Football (soccer) is one of the most popular sports in the world but in the UK we have been slower to adopt structured S&C based practices than other high profile sports such as rugby, golf and athletics. Although coaches, players and parents all realise that the modern game is more physically demanding than ever, we’re not prioritising physical development any more than we have done in the past. This article outlines some of the potential reasons for why this may be the case and explains some of the barriers contributing to the situation with the goal of helping you as practitioners, overcome these within your practice. We’ve put forward practical strategies to help practitioners engage coaches and players in S&C practices and enhance the physical development of youth football players. You can consolidate and share your learning with colleagues using the suggested group discussion topics at the end of the article and complete the elearning assessment for inclusion in your continuing education portfolio. To help you put together appropriate S+C programmes, we’ve included 28 videos of individual exercises appropriate for youth footballers, along with a ‘memory-prompt’ summary video containing all 28 exercises grouped together.
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Jamie Salter MSc, CSCS ASCC is the award leader for BSc Sports Therapy at York College and also lectures in Strength and Conditioning at York St John University.
Jamie graduated in 2007 with a BSc (Hons) in Science and Football from Liverpool John Moores University before completing an MSc in Strength and Conditioning in 2013.
Jamie has extensive applied experience in professional rugby league and football, currently working as athlete development coach at Middlesbrough FC. Jamie is currently researching the implications of training load around peak height velocity in adolescent football players.
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