Long Term Player Development Model

The Way Forward

Player Centered * Coach Driven * Administration, Sports Science, Parent Supported

Coaches at all levels recognize that training and competition are essential to player success. Young players are not miniature adults; the emphasis and content of training differ according to the developmental age and readiness of the player. Consequently, it is a long-term process for young players to develop into elite athletes.

With very young players, the emphasis of training should be on basic coordination and movement acquisition in a fun environment.  While challenges and competition are an essential part of the training, they should not be the focus of it.

As young players move through to each new phase of their development, the process and the program should be clear. It must also be linear and methodical to allow an easy transition to the next phase. Consideration of what should be coached, when, for how long and how often, must be related to critical periods in human development:   the “windows of trainability.” Again these must be linked if players are to reach their potential and fully develop as a person. Thus, it is essential for soccer clubs to develop and use a cohesive, coherent long-term plan for player development.

A specific and well-planned practice, training, competition, and recovery program will ensure optimum development throughout a player/athlete’s career. Ultimately, sustained success comes from training and performing well over time rather than winning in the short term. There is no shortcut to success in athletic preparation. The rushing competition will always result in challenges to physical, technical, tactical, mental, personal and lifestyle capacities.

In Red Star’s framework, fun, fundamental motor skills, and soccer-specific skill development are strongly emphasized at an early age. Competition for younger children needs to be balanced with a focus on skill development. Presently, in the U.S. there is an overemphasis on competition to the detriment of opportunities to practice and improve. If younger players are to develop their skills and decision making, they need to be exposed to enjoyable practices to develop their capacities on a regular basis.

The Red Star Long-Term Player Development (LTPD) Model, as part of the academy’s master plan and guiding principles, will contribute to skills, fitness, and knowledge among players in the years to come.

The Red Start LTPD will:

  • -provide clear pathways for progression.
  • -help athletes attain higher and more sustained levels of success.
  • -provide athlete-centered planning and decision making.
  • -provide a basis on which to monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of programs.

 At Red Star, we believe our entire organization is charged with the responsibility to ensure that players are provided with the best opportunities to achieve their goals and fulfill their dreams.


“Our daughter, Sonya, began competitive soccer at the age of 7 with The Red Star Academy. She loves the practices, her teammates are a delight and coach Adriano has a very systematic approach to skills development encouraging the girls to grow to their full potential. Street soccer on Friday’s is one of her favorite practices where the girls and boys play together rounding out many skills and building confidence. Red Star is also very organized and thought out so from a parent’s perspective practices and games are easy to plan ahead for when one has several children in multiple activities. It’s a terrific organization with a Technical Director who has a strong passion for sharing his love for soccer.

Cara D

U8 Soccer Mom

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