5 Important Lessons From AC Milan’s Youth Soccer Development Academy

For anyone interested in knowing some of the factors involved in youth soccer development, this is a must see. Rarely do we get an opportunity to get up close and personal to these international programs. Here are 5 important lessons from AC Milan that we can all agree on.
#1 AC Milan philosophy: Fabio Grasi explains that the club’s philosophy on youth soccer development is that “you cannot become a good player if you are not a decent person”. That’s not only a great coaching philosophy, but also a great parenting philosophy. There’s no way any parent would not agree with this philosophy. It also demonstrates that the club is not only concerned about their player development, but also about their future. AC Milan’s approach is to get kids to “grow as players and humans, because if you are disciplined in soccer, you will be discipline in life”.
He also explains that they don’t just care about technical abilities of the children and developing those, but they also care about the kids and their growth as soccer players.

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#2 Teach Respect: How does AC Milan reach this goal? Teach the kids about sharing spaces, respecting their teammates, the training equipment, and the opponents. They want the kids to build true friendships and trust each other. At the same time the trainer talks about building a relationship with the kids and getting the kids to trust him.
#3 Recruitment and Retention: The club admits that they scout for youth, which allows them to get motivated, elite athletes into their system, which helps with their youth soccer development.
Once a youth player is selected, they must spend an extra 15 minutes extra a day in their technical training program for about “3 years on average”. After those 3 years, the club will reevaluate the player.
#4 Create a Support System: The psychologist talks about creating a safe, healthy, and ideal environment for the kids to train and optimize development.
The kids that are interviewed explain that they must follow rules and get good grades. If they are failing, they have a counselor that works with the families. Additionally the club’s counselor also helps the families with social and economic issues.
#5 Coaches invested in Player Development: One player states that his coaches have “helped me grow as a player and person”. He explains that if he has friends on the field, they will trust each other and support him.
Fillipo Inzhagi was a great goal scorer for AC Milan and Italy as a player, but as a coach, he explains that he’s there to help kids reach their dream. He wants them to get to the field smiling and leave smiling. It’s about educating the kids about soccer. He explains that he scores goals today by helping the kids grow and mature. He explains that it will help them in their jobs and careers, whether it’s soccer or something else. Winning at AC Milan is giving your best effort.

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