What you need to know about the UEFA Elite Youth A Diploma, which provides an introduction to specialised coaching for talented young players.
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Youth development is a vital part of UEFA's overall strategy, ensuring a bright future for the game. Two specially focused diplomas provide coach education programmes geared towards developing young talent.
The more advanced of these is the Elite Youth A diploma, which gives participants a clear understanding of how to develop and coach future professional players transitioning from elite to professional football during their period from adolescence to adulthood.
UEFA Elite Youth A Diploma requirements
- A valid UEFA A licence OR at least one year's coaching experience while also holding a valid UEFA Youth B Licence
The UEFA Elite Youth A Diploma requires a total minimum 120 hours of education. A minimum 95 hours will be spent studying guided interactive content, with a minimum 25 hours made up of work experience. The course is delivered approximately 50/50 between on- and off-pitch activity.
Study visits are also recommended in the elite youth football environment, such as to youth academies run by (foreign) professional clubs and to UEFA youth competition matches. The number of study visit hours are in addition to the minimum 120 hours of education.
Four pillars of the UEFA Elite Youth A Diploma
The development coach
- Working as the head coach with elite youth teams
- Working with elite youth players to prepare them for professional football
- Working closely with coaching staff and support staff, including the academy director
- Being involved in a club’s talent development plan
- Working with players from different cultural backgrounds, of different ages and experience
- Dealing with all other factors affecting the team’s performance: media, parents, players’ agents, fans/supporters, scouts, sports ethics, etc
- Understanding and planning a development player pathway (especially in the 17-23 age range) where opportunities to get into first team football might be limited
The player and team
- Preparing talented players individually and the team as a whole for the demands of the professional game and according to the club’s talent development plan
- Involving the players in the learning process and enabling them to take self-responsibility
- Managing all aspects of the team’s performance
- Creating a winning mentality and a high-performance culture
The training environment
- Improving and focusing on individual and team training sessions
- Understanding all aspects of high-performance training
- Working with the individual players and the team as a whole and understanding how training session design can affect performance
- Designing game-oriented training sessions (opponent, pressure, intensity)
- Preparing, conducting and reviewing training sessions in accordance with the club’s coaching philosophy
- Preparing for and coaching a team during the matches at elite youth level
- Using the game to develop each player and the team, but also to create a winning team mentality
- Preparing the match plan in accordance with the club’s playing philosophy, taking the opponent team into account
- Analysing the matches as an evaluation and learning tool for individual players and the team as a whole
How do I enrol for a UEFA Elite Youth A Diploma?
Contact your national football association for the latest course information, availability and eligibility.