Functional name of role helps understanding the systemic vision of the game of football in academies.

A story telling that evokes fascinating figures, allows the young player to enter in a specific character, with tasks, responsibilities and objectives.

If we simply told children “you are the striker, you are the defender …”, we wouldn’t obtain the same involvement, because “striker” and “defender”, are cold terms that don’t trigger their emotion and imagination. “Defender” and “striker” already impose by definition a restriction in his thinking: player understands he must only defend or only attack.

The use of role fantasy name is logic in the categories U5 and U7; next (starting from U9), we gradually switch to role assignment using the functional name of role:

  • Starter
  • Trigger
  • Linker
  • Invader
  • Target.

While the role fantasy name is meant to emotionally involve the child, the functional name of role focuses his attention on the goals he must achieve during the game.

In fact, modern football is running towards the direction of fluidity, mobility (interchanges, rotations…) ; each player must know how to do everything, because during the game he is asked to do everything: attack, defend, dribble…

The functional role directs the young player towards a specific responsibility, which bring him to attack and defend, regardless of the position. It helps understanding a more systemic vision of the game of football.


Brainballab Football Cognitive Training – Copyright 2022

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