FA Youth Award Modules
The FA Youth Award program is tightly targeted towards the specific needs of coaching young players and seeks to prepare coaches by taking a holistic approach to youth development and progress both on and off the pitch. Key to this philosophy is sensitising coaches to the needs of individual players at different developmental levels within specific age groups and helping them move away from a more restrictive "one size fits all" coaching methodology.
Coaches are taught how to assess each player on various developmental criteria including social, psychological, physical and technical capacity and once these levels are understood, specific needs can be isolated and coaching sessions tailored to the individual. Although it may seem a little obvious to say that coaching should start with looking at the player, particularly when the player is a child, this has not always been the case in youth coaching and experienced coaches note significant improvements in teams as a whole when using the player specific approach developed for the Youth Award.
FA Youth Award courses are run through local county football associations and FA Learning and are sub divided into three Modules that are both topic and age specific. To start their progression through the Youth Award, candidates must hold the Level 1 QCF or be a qualified teacher who has attended the FA Introduction into Age Appropriate Coaching Course.
Module 1 - Developing the Environment
This initial course is generally run over 29–32 hours, is non assessed and focuses on developing players by creating and maintaining the optimum coaching and playing environment in the 5-11 age group. Specific topics covered include:
• Assessment of players and understanding how they learn to maximize coaching support.
• Managing the self esteem and motivation of players in an appropriate and constructive manner.
• Creating a positive, supportive environment to help players develop by minimizing fear of weaknesses.
• Practical, game related coaching drills and techniques to develop technical and tactical skills and improve decision making ability.