The advent of the new NPL Structure has been put in place to promote education and development of the game at Grassroots level, unfortunately it would appear that the age old issue of ‘Win at all costs’ is still prominent and it will ultimately lead to large number of talented youngsters leaving the game.

The Reason

Remember, at Barcelona, arguably the biggest and best football club in the world, they have a mandate set at Junior Level that “Results Based Coaching is seen as an Imposter, and any coach who sets up their sessions/teams around winning will be asked to leave” Why should it be any different here in WA??

Please see below an excerpt from the FFA National Curriculum. All clubs, not just one’s participating in the NPL should be adhering to these standards:

From ‘Fight-ball’ to Football

Generally in Australian youth football far too much emphasis is placed on results and this hinders the development of skill, creativity and tactical cleverness – characteristics we currently lack compared to the best of the world. Of course everyone wants to win when playing football, that’s the purpose of the game.

But in youth football we should primarily teach young players the proper skills and allow them to play without negative pressure, to express themselves and be allowed to make and learn from mistakes. In other words, there needs to be a better balance between results and development. Is this some sort of woolly opinion?

Consider the field research study (2011) by Chris Sulley of Europe’s most renowned youth academies (Bayern Munich, Ajax, Barcelona, the French National training centre at Clairefontaine, and others). Sulley states: “All the organisations focused on development above and beyond winning on match day”

‘Winning at all costs’, which is often the traditional Australian way, has a number of very negative side effects for youth development.


At Pro Football Training we do not run our own teams but we believe we have a responsibility to the players and parents who allow us to coach their children to nurture players and educate all on the important aspects of the game. Ultimately we believe that becoming a better person, who will always have football as a positive component of their lives, is far more important.

In the FFA National Curriculum they have also listed the following 6 questions:

  • Is Football being played?
  • Is Football being learned and therefore taught?
  • Is Football being experienced and enjoyed?
  • Do the players understand the football importance of the exercise?
  • Do the players recognise the relation to the real game of football?
  • Are the players challenged to improve as a footballer?

If you see the following at your child’s training/games then you need to speak to the club/coach and ask why they are limiting your child’s development opportunites:

  • Too long waiting in lines
  • Non stimulating or over complicated exercises
  • Intensity to high or too low
  • Coach intervening too much and talking for too long
  • Coaches who are negative and put pressure on players to win
  • Sessions that are used to punish players if they have not played ‘well’ and used as fitness sessions.

At Pro Football Training we are always striving to be better, with our programs and engagement of children and parents and are only too happy to discuss the further development of the game with anyone.

We encourage you all of you to contact us,, with any questions or concerns you may have.

“Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self-satisfaction in knowing that you have made the effort to become the best that you are capable of becoming” Coach John Wooden