The Football Development Model (FDM) equips you to coach football in new ways to develop better athletes.
Coaching is about helping your players achieve success and making a positive impact on their lives.
The principles behind the Football Development Model help coaches become superior teachers that keep the game simpler, safer and more fun for their players. Keep reading to see how USA Football’s new coach curriculum – based on the principles of the model – will help you develop better players next season.
The Football Development Model introduces a variety of progressions based on athletes’ age, the skills they learn and their game type. These progressions are step-by-step approaches to development, designed to build better skill foundations and grow an athlete’s thinking, feeling and behaving abilities.
USA Football is developing a new coach curriculum. Coaches who get certified will receive the Player Progression Guide, the Contact Manual and Practice Plans designed to provide an A-to-Z approach to skill development and age and game-type-appropriate teaching methods.
This year, certification resources have been revamped to help coaches develop the whole athlete based on their athletes’ age and stage of development. Coaches who finish before they step on the practice field are putting the player first, by investing in their own ability to teach better.
“I wholeheartedly believe in the Football Development Model … Forget the game, forget the fact that we're playing football, this is for their development, for their benefit and that Football Development Model helps that whole process."
Football is about more than just blocking and tackling. The game offers an athlete so much more in terms of character development, health and wellness and the valuable lessons of working with people of different skillsets.
To address this, the principles from the model were added to USA Football’s coach curriculum to provide training and resources to help coaches better connect with and develop the complete person. Below you’ll see a preview of what coaches will learn.
Teaching the right aspects of a skill at the right time keeps sports fun and fulfilling. This outlook avoids overwhelming athletes while helping them improve at a steady pace. Coaches who take the certification will get manuals and guides to teach skills in a progression.
Starting with a step-by-step approach for each skill helps athletes achieve success before adding complexity. Once the basics of a skill are mastered, the skill progressions add coaching points that help an athlete develop and compete at a higher level to achieve more success.
It's not enough to make football players better at football. The model builds upon the life-long values and lessons of the sport by going beyond teaching football skills.
Football creates opportunities to help athletes advance their thinking, feeling and behaving abilities. USA Football’s coach curriculum provides resources to guide that growth with teaching insights to help coaches meet an athlete’s cognitive, social and emotional needs.
Understanding how athletes learn is essential, and through the model, coaches will discover tactics to better teach their players. An athlete’s attention span is limited, and they don’t process instructions as fast as adults do. Kids will make mistakes, and that’s okay. Coaches that take USA Football’s Youth Coach Certification this year will learn how to adjust their teaching style to match the thinking abilities at their team’s stage of development.
Athletes process competition, with each other and within a game, differently than adults. For them, ability and effort are often the same. They also tend to forget more quickly than adults and are ready to move on to the next thing. The age-based resources within this year's USA Football Youth Coach Certification will help train coaches to understand that players’ emotions are just as important as their technical skills on the football field.
Each age level presents different challenges when it comes to an athlete’s behavior. Whether that athlete is engaging with their surroundings, a peer or their coach, it’s important that adults know how to manage the situation. How a coach helps players interact with one another and their surroundings will be covered in the age-based resources within this year's USA Football Youth Coach Certification for coaches.
“The Football Development Model (FDM) is cutting-edge. The depth of content, the quality of the corresponding materials and educational offerings are the new standard for National Governing Bodies.”
Coach support for the concept of proper skill development can be found every level of the game. Watch what they all have to say about the impact they’ve experienced in their pilot leagues or expect to see in the future.