TST Developmental Levels


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Below are simple descriptions of the different developmental levels within the

Small Group technical development program

Quick Glance : TST Development Levels :


Group Size : 6-8 players approx

  • Level 1 and 2 : U6-U8 : Still very game based. Lots of fun activities and interaction with the ball.
    • We want to help players build
      • A relationship with the ball without going overboard with technical isolation
        • We believe, that at this stage 'Where players move the ball', is more important than 'how they move the ball'. Can player turn, move the ball across their body, away from their body and always to space or an option. How they do this is not as important.
      • Develop a mindset that helps players become creative and confident when on the ball and teaches them that the game more is about space more than anything else.

Group Size : Up to 4-6 players : FUNDAMENTAL FOOTWORK PATTERNS

  • Level 3: U9-U11 : Footwork development : Learning and applying Fundamental Footwork Patterns
  • Level 4 and 5: U11-U12 : Advanced footwork development: Using FFP with the head up and at speed
  • Fundamental footwork patterns are base for all advanced technical development. Some players get it naturally. Everyone else can be taught.
  • Advanced players at this level will move up to level 6.

Group Size : 10 players approx

  • Level 6: U12-U14 :  Developing awareness and intelligence*
  • Level 7: U15 + : Developing intuitive intelligence*
    • [* Linked to the TF14 Talent ID camp held in December each year]


The program is layered and changes with a players needs as they mature.

  • Level 1 and 2:
      • The Ignition Phase U6s - U9s*; Fun and game based with minimal technical isolation. Technique is developed in a general way with a focus on control, running with the ball and passing.
      • We want young players to develop a strong confident relationship with the ball.
      • We want young players to develop a belief that they can be creative and confident on the ball, and a belief they can solve problems using technique and intelligence.
  • Level 3:
      • The Post Ignition Phase – U9s* - U11s; Still lots of opportunities to play the game but structured footwork pattern development is introduced
      • We have a specific set of Fundamental footwork patterns that all good players have. Some naturals get this naturally, but all non-naturals can be taught this.
      • We have seen center backs turn into wingers, and average 12 years old become professionals using this system.
  • Level 4 and 5:
      • The Deep Practice Phase –  U9s*-U14s: Footwork is now about mkaing fundamental footwork patterns to an advanced instinctive level and about getting the head up, moving the ball at speed and using footwork with a specific game moment in mind (e.g. first touch) along with lots of opportunities to put technique into practice.
  • Level 6+ :
      • Intuitive football intelligence – Advanced Players Only : Once we have a player footwork up to an advanced level. we put it to one side and start to work on football intelligence. That is get players to solve problems with their brain rather than their feet. There are more complicated and challenging technical games with an increasing emphasis on football intelligence.
  • Level 7 :
      • Advanced Flexible Circuit Deep Practice phase- Advanced U15+ players; As above but more advanced challenges and games in which football intelligence is critical.


* Groups and level are determined by ability not age.
The age offered above is just a rough guideline based on where an average player of a particular age would be.

All sessions have limited spaces and it is not always possible to accommodate players into a session


We strongly recommend that you read the book called

The Talent Code by Daniel Coyle

as this explains the terms used above in more detail.

The talent code.jpg