so delicate and particularly conducive to learning (the so-called “golden age”), we will never tire of repeating the importance of playing ALL CHILDREN available to every single team, just because it is their right Participate and have fun. For this purpose, the Federation stipulates that the matches must be of three times, specifying that all the members of the list participating in the match must play at least one full time of the first two, with the possibility of using the so-called “flying gear” in the third fraction Of playing, playing two thirds of the race. Going into the field is an extremely important element for the formation of the child, even those, as I call them, “less prepared for football.” These will first and foremost feel part of the team and somehow like all of their companions, with a psychological benefit that will increase their self-esteem and their intrinsic motivation (that is, the inner push that supports engagement in a ‘Activity that brings satisfaction from what you do). All this will trigger the desire to learn all the gestures and situations related to football, as the child becomes aware of what he has learned and what he needs to do to improve it further.

Lorenzo Geluardi

The coach in the balloon: “when the student becomes the object”

Often, by comparing myself with my “colleagues” and discussing the methods, loads and working times of the training session, I recall in my mind a phrase contained in the Technical Guide for Football Schools: “The student is the subject And not the object of the trainer’s work. ” Sometimes I can not fully agree with the other instructors who, in my opinion, do not realize that they have children in their hands, as the FIGC guidelines also point out. It is true that the Beginner category is the pinnacle of the Pyramid of the Calcium School’s basic activity and that we are dealing with eleven or twelve years, closer to the next-highest category (Giovanissimi) than to the Pulcini but We must never forget to propose the various exercises in the form of a game. The latter, along with fun, enthusiasm, programming, passion and sports culture, must be the main ingredients of the recipe for each puzzle in all categories of the Football School. For beginner fun is the key component (81.8% of respondents), most importantly “winning many matches” (66.9%) as evidenced by a survey conducted by the Federation. Technical exercises, borrowed from elite football, are extremely damaging and not tailored to the child. So, for example, taking hours and hours to try to hit the cross is not at all fun or stimulating, although it definitely improves the kick mode and accuracy of the shot itself. What I want to say is that the same result can also be achieved through “ad hoc” exercises in a varied form that solicit the same kind of fundamentals and pursue the same goal. The same Official Release No. 1 reads: “Every child has the right to attend workouts appropriate to his rhythms.” In my way of seeing, and allowing me to play words, “the workout must be trained and non-alienating” . In addition, these operational proposals, which are inadequate to the real needs of the child, certainly create performance expectations, when at this age, however, one should only think of playing for fun, free from all the external constraints that can be constituted by winning, winning by Parents, from getting the result at all costs and with all the means. Only through this forced step can you then project into the football reality of the Youngest, where the goals are the competitive result and the good performance.

What kind of communication between instructor and student?

How can I communicate effectively? How can I verify that my students have transposed them? These are the questions that every instructor should ask during training sessions. When dealing with children of this age range (8-10 years) we must try to be as clear as possible by sending a non-ambiguous or contradictory message. In fact, among the pedagogic skills we are required to be able to communicate, that is to be able to transfer their technical, tactical and human skills to their students. Communicating with children is, however, not easy: every child is done in his own way, with his character and his little personality. So you must first “read” who is facing you and then act accordingly looking for the right words, the right tone of the voice. On the other hand, communication is not only verbal but it is also above all not verbal, that is, made of gestures, looks, distances, visual contact. We must always try to be coherent and not to create confusion: gesture and words must always say the same thing. The explanations should then be synthetic, simple and appropriate to the individuals to whom they are addressed. Students can also be involved by asking questions or proposing solutions or variants to the proposed exercises. Every instructor, in essence, should know the best way to easily transmit his / her knowledge and make it steady.

