Season Development Plans are a good way to plan ahead for the season to come. A great Season Development Plan (SDP) will: be proactive, detailed, flow between sessions, build into the bigger picture and inspire players to practice in their own time.

Proactive v. Reactive

When planning out the season, it's important to take a few sessions to assess the player's and the team's before building their SDP. Use this time to observe and structure your season so that it reflects the needs of the players. It is much better to be proactive and have the season planned out ahead of time rather than reacting to every little thing that go's wrong on gameday. 

 
 Use the Red Print as a guide to help build your SDP.

Use the Red Print as a guide to help build your SDP.

 

Detail

The level of detail put into your SDP's will make your life far easier later on when planning session's. Now that you've observed and assessed the players, pick topics that are developmentally appropriate for the team/age group you're working with. 

 
 Use the Building Blocks to identify the areas being worked on and make sure they're developmentally appropriate.

Use the Building Blocks to identify the areas being worked on and make sure they're developmentally appropriate.

 

Try to lay out your learning outcomes for each session. Rather than being vague and leaving the topic as "Moves", can you layer in all the learning outcomes that you might want to achieve? 

E.g. Topic: Moves. Learning Outcomes: Speed of approach, Distance of execution, Angle and Speed of Exit. Which move? Breakdown of how the move works (what does the head do? Eyes? Shoulders? Hips? Feet?) Can you talk about the six W's (who, what, where, when, why, what if?)

Flow Between Sessions

Another detail that makes a difference is the level of continuity or 'flow' between sessions. It's all very well deciding that players need to work on five different things but it's recommended to do things in a logical order so that your session's build up from simple to complex (similar to a Session Plan). That way players aren't lost as you jump from turning one week to throw-in's and breaking the offside trap the next!

For example, a five week plan might be: Dribbling, Moves, Turns, Stop Starts, Change of Direction. All topics are dribbling related and therefore linked.

Another might be: Building out from the Back, Playing through the Midfield, Penetration in the Final Third, Crossing, Crossing and Finishing. All topics build upon each other as we progress the ball up the field.

The Bigger Picture

 
 

For those that have been in their clubs for more than a season, have a think about how your Season Development Plan builds into the Annual Plan for player's. Are you perhaps repeating a SDP from the Spring or have the player's progressed enough that a tweaked plan or completely revamped plan is necessary? Just like sessions, there can be some repetition in SDP's. Things won't always click over night... 

Inspire

This is probably the biggest thing you can do in order to improve the ability of your player's. If you can make such an impact that the player's want to go home and continue practicing on their own time or they're arriving early for the next practice - you're doing it right. Try to include this in your plan - have Youtube moves picked out or sent to their parents, link to the Homework Scorecard etc.

Show them cool tricks and flicks, talk to them about the game, get them excited about next weekend's fixtures. Include homework tasks or little challenges before your next session and get them watching/playing the game as much as possible.

 Click here to access the NYRBTP Youtube Channel.

Click here to access the NYRBTP Youtube Channel.

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