As part of the ongoing mission to raise the standards of coaching and player development at the academy, we present a report card at the end of every season . This report is exclusive of the Atoms and takes special emphasis at the critical ages, that is, between 9 and 19 years.
Briefly, the pilot program tested aspects on match tactics with a lot of emphasis on individual ball mastery, coaches’ recommendations, and observation and player response.
As much as possible the program strives to retain the fun factor, while steadily imparting skills in technique, understanding, playing competitively in matches and preparing for a professional career.
Throughout the season, the curriculum emphasizes on the dynamics of soccer that contribute to superior performance. The evaluation, while still based on previous parameters (subjective and objective analysis) continues to take into account this interrelationship when assessing a player’s ability. Objective analysis has been fused into application and is judged alongside other elements of subjective analysis and every weekend’s execution within the curriculum (shooting and heading, passing, dribbling and ball control).
We continue to monitor , skills, vision, tactical insight, application and execution. Tremendous emphasis is also put on creativity, skill and judgment during team play. Evaluation for acceptance and retention into the Planet program takes a new dimension from this season.Previously,players were assessed on 14 different skills that included natural abilities in mental retention and processing, skills, agility, speed, longevity, personality and attitude. Note: This time players will be evaluated on 22 aspects of technical,tactical,physical,psychological and social abilities.
ENHANCING PLAYER DEVELOPMENT
Players develop in response to an environment where technique and tactical awareness is set up in structured free play and emphasized in constant and numerous ball touches. This was brought out via small sided games and goal oriented fun games. These have become a major part of the seasonal evaluation.
OBSERVABLE Vs METRIC ANALYSIS
In spite of the evaluation metrics, more emphasis has been put on player performance during every game/match (critical qualitative observation, analytical) rather than a game’s final score (quantitative, numerical) which are not to any extent the measure of an individual player’s potential or ability. As Ligi Ndogo continues to put forward, a sub par performance on a given skill test is not necessarily a parameter for failure but rather an insight into what the next season’s program needs to put more emphasis on.
Evaluation points such as what a player can do with the ball, movement off the ball, defending a player with the ball/without the ball, will appear on a scorecard as a coach’s observation rather than as a metric analysis.
While technical plays are obviously important at the higher levels, young players must learn to play through obstacles during small-sided games as they develop their skill level or apply skills that they have learnt.
COACHING THE COACH
A lot of emphasis was also put on coaches’ performance, training and player profiling. All the Ligi Ndogo coaches completed a Seasonal Football Coaching Course led by a head coach or technical director, and applied throughout the season.After every practice session, the coaches get together to evaluate pointers which are used, improved on or eliminated during the next practice session.
The report is generated in knowledge that with proper monitoring, a program that puts emphasis on individual development and introduces,at the right instance,team oriented plays,eventually leads to a technically and tactically complete player.