Foundation phase players

The England DNA: what do you need to know?

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The England DNA is the coaching and playing philosophy of the England teams.


It champions a world-class environment for development, and aims to provide a clear and consistent framework for learning.
The England DNA is made up of five core elements:

DNA 5 core elements

You can find out more about each of these elements here.

In the Foundation Phase, we focus on the developing child; sport, physical activity and football; and the relationship between the two.

To promote the England DNA, support young players and create a positive experience of football, you need to understand the following:

  • The power of play
    Children are ‘hard wired’ to explore and experiment. You can take advantage of this ‘playfulness’ and help your team use it to make sense of the world around them.
  • The importance of your coaching
    Children are engaging with football at increasingly younger ages and it’s essential that this early experience of sport is enjoyable. By providing a playful and supportive environment, you can help to promote long-term interest in physical activity – and create the basis for a healthy lifestyle.
  • The basics of child (and player) development
    Recognising the different stages of development can help you to support your players as they grow. For example, you’ll get to know the sort of behaviours to expect, when they’re likely to happen and how to manage them when they occur.

Want to know more? The Foundation Phase area of The Boot Room is designed to help develop your understanding of these key ideas – take look around. 


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