Early Specialization in Football

There is a false belief that children who start in the practice and specific training of a sport, is better to do a specialization in the main contents as soon as possible. This often totally affects the development of our young players.

Why is not positive to do an early specialization in young soccer players?


1. Coordination

It is necessary to create a coordinative basis to be able to develop the specific technical and tactical part. These two aspects (relationship of the player with the ball, and the player’s relationship with the environment and specific situation in which it is located) require some bases at the motor level since they have a greater complexity.

Someone says that you can not start building a house on the roof … With children happens the same. We can not expect a player to learn to do an oriented control if he doesn’t know how to put his foot in a simple control. Or we can not train where a player should dribble if he has coordination difficulties to run with solvency.

2. Cognitive development

Young players are not developed mentally to understand the complexity of all the factors involved in a sport such as football.

As Piaget showed us with its evolutionary stages, we must understand that we can not treat children as adults, for the simple reason that at the level of cognitive development they have a long way to go. This affects how they understand the game, so it will be very important to adapt the game to the child, and not the child to the game.

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3. Have fun

The first step to generate learning, is that the players have fun. We can not forget that football is a game, and young players are children.

Children want to have fun doing what they do, for this reason it is essential to generate tasks that create adherence to the sport, by adapting the training tasks to perform them in a playful way and that the children have fun so that they want to continue training, and as a result they continue learning

4. Motivation

It is difficult for young people to have fun if we ask them to do something they find hard to do. This can generate frustration and abandon the sport.

It is very important to put small challenges to the children so that they make an effort to learn certain concepts. These challenges must be realistic and manageable, because if we ask for something very easy they will get bored, and if it is something very difficult for them, they will become frustrated and abandon the sport.


In short, in the training of young players, the first thing to have is a lot of patience, not wanting to run too many stages, as we have said, it is essential to generate some bases before training specific football contents. Key the idea of ​​having fun to learn.

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