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


Tactical heating for 4-3-1-2 ball at the tip end and change play

4 vs 4 + low outdoor and high training 4-4-2

Defense training at 4 Sarri

In this video, Sarri’s Napoli is trained with 8 defenders, 4 exercising in the defensive phase, the other 4 initially rolling ball afterwards jumping the man creating a covered ball situation and verting toward the door.

In the exercise the defenders

Slip through the ball while remaining compact
Recovering feet forward by following the movement of the balloon when from the outside in possession back to a central
The outside exits when the ball goes side-by-side and the others run the covers on one line
The three in the cover come out when sideways leaving the low exterior defending it is jumped to the center and a filter ball reaches the door

Possession ball 3v1

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