Created on 2017-01-23 at 21:07 PM
Sebastian Dremmler, Head Coach of International Programs, recently visited the National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention in Los Angeles, the largest gathering of soccer coaches and administrators in the US, where he spoke about FC Bayern's North American youth partnership with Global Premier Soccer as well as the club's approach to developing young players.
In this article we will briefly take you through FC Bayern's youth development philosophy as presented by Dremmler in Los Angeles that covers the overarching approach, the fundamentals and key focus areas by age group necessary to build a foundation and understanding from a young age.
The running motif throughout the presentation and the club's development philosophy is technique. "A good first touch is key," said Dremmler in front of the LA crowd. "The player should control the ball, not the ball the player." Technique is instrumental in equipping young players not only with the necessary skills to compete in a fast-paced environment but also with crucial problem-solving skills on the pitch.
I. Technical Development
Technical development is broken down in three stages based focusing on key areas that build fundamental skills that can gradually be put into practice as young players grow older.
The most crucial phase of development takes place at the fundamental stage (U9-U11) where young players learn the basics of the game (dribbling, juggling, ball control, winning and creating space, etc.). Sessions focus on these basic skills in small games that encourage kids to "learn by doing." and hone their skills along the way.
As Dremmler noted, versatility and range of skill is key in youth development. To use an example of one of FC Bayern's own players and World Cup winner, Mats Hummels, one of the best defenders in world soccer, was a striker up until the U-17 level. The lesson being that the skills he acquired at a young age allowed him to make the positional switch effectively and carry it to a professional level.