Somerset FA had the pleasure of welcoming Pete Sturgess, FA Technical Lead for players aged 5-11, to the county for a coaching CPD event on the England DNA Foundation Phase.
Richard Huish College in Taunton was the setting for our CPD event, where FA Charter Standard Club of the Year in Somerset, Husih Tigers, took part in the practical session with Pete for the development of our coaches.
The Foundation Phase is the element of the England DNA, responsible for our current men's and women's senior team form, is specific for players aged 5-11 years. The Foundation Phase gamifies many training drills and seeks to teach the players various match skills in a fun and safe environment. For many young children, playing in games of football is the driving force behind their early engagement with the sport and their motivation, enthusiasm and focus remain high when taking part in these games. 'Games' can be small-number games in training (such as 1v1, 2v2, 3v3) as well as any suitable competitive small-sided game format as part of a league, festival or tournament.
The players need this exposure to help their development. The part that we play as adults and coaches is to help manage the ups and downs, the successes and disappointments and the development opportunities that these encounters will provide. We must create an environment that is safe and supportive whilst being competitive and player centred. If we can provide this then there is an increased chance of players staying with the sport and as such giving us, the coaches, a chance to develop them even further.
The long term outcome will be to prepare players to react effectively regardless of the situation. The young players will be equipped with a number of game responses and helped to ensure they select the most effective one. It is almost impossible to predict what someone is thinking but it is the intention of this approach to get players to a point where their response in games and training situations will be.
You can read more about the England DNA below
Photos of the event are also available on Flickr