A young player kicks the ball energetically.

Why is physical development important?

5 - 11

During the Foundation Phase, helping your players to develop a varied 'movement vocabulary’ is one of the most important gifts you can give.


Children are meant to be active: they should be excited by the opportunity to run, climb and play.

A child who feels confident and capable in their movements is more likely to engage with physical activity, such as sport, which will help to develop their self-confidence.

In footballing terms, 'physically literate’ children have the capacity to be more creative, adaptable and flexible. This means that they’re better equipped to be an effective player; for example, being capable of creative movement lays the foundation for creative techniques and skills.

To help support this development, a coaching session must get your team moving and should involve dynamic, innovative practices. Remember: if you present physical activity in an exciting and enjoyable way, your players will respond.

For a closer look at how this applies to children across the Foundation Phase, scroll down now.


Step one: players aged 5-8

The England DNA aims to provide players with the widest possible 'movement vocabulary’ and working towards the aims below will provide your team with the best possible start.

At this age, we want every child to:

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1.

Create a life-long foundation for physical movement.  

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2.

Recognise that being physically active is fun and great for brain function.

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3.

Progress their physical technique and skills in the future.

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4.

Develop agility, balance and other necessary movement capabilities. 

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5.

Feel physically confident in a wide range of sports. 

It's important to remember that, as your team gets older, these '5-8' aims don't just disappear; you should continue to work towards them throughout the Foundation Phase.


Step two: players aged 9-12

At this age, we want every child to:

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6.

Receive coaching that's appropriate to their age and stage of development.

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7.

Feel prepared for the physical changes that occur as they grow.

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8.

Use their body effectively and successfully in games.

For example, part of using your ‘body effectively and successfully in games’ means being able to deal with contact from the opposition. We want older Foundation Phase players to feel contact without panicking, and be able to use their body to control both the ball and the actions of their opponent.


Next steps

Want to know how to support your players' physical development? Click here.

 


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