The concept of player development is essential to the long-term growth and improvement of the player. From a soccer developmental standpoint, in a good professional club, Each individual player must be the primary objective in the soccer
program. In other words the program must be player centered. Not the team, not the coach, not the parents, not the board or club.    
“The player is central”

Consider a student in Trigonometry class who is being introduced to concepts like sine and cosine. Imagine how difficult this will be for the student to “figure out” if he/she had not been properly taught the fundamentals of math – addition, subtraction, multiplication and division. The student might even understand some trigonometric concepts, but lack the basic tools to work out a correct solution. This student should not have been promoted to this next level of math. It is the same in soccer. The success of each new skill and concept is based upon skills and concepts already learned. The more knowledgeable player will have  the more options he/she will have to solve each soccer challenge he/she faces.

Issues in Player Development by ICECP

  • Under-training and over-competing young athletes.
  • Superimposing adult competition schedules on young athletes (the system of competition).
  • Superimposing adult training programmes on young athletes.
  • Superimposing male programmes on females.
  • Focusing on chronological age versus maturation level and this dominates training and competition designs from ages 11 to 16.
  • Not capitalizing on The "critical" or "sensitive“ periods of accelerated adaptation to training at the Learning to Train or Training to Train stages.
  • Having the most knowledgeable coaches coaching at elite level, when they should work at the developmental level and volunteer and uneducated coaches coaching at these critical levels.
  • Specializing athletes early in attempts to retain them.
  • Neglecting education of parents and administrators with regards to long-term athlete development (nutrition, regeneration, maturation and psycho-social development, etc...).
  • Lack of the integration of sport science, sport medicine and sport-specific technical-tactical activities.
  • Preparation is geared to the short-term outcome  winning  and not to the process.
  • Not teaching Fundamental movement skills and sport skills properly.
  • In most sports, the competition system interferes with athlete development.
  • There is no talent identification (TID) system.
  • There is no integration between physical education programs in the schools, recreational community programs, and elite competitive programs.

Important Facts

  • The best age acquiring sports skills is considered to be 8-12 girls and 8-13 for boys. (Adams, 1981; Narodi, 1985, Singer, 1970)
  • However, until the age of 10 the acquired skills are rather unstable and children are less able to use the ecquired elements of motor coordination for formation of a new skill (Farfel, 1959)
  • High possibilities for acquiring various motor skills are revealed at the ages of 10 to 12 (Korobkov et al. 1962)
  • After the onset of PHV acquiring of motor skills is complicated by disorders in motor coordination ( during Peak Height Velocity), and later by the formation of individual forms of motor coordination after puberty. (Viru, 1995)