It's in the DNA

posted Oct 8, 2015, 6:15 AM by Andrew Ellis

On 4 December 2014 the FA unveiled its England DNA philosophy at St. George’s Park with the ultimate aim of creating winning England teams.  It consists of five elements – ‘who we are’, ‘how we play’, ‘the future England player’, ‘how we coach’ and ‘how we support the process’.

Whilst the focus has been on elite player development, with plans to follow for grassroots football, themes within the ‘how we coach’ element should be familiar to WWFC coaches.

‘How we coach’ looks at the way players are developed with all England training sessions built on the following core principles:

  • Use a positive and enthusiastic manner with players at all times;
  • Deliver realistic game-related practices;
  • Use games whenever possible in training;
  • Develop practices that enable the players to make lots of decisions;
  • Connect with the group before the session outlining the aims, objectives and learning outcomes;
  • All sessions should follow The FA Learning cycle (Plan-Do-Review). This is a coaching cycle that ensures players are aware before, during and after the session as to what is required;
  • Value and work equally across the FA four-corner model;
  • Spend equal time delivering, planning and reviewing;
  • Include elements of transition in all practices and sessions where possible;
  • Use a carousel approach in sessions so different practices are organised beforehand to allow players to maximise playing time in training;
  • Use varied coaching styles based on the needs of the group;
  • All sessions will ensure 70 per cent ball-rolling time.

It is not about who we coach, it is how we coach.  Our challenge is always to maximise the learning experience, and that is the same whether we are working at grassroots or with elite players.  So perhaps we should not be surprised that coaching principles held by WWFC are now embedded within the England DNA!