Quality vs Quantity
Elite players are moulded by learning the game. Unfortunately, too many young New Zealand players are forced to endure the tedium of lengthy formal training sessions with little to no benefit or learning outcomes.
The focus instead should be on embedding excellence amongst young footballers by providing high quality, focused education. This is best achieved by shorter, intense, well planned sessions.
TOFFA Session Schedule
Top Flight Football Academy was founded with a desire for New Zealand’s young talent to regularly compete at the highest level. In order to achieve this, players need to be given the best chance to learn and perform with excellence. Excellence needs to become habitual.
Top Flight Football Academy achieves this with three 60-minute training sessions a week.
The focus is always on the ball. With four 15-minute blocks within each session, participants aren’t given the opportunity to get bored or become complacent. There is always a new challenge to overcome, something new to comprehend and learn. Sessions start on time every time and not a second is wasted.
While other programmes may focus on total hours spent on the pitch, the Top Flight approach is quality over quantity.
This is no different to how Soccer Italian Style (Top Flight Football Academy’s Italian partners) coaches operate their training schedules in the youth systems of Serie A clubs Fiorentina ACF and Empoli FC respectively.
Players also need to be working with the ball in their own time. By having trainings early in the morning our young players are finished for the day. After school they are free to develop their relationship with the football on their terms, either alone or with friends.
Unstructured play fosters creativity and problem solving abilities, both important attributes for any young footballer.
A player’s love affair with the game is forged during these informal moments with the ball. Encouraging and facilitating this work at home is therefore an integral part of our player development pathway.
With so many extra-curricular options available it is easy for a child to get lost doing a lot of different things whilst forgetting about learning outcomes.
The danger of too much formal instruction, particularly at a young age, is that players can start to lose their natural love of the game. A good learning environment on the other hand should also be laying the foundations of a lifelong passion for that particular activity.
Therefore, remaining fresh and rested is vital to maximising learning opportunities. Too much activity with differing messages eventually leads to confusion, fatigue and a loss of enjoyment.
Top Flight Football Academy strives to find a working balance between guided instruction, providing opportunities to explore the football in their own time as well as ensuring their young physiologies are given sufficient time to rest and recuperate.
Quality over quantity is what counts when it comes education, regardless of the activity.
The focus needs to be on the learning outcomes, not just the completion of another scheduled task or activity.
Using a quality over quantity approach to the development of all our players, Top Flight Football Academy will contribute to New Zealand’s next generation of talent.
Share this Post