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The Player-Centred Approach

Rob Sherman explains the player-centred approach and asks whether it is exclusive to youth development.

Rob has over 30 years’ experience, starting in amateur leagues before graduating to be an Area Coach for the Welsh FA and coach of Wales U16. After several years as the Welsh National Player Development Manager and Technical Director, in 2007 he became High Performance Manager at New Zealand Football and coached at FIFA events and two Olympics. After establishing the Asia Pacific Football Academy and a stint in Australia as Head of Coach Education, Rob returned to New Zealand as Technical Director and now consults across a number of organisations.

On many of the courses I have directed over the years I often ask the question: why do people coach? The overriding theme in the answers is to ‘help players or to give something back’. Seldom do coaches talk about what’s in it for them. As discussions evolve, especially around youth development, the ‘player-centred approach’ is often touted. But what exactly does a player-centred approach mean and is it exclusive to youth football?

Fundamentally,...

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