The Scottish Football Association

Developing talent

As a coach, it's essential that you provide your players with the correct tools for their age and stage of development.

In this section you will find out more about the philosophy at each stage of development, plus lots of resources to help you to provide well organised, fun and enjoyable activity, and develop as a coach.

What stage?

The first stage in the development of young players is Desire to Play. For boys aged 6-9 and girls aged 6-8 this means providing fun enjoyable activity, well organised practices and games and stimulating activities.

The final stage, fore males aged 18+ and females aged 17+ is Preparing to Win. The focus of training at this stage is about creating winning performances on every occasion, at club and international level.

Desire to play

Following the Scottish FA's National Player pathway children at this stage should be playing the 4v4 format of the game. Find relevant drills here.

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Learn to play

At this stage of development, children make the transition from the 4v4 game format to 7v7.

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Developing the player

Players at this stage of development make the transition from the 7v7 game to eleven-a-side.

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Preparing to compete

At this stage the 11-a-side format is used and players are preparing to move on to the final stage of development.

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