The football instructor as an example ‘Positive’

Among the many responsibilities of the football school instructors, perhaps above all, is to always and in any case adopt a just, peaceful, polite and exemplary attitude. The instructor is always under careful scrutiny, and therefore the judgment of his pupils, but also of the parents “attached to the network” who follow the trainings, the company’s managers, the audience following the matches. The role that he plays is very important: he must be an instructor, educator and confidant at the same time (especially during the adolescence). He should first be an expert in problems with children and teenagers and then a good technician. Each instructor should pass on moral values such as friendship, co-operation, solidarity, respect and loyalty to their students. The first goal, therefore, is to look for a “little man” before joining the group’s life, educating him in civil coexistence with his comrades, to make him understand the concept of “team” that is won and Everyone loses, runs and splits together. At the level of football school, I think there are no strong and weak: they have to play all, they are all equal and they all come to the field to learn, because they never end up learning and every training session is a new experience for me as well. The instructor must always be able to find the right solution for each episode, both for and against football. Among the first rules I give to my students is that of respect: you have to be able to respect your comrades, your opponents and, in particular, your referee in particular. Respecting your companions means encouraging them, helping them and not resuming them or insulting them for their mistake. Respecting opponents means not to commit gross misunderstanding, not insulting, and not deriding them in the event of a win. Respecting the referee means calmly accepting his decisions as we can all go wrong. I believe that the protests are of little use, since once a decision has been made, an arbitrator will never come back. Personally, I accept every decision of the race directors and avoid the plausible protests, I wonder very softly at the end of the race, explanations about particular episodes, even though I explain to my students that every game ends at 90 °, that is useless to recriminate the episodes.

Lorenzo Geluardi

Parents, they should be killed by children …


Often on the forums, souls warm up and sometimes they fly swearing, insulting, and offensive especially aimed at the referees and, worse, the small players in the field. Absolute protagonist of this bad habit, the public attending the youth football matches, which is, alas, made up by parents who are the first “fans” of the team where they play their children. The fundamental problem is culture: why pollute a healthy sport performance, a confrontation between children, giving a bad example and a bad self-image? Why, instead of sustaining our own goodies, by encouraging them positively, do we resort to offending opponents? Unfortunately, we prefer to emphasize the technical or physical qualities of a child instead of encouraging their sports performance, forgetting the sense of RESPECT. It even comes to offend children who play in the same team as their children, because they feel inferior, because they “damage the team” and feel like “that’s where he comes in, now he does at least one self-do”? But when he points … “” but what does the master do? Do you want to lose the game? “” Is my son gone out and that came in? “There are also dislikes among the same family members who depend on the fact that he plays always, that never goes out … This attitude can also induce the child, Who tends to imitate the parent, the habit of criticizing everyone, by projecting on the other (fellow-mates, referee) the motive of a defeat, without recognizing their own “responsibilities” or “mistakes”. We must look for all, those who are in charge of the work and not, to recover, as I have said before, that sense of respect; Respect that we also have to the race directors, men who are all wrong, men who are domenically easy to compile for “compassionate compliments” and that very often, in youth football, they are just kindly parents who are kindly available to you.

As I followed a broadcast on youth football on a local TV, a mister exclaimed: “The parents? You ought to kill them as little … “. Here, now without taking “the letter” this phrase, also said with a good dose of humor, we can understand how parents can affect, interfere, and affect their son absolutely. We start from the assumption that each parent is called to “train” (or at least should) the personality of his child, making him grow in a healthy way by giving him and, above all, observing precise rules and prohibitions. The family is therefore the first “educational tank”, the first environment in which the child is used to what is good or bad, where he should also feel a few “no” in addition to the many “yes” he is used to receive. Now, we football school instructors can not and do not pretend to replace our parents, because we do not have to teach education to anyone, but today we go to work with children who only eight years old, once again for some unsuitable behavior, instead of redeeming Or be ashamed, they laugh in your face. Probably, nowadays, the concept of “authority” is lost and it is increasingly difficult to make a parent. Kids who come to the camp are often not used to losing, or they are content with their parents, and this “discomfort” conflicts with the reality of the group where each one of them becomes any. And we instructors are therefore being called upon to infuse in them the concept of dressing room, team, union, collective and that there is only one reality called a group formed by many individuals who are also considered, where all are important but no one essential.


