The Discovery Phase (U6 – U9)

Phase Overview

The discovery phase is all about:

  • Discovering one’s (im)possibilities through trial and error
  • Natural development: ‘learn FOOTBALL by playing football’
  • No ‘coaching’ but organising fun football exercises
  • Replicating the ‘street/park football’ environment of the past
  • Emphasis on building a love of the game.

For U/6’s and U/7’s two weekly training sessions of 45 minutes and one game during the weekend is the maximum safe workload, while for U/8’s and U/9’s the length of the sessions can be increased to 60 minutes

For more information on the discovery phase please click HERE

Model Sessions

Discovery Phase Training Sessions

Session Tips

Plan your sessions in advance

Arrive early and set up the area

Give clear, short instructions

Demonstrate quickly and efficiently

Keep the session flowing

Vary the activities but keep it simple

Be enthusiastic and give lots of praise

Encourage after mistakes

Be patient

Have fun (both the kids and you!)

Keep everyone active, avoid having kids standing around

What are the characteristics of children in this age bracket?

  • They are still ‘clumsy’ (lack fine motor skills), because they are still developing their coordination
  • They have a short span of attention and are quickly and easily distracted
  • They are ‘self-centred’ and not yet able to really work together (so do not ask them to perform team play, it is impossible for them!)
  • They play or participate for fun with short bursts of energy and enthusiasm
  • They are unable to handle a lot of information (instructions; feedback)

What does this mean for training sessions with children this age?

Discovery Phase Training Program Cycle

In this section you will find an example of a 12 week program based on 12 Sessions for the Discovery Phase. This 12 week program is based on the assumption that teams will have one weekly training session with the weekly game on Saturdays.

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