University of Worcester Worcester Research and Publications

Case study findings of parents' perceived behaviour from a category 5 male youth football academy

Tagliarini, Mattia and Thomas, Gavin ORCID: (2022) Case study findings of parents' perceived behaviour from a category 5 male youth football academy. The Sport and Exercise Scientist, 72. pp. 12-32. ISSN 1754-3444

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There are more than 2 million people playing football in the UK, making it one of the most practiced sports. A large part of those 2 million is made of male youth footballers involved in the academy system, grassroots clubs, or school football. Academy football is the pinnacle of youth football. In England, after the introduction of the Elite Performance Plan (EPPP), a long-term strategy aimed to develop better homegrown players, there are 5 main types of football academies. Category 1 are the top and tend to be
former, or current Premier League clubs. They receive millions of pounds in funding, and they have first-class facilities. Category 2 is somewhat like category 1 academies, and they are usually former or current teams competing in the Championship. Category 3 and 4 academies receive much less funding, and they usually share
community facilities and have fewer coaches but have partnerships with schools and universities. Category 5 are non-league football academies from teams competing in the National League and usually former Football League teams, most of the time they are self-funded by the clubs, and they act as feeder-clubs for Categories 1 and 2 academies. Meaning that the best players from category 5 academies have a clear path to category 1 and 2 academies,
and players released from those (1 & 2) academies will have the opportunity to join category 5 academies. In every academy, the development process of each player follows a path made of 3 phases. The foundation phase takes place between eight and eleven years old, where the focus is on learning to play the game by having fun in a safe environment. The youth development phase takes place between the age of twelve and the age of sixteen years old, where it starts to become competitive. Lastly, the professional development phase takes place from the age of seventeen until the age of twenty-one and/or twenty-three years old (depending on the academy set-up). The article will begin by briefly reviewing previous research surrounding parental support and pressure within youth sport, with a focus on football. We will then reflect on our findings from a category 5 youth football academy in the UK, with the emphasis on perceptions of parents' behaviours.

Item Type: Article
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Uncontrolled Discrete Keywords: children, athletic development, parental pressure
Divisions: College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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Depositing User: Gavin Thomas
Date Deposited: 07 Jun 2022 08:44
Last Modified: 07 Jun 2022 08:44

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