La visione del genitore è nettamente all’opposto di quella del mister: ogni papà (o mamma) vorrebbe che il proprio figlio segnasse gol a valanga e che giocasse sempre e comunque. Quel che è peggio è che invece di portare al campo il figlio per socializzare, per farlo crescere con gli altri, per farlo divertire o semplicemente per fargli praticare dello sport, lo carica di responsabilità, lo disprezza se non riesce o lo esalta se lo vede fare certe cose, dimenticando che si tratta pur sempre di un bambino. Addirittura, nella mia esperienza, ho incontrato una mamma, il cui figlio ottenne effettivamente era “positivamente predisposto” al gioco del calcio, che una volta mi confidò : “speriamo mi faccia passare una bella vecchiaia…”. Ma come si può caricare una simile responsabilità sulle spalle di un bambino di otto anni? Come si può pretendere che lui, che deve pensare solo a giocare e a divertirsi, possa un giorno giocare in serie A? Spesso il proprio figlio è vissuto come un “prolungamento di se stessi” e rappresenta la propria RIVINCITA sulla vita. Si proiettano su di lui desideri insoddisfatti e sogni non realizzati, creandogli false e sbagliate aspettative. Se per esempio questi in mezzo al campo subisce un fallo, si reagisce violentemente contro l’autore perché è come se quel fallo lo avesse subito lo stesso genitore, ovvero la parte di se stesso a cui si tiene di più, quella proiettata sul figlio. Il genitore così vive tutte le esperienze del proprio figlio (anche per esempio quelle negative come la panchina o l’esclusione dalle convocazioni) come se fosse lui a farle, interpretando le sue sconfitte come se fosse lui il perdente, esaltandosi invece anche eccessivamente se il figlio vince. Questo atteggiamento è captato dal bambino, molto sensibile agli stati d’animo del genitore ed al modo in cui egli si comporta o parla con lui. Quindi se dopo aver perso una partita il piccolo vede il genitore abbattuto, silenzioso e critico, oppure dopo una vittoria lo vede euforico come se avesse portato a casa la Coppa del Mondo, l’idea che si fa è che sia accettato da lui solamente se vincente. Ciò può portare il bambino ad un errato approccio alla partita, affrontando la stessa solo con l’obiettivo di non perdere, per evitare la delusione e l’insoddisfazione del proprio genitore.


Dobbiamo frenare e fare un passo indietro. Io non ho mai fatto sentire “fenomeno” nemmeno bambini che facevano cinquine di gol a partita…così come non ho mai fatto sentire “brocco” chi era meno dotato o predisposto per il gioco del calcio. Il genitore, “attaccato alla rete”, che si intrufola nello spogliatoio con una scusa banale, che segue passo passo il proprio figlio, che urla quello che deve o non deve fare in campo, che magari poi a casa gli fa “ripetizioni calcistiche” (e ne ho conosciuti…) vorrebbe solo un protagonista in campo: il proprio bambino. E allora mentre tu sudi le proverbiali sette camicie per insegnargli a passare la palla ai compagni, lui si giustifica così: “ha detto mio padre che devo andare da solo dritto in porta…” “ha detto mio padre che devo giocare attaccante” “ha detto mia madre che i rigori li devo tirare io”…Ecco il nocciolo della questione: bisognerebbe astenersi dal suggerire ai propri figli i propri punti di vista, di esprimere giudizi sui compagni di gioco, di interferire nelle scelte tecniche, di esprimere giudizi sul nostro operato, anche perché noi istruttori cerchiamo di sviluppare le potenzialità del bambino, intese non solo come capacità tecniche ma anche, come sottolineavo prima, come capacità di socializzazione in un gruppo. Il genitore non si rende conto che istruttore rappresenta per il proprio figlio una figura di riferimento importante, che il bambino tende ad idealizzare e che le critiche al tecnico possono disorientarlo. L’istruttore di scuola calcio ha un ruolo ben diverso da quello del tecnico delle squadre che si seguono in televisione, in quanto egli è prima di tutto un educatore. Non ci si può, quindi, limitare a valutare il suo operato esclusivamente dal numero delle vittorie e dalle sconfitte raccolte, ma bisogna predisporsi a valutare sotto un’ottica diversa il suo lavoro. Molto spesso, il genitore è concentrato esclusivamente sul risultato (inteso come vittoria, sconfitta, pareggio) mentre non coglie aspetti particolari quali la corretta esecuzione di un gesto fondamentale  come, per esempio, effettuare uno stop di petto o colpire la palla di esterno: questi sono i veri risultati. E allora…lasciamoli giocare e divertirsi, perché, a quest’età, ne hanno tutto il diritto.

Lorenzo Geluardi