Keynote 4 | Tailor-made youth football, the key for success

Title of the Keynote Presentation:

Tailor-made youth football, the key for success


Kris Van Der Haegen, 

Director Coach Education Royal Belgian Football Association

Assistant coach Women’s national senior team Red Flames

Outline of the Keynote Presentation:

Introduction– Reflection on the tailor-made approach in Belgian Children’s Football: how can a player centred approach be applied to create the best learning environment from very young age? How can we as a coach create the best learning environment for children? The starting point is the child: how can the coach adapt to the age and level in front of him/her?
It's all about the children, not about the team or the coach. FUN as driver to success in youth sports! Can we as adults look through the eyes of the children to create the best playing and learning environment that fits to the children?

Implications and Application – A child centred approach leads to a child friendly playing and training format based upon fun and acquisition of skills based upon playing activities (and no isolated drills). Learning first to love/enjoy the game and then learning by playing. How can we apply these principles in the different age groups: let the complexity of the game grow with the shirt and the age of the child, but keep focusing on enjoying the game. By applying these principles, football will be school for life with social skills while enjoying sport/football.
How can coaches take these challenges and apply this in practice?

Conclusion – What’s the best playing format for children at the different stages and how can we transfer that child centred approach in the training sessions and methodology?
A 100% children tailor-made approach is the only answer: the game and the training sessions belong to the children! The coach is just a learning facilitator who has to create the best environment . 

Any Other Comments/Information:

The Belgian football success story: How did this approach bring Belgian football to the top of the world ranking? By focusing on the individual child/player and make them flourish from very young age…

 On the web

Twitter: @KVDHaegen

Other: Linkedin Kris Van Der Haegen

Adrian Byrne