Youth Development (Wallace Minor Soccer)

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Houllier on youth development

Gerrard Houllier Seminar – Friday April 18, 2008

Published in Inside Soccer Magazine


On Friday April 18, 2008 Gerrard Houllier, one of the world’s most successful managers and now the French Football Federations technical director was in Oakville, Ontario.  Presenting on the field and in the classroom, Houllier went on to show a variety of small sided games and exercises including games used for teaching mental focus, possession, the counter attack and goal scoring.

In the classroom Houllier presented a small video about his career and then went on to discuss his work at the FFF.  Explaining how the French youth development model works and why it has been so successful in recent years.  He stressed the importance of skill development from the ages of 8 to 15, and also how important it is for young soccer players to develop good coordination in training.

Houllier then went on to talk about professional football and explained his Key Ingredients of a winning team:

  1. Goals – A vision shared by everyone.
  2. Work – A strong work ethic that is consistent.  The ability to work with willingness.
  3. Respect – Attitude determines everything in life and sport.  The ability to stay focused and leading a disciplined lifestyle.
  4. Enjoyment – Hard work = better results = more fun.  A sense of humour and the ability to have a good laugh is important. 
  5. Positivity – Staying positive, making sure you are surrounded with a positive environment.  Don’t stress over small negative details.
  6. Adaptability – The ability to change.  Keeping an open mind.
  7. Competitive – The ability to cope with setbacks.  The will to win is as important as the skill to win.
  8. Communication – The ability to pass the message as well as to listen to others.  Coaches should be aware of unintentional favouritism, make sure their team talks are clear and stay positive with their words.  Coaches should be accessible, players should not be afraid to approach their coach.
  9. Leadership – Every team needs a leader to be successful.  The leader should export optimism even if he is feeling anxiety. 
  10. Team Pride – It is important to have players who have pride in the club.  The feeling of belonging is key, it is important that players believe in TEAM FIRST.  The team needs a strong sense of togetherness.
  11. Confidence – Team and Player confidence is crucial.  It is important for players to hear positive feedback from the coach.  That sense of recognition is important; players want to know that the coach appreciates them.
  12. Flair – The ability to make sudden changes.
  13. Luck – Every team needs it!


Victor Satei

Technical Director


Power Player Academy