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Systematic Structured Development

Professional Football Development


SSD Balanced Training

3 STEPS To Planning an Individual Training Programme - Suitable for AGE 7 - 12


Write down the following key skills and then mark alongside each one either WEAK or STRONG:

Fitnesss / Agility / Speed

Right Foot

Left Foot

Ball Juggling with Weak Foot

Aerial Control - chest / thigh / foot

Shooting with a Fast Moving Ball


Hitting the Ball Off the Ground


Operate a 4 WEEK TRAINING CYCLE - with the first 3 weeks working on weak skills only - followed by 1 week on strong skills only.

Practice Hours Per Week
Age 6: One hour
Age 7: Two hours
Age 8/9: Three hours
Age 10/12: Four Hours

Time Per Exercise
Divide the session time by the number of skills requiring practice. For example, if you have listed 4 skills and have a one hour training session - then it's 15 minutes of repetitive practice on each skill area.


At the end of the 4 week period, write down the list of skills again. What areas are you still struggling with? What are your weakest skills?

THEN - start your next 4 week cycle.

Training Notes
If left to their own devices, young players will inevitably practice the strong areas (or fun elements) of their game, so coaches must, from an early age, devise training programmes that generate a better overall balance - weak and strong skills - and incorporate the three main aspects of professional development - Key Individual Skills, Repetition, and the 3P's.

Key Individual Skills
  Ball Juggling
  Aerial Control (chest / thigh / foot)
  Ground Control
  Weak Foot
  BASE (balance, agility, speed, endurance)

Mastering any skill involves repetition - working on a particular skill continuously for long periods of time - particularly important with regards to specific weak areas. For example, if weak on your left foot and poor at aerial control, then 15 minutes continuous work with the left foot, followed by 15 minutes on aerial control - then repeat, over and over again.
Note: Dedicated repetition is for youth players (age 12 and above), from age 8 to 11 there should be a 'gradual' increase in the level of repetitive exercises (especially the Key Individual Skills), but no repetitive drills from age 4 to 7.

The 3 p's
Children must learn at an early age, that to become a good player, you must Practice, Practice, Practice.
If give a child a ball and an empty goal, they will spend the entire afternoon shooting into the empty net using their strong foot only - instead of practising the key skill areas.

Putting it ALL TOGETHER . . . .

1. Create a Balanced Training Programme - strong and weak skills

2. Incorporate SSD Training Techniques

3. Encourage Repetition and the 3 P's

4. Gradually increase the level of difficulty by using SSD Opposites

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