The Football Development Model (FDM) is USA Football’s new initiative designed to make the game safer by reducing contact and teaching in a way that meets an athlete where they are in their development.
USA Football is introducing a new model for youth football. The model is designed to help coaches teach athletes based on their age, the skill they are learning and game type. Our approach assists with the development of young athletes and allows them to learn the game and related skills in a progression that best suits them.
This path offers young athletes more opportunities to play the game and choose the type of football that they want to play.
"At its center, the Football Development Model stands for having fun, developing a base of athleticism and learning skills step-by-step. Learning developmentally and age-appropriate skills allows you to compete, which is something kids love and differentiates sport from exercise."
Like many sports, football has changed and evolved over time. Regardless of challenges it has faced, the sport remains “America’s game” with millions of young athletes participating nationwide.
Our model is designed to be a smarter and safer way to play and teach the game. By establishing different levels of contact and game types at each game category, parents can identify the right entry point for their athlete. For coaches, the model helps USA Football further advance standards in coach education and certification.
"I think the Football Development Model will significantly impact the future of football if adopted properly over a period of time across the United States. I think it will change the way youth football is done. I think it will change the way youth football is perceived.”
USA Football created a group of medical, football and athlete development experts to develop ways to improve age-appropriate teaching methods, set standards to reduce contact, and define a progression of game types to benefit athlete development, confidence and overall well-being.