Understanding how players grow and develop through play and sport along with long term athlete development (LTAD) can be a challenging process when considering players individual stages of physical, emotional, tactical and psychological development all alongside their participation in the sports they enjoy to play. Keeping in mind that our kids/players all develop at different rates and may experience aspects of “adolescent awkwardness” during periods of rapid growth, considerations around the amount of all sports, including football, played throughout these different ages and stages needs to be well considered, catered for and managed appropriately. In order to help parents, coaches and players understand the development process better and highlight critical developmental phases and stages in a players lifecycle with suggested hours of formal sports participation, plus the LTAD model, we have created the below ‘Player Development Guidelines’.

 

The player development guidelines table will highlight the changing developmental stages throughout a players journey in line with suggested total hours of all formal sports involvement, plus New Zealand Football’s Whole of Football Plan (WOFP) within this framework, overlayed with the healthy continuation of other sports a player wishes to participate in and in line with Sport New Zealand’s Balance is Better campaign, taking into consideration relevant stages for all ages.

 

 

How to use the Player Development Guidelines table

 

Scroll through the table with your mouse checking against the players age and gender you are exploring to highlight guidelines specific to this population group.   Also try clicking on the below “Show Growth Velocity Curve” button to see the average male and female growth curve overlayed onto these guidelines. Understand what guidelines are recommended for the population group and their phase of growth and development.  It is important to keep in mind that this curve is reflective of an “average” growth rate which may vary from individual to individual depending on whether they mature early or later.

Please select an age and sex to filter the information in the table below, highlighting relevant data. You can also click on an age and/or sex within the table to change the options.

Viewing data for: year old

  Chronological Age 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21+
LTD Stage - Males Active Start Fundamentals Learn to Train Training to Train Training to Compete Training to Win
LTD Stage - Females Active Start Fundamentals Learn to Train Training to Train Training to Compete Training to Win
General Sport Purpose Physical Literacy Participation or Performance
Sports Range of sports and activities Football/Futsal
1-2x Other Social Sports
Football/Futsal Specialisation
Total Hours Per Week
(All Organised Sport, including P.E in schools. Not including unstructured "Free Play")
Up to 6 hours Up to 7-8 hours Up to 9-10 hours Up to 11-12 hours Up to 13-15 hours Up to 16 hours Up to 17 hours
Alternative sports, recreation & training 5h hours of active play max 6x hours alternative sports / recreation max 8x hours alternative sports / recreation max 8x hours alternative sports / recreation max 5x hours alternative sports / recreation max, 2x hours pre-rehab / re-hab Alternative training including S&C, re-hab, mental / life skills, etc Alternative training including S&C, re-hab, mental / life skills, etc
     
Football Framework New Zealand Football Training Programme N/A FIRST KICKS
1. Fundamentals
FUN FOOTBALL / FUTSAL
2. Playful Technical Training
MINI FOOTBALL / FUTSAL
3. Football/Futsal specific basic training
YOUTH
4. Learning to shape the player of the future
YOUTH
5. Preparation for highest performance
SENIOR
6. Perfecting best performance
7. Stabilising best performance
Football/Futsal Specific
(Recommended maximum Football/Futsal sessions)
1

1x First Kicks Game Day

(45mins Football/Futsal max)
2(1+1)

1x training day
1x Game Day

(1.5 Football/Futsal hours max)
2(1+1)

1x Training / Skill Centre session
1x Game Day

(2 Football/Futsal hours max)
3(2+1)

2x Training / Skill Centre session
1x Game Day

(3-4 Football/Futsal hours max)
4(3+1)

3x Football/Futsal trainings plus game (or 2 trainings plus 2 games)

(8 hours Football/Futsal max)
5(4+1)

4x Football/Futsal trainings plus game (or 3 trainings plus 2 games)

(10 hours Football/Futsal max)
6(5+1)

5x Football/Futsal trainings plus game

(11.5 hours Football/Futsal max)
NZF Framework Phases DISCOVERY PHASE SKILL ACQUISITION PHASE GAME TRAINING PHASE PERFORMANCE PHASE
Recommended Rest Days N/A Minimum of 1-2x Full Rest Days per week (not including unstructured play) Minimum of 1 Full Rest Day per week Minimum of 1 Full Rest Day per week
Max 2x Football/Futsal Specific sessions per day
  Chronological Age
LTD Stage - Males
LTD Stage - Females
General Sport Purpose
Sports
Total Hours Per Week
(All Organised Sport, including P.E in schools. Not including unstructured "Free Play")
Alternative sports, recreation & training
   
Football Framework New Zealand Football Training Programme
Football/Futsal Specific
(Recommended maximum Football/Futsal sessions)
NZF Framework Phases
Recommended Rest Days
Key:
NZF Junior Framework
NZF Youth Framework
NZF Senior Framework