Germany is the new football world champion. And everyone is happy. At least in Germany.
Even before the event began the narrative of this German team has been the development program the German football Federation (DFB) implemented in 2001. Like all successful programs it is multi dimensional, as outlined in this article. Most of the points are not earth shattering, except in their obviousness. But there are three striking points.
The first is the focus on coaches. I remember clearly a presentation given by Lindsay Gaze, the iconic Australian basketball coach, who told the group that when basketball embarked on its development journey that it decided the two main focusses would be venues and coaches. Coach education in and of itself is not an indicator of success, but if coaches are valued they can do a lot to drive a program.
The second point is the place of competition for very young players. Even for players as young as twelve years old competition has an important place in the program. “It’s important for the mentality to have some games in the year you have to win, but it is not the main thing. The main thing is to do good training.”
And the third is the relationship between club and country. I have written before about the conflict between club teams and national teams that exists in most sports and in most countries. But in Germany they seem to have understood the interconnectedness of all things, because what is good for the national team is good for the clubs and vice versa. As with the U-12s in the story, competition is important but in the right time and place.
Overall, it is a great article.