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József Bognár & István Csáki: Players From Elite Soccer Academies on Choice of Sports Activities, Success and the Roles of the Coach

The focus of the youth development program is not exclusively based on objective test results, complex coaching and controlled educational impacts also play a significant role in the process. Football academies emphasize unity in the development of motor, technical, tactical, psychological and pedagogical components. It is also of consequence what educational principles, methods the coach uses, and how they communicate to support the team’s as well as each and every player’s development. The purpose of this study was to describe the opinion, experience and expectations of young players from elite football academies as regards their choice of sports activities, success, and the roles and functions of the coach. During the analysis, special emphasis was put on the role of success, age and player position. Players from five elite football academies in Hungary participated (N=258) in this study. Open- and closed-ended questions relating to players’ future expectations, choice of sports activities, success, role and actions of coaches were used for data collection. According to our results, players chose football because they believed they were talented in it, and they wanted to be players. It was their perseverance and diligence, and also the support of their family that helped them become players at an elite academy. Players considered motivating as the most important role of the coach. Players perceived that the most important function of the coach was goal setting and future orientation. Only small differences were found in the responses of successful and non-successful players as regards their opinion and experience, however more meaningful differences were established based on age and playing position. Our results confirm that coaches’ work should involve age-specific educational principles and practices on a daily basis. It is also important to highlight that coaches in youth development programs need to represent a number of future-oriented roles and functions.

MAGYAR PEDAGÓGIA 120. Number 3. 229-246. (2020)

Levelezési cím / Address for correspondence: Bognár József, Eszterházy Károly Egyetem, H–3300 Eger, Eszterházy tér 1. Csáki István, Testnevelési Egyetem, H–1123, Budapest, Alkotás u. 44.


Magyar Tudományos Akadémia